Why is this medication prescribed?
Metoprolol is used to treat high blood pressure. It also is used to prevent angina (chest pain) and heart attacks. It works by relaxing your blood vessels so your heart doesn't have to pump as hard.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Are there OTHER USES for this medicine? Metoprolol also is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
How should this medicine be used?
Metoprolol comes as a tablet to take by mouth. The extended-release (long-acting) product usually is taken once a day. Immediate-acting metoprolol may be taken two, three, or four times a day. The number of doses depends on why it is being taken. Do not cut, crush, or chew extended-release tablets; swallow them whole.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take metoprolol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Metoprolol helps control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take metoprolol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking metoprolol without talking to your doctor.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking metoprolol,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to metoprolol or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially medications for migraine headaches, asthma, allergies, colds, or pain; other medications for heart or high blood pressure; reserpine; and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma or other lung disease; heart, liver, or kidney disease; diabetes; circulation problems; severe allergies; or thyroid problems.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking metoprolol, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking metoprolol.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Take metoprolol with or immediately following a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day. Talk to your doctor before using salt substitutes containing potassium. If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet, follow these directions carefully.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from metoprolol are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- excessive tiredness
- upset stomach
- cold hands and feet
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing
- sore throat and fever
- unusual bleeding
- swelling of the feet or hands
- unusual weight gain
- chest pain
- slow, irregular heartbeat
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison controlcenter at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsedor is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will need to determine your response to metoprolol. Your doctor may ask you to check your pulse (heart rate). Ask your pharmacist or doctor to teach you how to take your pulse. If your pulse is faster or slower than it should be, call your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.