What is Metoprolol?
Metoprolol (active ingredient: metoprolol) is a type of medicine called a selective beta blocker. Metoprolol lowers high blood pressure, slows down the heart rate and reduces the heart’s need for oxygen. It also causes blood vessels to widen to help the blood circulate better and to allow the heart to work less. This helps prevent cardiovascular problems such as stroke or myocardial infarction (heart attack).
What is Metoprolol used for?
Beta blockers are prescribed for high blood pressure (hypertension) and various cardiac conditions, such as:
- Cardiac arrhythmia, such as palpitations or irregular heartbeat;
- Angina pectoris (chest pain);
- Heart failure (decreased pumping function of the heart);
- Myocardial infarction (to prevent future heart attacks).
In some cases, this medicine is also used to prevent migraines and treat certain symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland.
How to use Metoprolol
Metoprolol tablets should be taken at the same time each day and swallowed whole with some water either before, during or after meals. If you have missed a dose, you may take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Never take a double dose to make up for the forgotten one.
Do not stop taking Metoprolol suddenly. To prevent cardiac complaints, treatment with this medicine should be discontinued gradually, following the instructions given by your doctor.
Metoprolol is available in various strengths. The exact strength and dosage should be determined by a doctor. The general recommended dose in adults is:
- For high blood pressure: 50 - 200 mg once daily;
- For angina pectoris: 100 - 200 mg once daily;
- For cardiac arrhythmia: 100 - 200 mg a day, divided in two to three doses.
For other conditions and use in children the appropriate dose is determined by a doctor. Always follow the prescribed dosage and read the package leaflet closely before use.
Metoprolol can cause side effects, including:
- Nausea, diarrhoea or constipation;
- Dizziness, headache;
- Cold hands and feet.
Most side effects are only temporary and will disappear once the body adjusts to the lower blood pressure. See the package leaflet for more information on possible side effects.
When not to use Metoprolol
Metoprolol is not suitable for everyone and should not be used in:
- people who are allergic to metoprolol or one of the ingredients in this medicine;
- people with certain heart conditions, lung disorders (asthma), a tumour of the adrenal gland , metabolic acidosis (increased acidity in the blood) or a serious illness.
Metoprolol interacts with other medicines, including calcium blockers and blood sugar reducing medication. It is important to tell the doctor what other medicines you are taking to prevent serious health problems. See the package leaflet for a complete list of contraindications and interactions.
Metoprolol should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women without consulting a doctor. Use of this medicine should be gradually discontinued in the last months of pregnancy.
This medicine can impair your ability to react, especially in the initial phase of treatment. Stay out of traffic if you experience this side effect.
Alcohol can make side effects such as dizziness worse. You should therefore limit or avoid drinking alcohol altogether while taking this medicine.