Metoprolol Side Effects

by on July 8, 2011


Metoprolol side effects that are most common which include constipation, drowsiness, headache and nausea are often short-lived and easily treatable. This makes it a worthwhile choice to control high blood pressure and as a treatment or preventative measure for other conditions.

Common Metoprolol Side Effects

Below are the most common side effects of Metoprolol.

  • Metoprolol Side EffectsConstipation
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth or eyes
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Mild fatigue
  • Mild flu symptoms (e.g. chills, fever, sore throat)
  • Nausea or vomiting

Serious Metoprolol Side Effects

Below are some more serious side effects of Metoprolol.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Unusual weight gain
  • Fainting
  • Rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat

Side Effects on Men

As with other beta blocker medications, possible sexual side effects include reduced sex drive and impotence. Studies of patients being treated with Metoprolol, however, show that impotence is rarely reported. Men who experience sexual side effects should discuss symptoms with their doctor as a precursor to alternative treatments. Most of these symptoms do dissipate with prolonged usage.

Side Effects on Women

Women tend to have a greater effect from Metoprolol alone and are more likely to develop excessive cardiovascular reaction to the drug. Dosage should be adjusted for body weight, especially in patients who are slight in frame or underweight, as they are at a higher risk of becoming clinically underweight while taking Metoprolol, due to its effect at increasing heart and metabolic rates.

Side Effects on Children

Considered an FDA category C medication, side effects of the drug on an unborn baby are unknown. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, make sure that you thoroughly discuss the use and risk of this drug with your doctor before beginning treatment. Mothers who are nursing a baby should not use this medication without approval and supervision of a doctor as it can pass into breast milk.

Side Effects on Weight

All beta blockers, including Metoprolol, report rapid weight gain as a potential side effect. Unexplained weight gain is one of the main indicators for heart failure, and patients with symptoms of congestive heart failure often experience rapid weight gain over a period of several days. Rapid weight gain as an indicator of congestive heart failure is typically accompanied by a persistent cough and swelling in the lower extremities. Immediate consultation with your doctor is warranted if you experience rapid weight gain.

Other Metoprolol Side Effects

Consumption of alcohol can cause adverse reaction in patients actively being treated with Metoprolol. Patients are advised to take extreme care while participating in any activity that requires them to be alert, such as driving or operating machinery, as Metoprolol may impair cognitive ability and reaction time. If you are having surgery of any kind, be sure to notify your doctor in advance.

Sudden withdrawal from Metoprolol is not advised, as it can cause adverse reaction. Multiple side effects are possible so any noticeable change should be reported to your doctor. Any incident of serious side effects warrants an immediate call to your physician to prevent severe medical reactions. However, if used correctly then Metoprolol is generally quite safe.