by on April 22, 2012
Brand Names:Lopressor, Toprol XL
Generic name:metoprolol
Pregnancy Category:C
Half-life:3 - 7 hours

What is Metoprolol?

Metoprolol is an extended release beta blocker which can be used alone or in combination with other medications to control high blood pressure, relax the blood vessels to improve blood flow, prevent angina or improve chances of survival after a heart attack.  Metoprolol is sold under the names Toprol-XL (made by AstraZeneca) and Lopressor (made by Novartis). Generics are available and are sold under the names Metoprolol Tartrate (immediate release tablets) and Metoprolol Succinate (slow release tablets). The generics are produced by various companies.

It can also be used for migraine headache prevention and to alleviate irregular heart rate and movement disorders caused by antidepressants.

How Metoprolol Works

This medication works by blocking beta receptors that are located in the body. Beta receptors are responsible for causing an increased heart rate and high blood pressure. By blocking these receptors, the medication is able to reverse the effect of the stressors in the body and thereby help reduce the blood pressure and heart rate.

MetoprololMetoprolol is also given to patients after having a heart attack. Because this medication reduces the workload of the heart, angina patients who use it are able to enjoy improved exercise tolerance which in turn benefits their health.

Tips and Precautions for Patients who use Metoprolol

Patients who suffer from any of the following conditions should discuss the use of this medication with their doctor before using it:

  • Any form of kidney disease
  • Blood vessel conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Any form of heart disease or congestive heart failure
  • Circulatory conditions
  • Depression
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Slow heart rate
  • Any food, preservative or dye allergies
  • Allergies to any of the ingredients in Metoprolol

Patients should not change the dosage of this medication without discussing it with their doctor, as their dosage has been specified according to any pre-existing condition they may have or medication they may be using. Metoprolol should be taken at the same time each day in order to keep the levels of the medication constant in the body. It is important for Metoprolol to be stored at room temperature away from sources of heat or moisture.

Due to this drug causing drowsiness, patients should not drive or operate heavy machinery while using it. If a patient overdoses on this medication, they need seek emergency medical attention. The consumption of alcohol should be avoided while using this medication.