The drug metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL) is used to treat conditions such as angina and hypertension and can also be used to treat or prevent heart attacks. Metoprolol is usually taken orally, but can also be taken intravenously in the early treatment of myocardial infarction.
The typical starting metoprolol dosage depends on factors such as the medical diagnosis, the acuteness of the condition, the age of the patient, their body requirements, medications taken concurrently, and the patient’s medical history.
A starting dose for adults usually ranges between 25mg a day and 450mg. For elderly patients, a lower initial starting dose should generally be used. Metoprolol can also be used to treat pediatric hypertension; the usual starting dose for children is 1mg/kg a day. In terms of dose adjustment, the dosage may be increased at weekly, or longer, intervals.
Dosages in Adults for Common Conditions
- For the treatment of angina pectoris and angina pectoris prophylaxis, the initial adult dose is 100mg, whilst the maintenance dose is 400mg and 450mg respectively.
- In treating hypertension the initial dose is again 100mg and the maintenance dose varies between 100 and 450mg. This is also the case with supraventricular tachycardia.
- For patients with congestive heart failure, the initial dose is either 12.5mg a day or 25mg, depending on the severity of the individual’s heart failure.
- In terms of maintenance, the metoprolol dosage should then be doubled biweekly to the highest dosage level tolerated or up to 200 mg.
Dosage Tips and Warnings
- Metoprolol is available as both a regular tablet and in extended release form. While extended release tablets may be taken without regard to meals, the regular tablets should be taken with food.
- The dose is most effective when taken at the same time every day. Patients must not skip doses or stop taking the medication without first consulting their healthcare provider.
- If the patient misses a dose of metoprolol he or she should take the dosage as soon as they remember.
- Metoprolol tablets should be stored at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Although metoprolol is a useful drug, it must be handled extremely carefully. Patients should always check the correct dosage with their doctor and take the medication exactly as prescribed by their healthcare provider. They should not take the drug for longer than recommended.