Metoprolol: Uses & Side Effects

Metoprolol is a beta-blocker that affects the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins). Metoprolol is used to treat angina (chest pain) and hypertension (high blood pressure). Metoprolol is also used to lower your risk of death or needing to be hospitalized for heart failure.

How should I take metoprolol?

Take metoprolol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Metoprolol should be taken with a meal or just after a meal.

Take the medicine at the same time each day.

Swallow the capsule whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it.

A Toprol XL tablet can be divided in half if your doctor has told you to do so. Swallow the half-tablet whole, without chewing or crushing.

You will need frequent medical tests, and your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using this medicine.

You should not stop using this medicine suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

If you have high blood pressure, keep using metoprolol even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use this medicine for the rest of your life.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Precautions

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to metoprolol, or other beta-blockers (atenolol, carvedilol, labetalol, nadolol, nebivolol, propranolol, sotalol, and others), or if you have:

  • a serious heart problem such as heart block, sick sinus syndrome, or slow heart rate;
  • severe circulation problems;
  • severe heart failure (that required you to be in the hospital);
  • a history of slow heart beats that have caused you to faint.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea, or other breathing disorder;
  • diabetes (taking metoprolol may make it harder for you to tell when you have low blood sugar);
  • liver disease;
  • congestive heart failure;
  • problems with circulation (such as Raynaud’s syndrome);
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland).

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether metoprolol will harm an unborn baby. However, having high blood pressure during pregnancy may cause complications such as diabetes or eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure that can lead to medical problems in both mother and baby). The benefit of treating hypertension may outweigh any risks to the baby.

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are breast-feeding. Metoprolol can pass into breast milk and may cause dry skin, dry mouth, diarrhea, constipation, or slow heartbeats in your baby.

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to metoprolol: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • very slow heartbeats;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • cold feeling in your hands and feet.

Common metoprolol side effects may include:

  • dizziness, tired feeling;
  • depression, confusion, memory problems;
  • nightmares, trouble sleeping;
  • diarrhea;
  • mild itching or rash.

Interactions

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can interact with metoprolol, especially:

  • any other heart or blood pressure medications;
  • epinephrine (Epi-Pen);
  • an antidepressant;
  • an ergot medicine–dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine;
  • a MAO inhibitor–isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Keywords: metoprolol; beta-blocker.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.