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Metoprolol (Generic Lopressor)
What Is Metoprolol?
Metoprolol is one of many blood pressure medications. It is used to treat high blood pressure and is categorized as a beta blocker. Regular use of Metoprolol can also be required to treat chest pain (angina) in some patients.
In the US, Metoprolol is frequently sold under the brand name Lopressor. You will find it in oral tablet form when obtaining a prescription, with varying strengths attributed.
How Does Metoprolol Work?
Metoprolol is a member of the beta blocker family of drugs. These medications work by blocking the receptors that adrenaline and noradrenaline, two stress hormones, would typically act upon, primarily in the heart and blood vessels.
When adrenaline and noradrenaline bind to these receptors, they cause the heart to beat faster and with more force. This can lead to cardiovascular complications, such as high blood pressure, angina, and an increased risk of heart attack.
By blocking these receptors, Metoprolol prevents these stress hormones from exerting their usual effects on the heart. As a result, the heart rate slows down, and the force with which blood is pumped decreases. This helps blood vessels relax, thereby reducing blood pressure and lowering the risk of cardiovascular problems.
What Is Metoprolol Used For?
The main purpose of Metoprolol is to lower your blood pressure. Individuals with high blood pressure will experience a wide range of symptoms and be at high risk of developing heart complications.
Consequently, Metoprolol can be used to prevent the following:
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
Other common uses of Metoprolol include treatment for angina, particularly in patients suffering from long-term chest pain. Some doctors will also prescribe this drug to help improve recovery after suffering from a heart attack. The reduction in heartbeat and lowering of the blood pressure relaxes the stress on the cardiac muscle, which prevents further heart attacks from occurring and gives the heart more room to recover.
Metoprolol is also sometimes prescribed for off-label uses, such as migraine prevention or anxiety management.
What Are the Side Effects of Metoprolol?
Metoprolol can cause side effects in some patients, though they vary in severity.
The most common side effects are:
- Mild fatigue
You will not need to report these side effects to a medical professional as they are mild and will be easy for most individuals to manage. However, if they start to get worse or do not go away with time, speak to a doctor for professional guidance.
Uncommon side effects of Metoprolol include:
- Extremely low blood pressure
- Slow heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight gain
- Swelling in the ankles
- Coldness in the extremities
- Severe skin reactions
- Blurred vision
- Depression/mood swings
These side effects usually need immediate attention from a medical professional and you should consult with a doctor as soon as possible. There’s a chance your body is reacting badly to the medication and you may need to either decrease your dose or stop taking it entirely.
How to Take Metoprolol?
Metoprolol will be taken as an oral tablet that should be swallowed whole and not crushed up. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, speak to your doctor and they will provide alternative ways of taking this medication.
Always stick to your dose and do not take a double dose of Metoprolol under any circumstances. These tablets are available in different strengths, and you may need to take a set amount per day. All of this will be explained by your doctor when you receive your prescription. Stick to your dose and do not take more or less than required.
As with all prescription medication, read the information leaflet that comes with your tablets. It contains important tips on the best times to take this tablet and what you should avoid doing/eating immediately before or after taking it.
Continue using your medication until directed otherwise by your doctor. Metoprolol is sometimes used in conjunction with other medications for high blood pressure but it is not a cure. Beta-blockers like Metoprolol will help to reduce your heart rate and put less strain on this muscle, which aids in blood vessel relaxation and the lowering of your blood pressure.
Nevertheless, it should never be relied upon as a long-term solution. Speak with your doctor about making lifestyle changes that improve your overall health and will help you maintain a healthy blood pressure reading. This could include alterations to your diet as well as undergoing more exercise. Making these changes while also using Metoprolol will lead to long-term results.
Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.
If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.
Frequently asked questions
Who Should Not Take Metoprolol?
You shouldn’t take Metoprolol:
- If you suffer from bradycardia
- If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Metoprolol
- If you have asthma
- If you have heart failure
Certain medical conditions may require you to be monitored more closely while taking Metoprolol. For instance, diabetes may lead to a higher risk of side effects and could mean that you are switched to another medication.
Metoprolol is a class C drug for pregnancy, which means it should only be used in pregnant women when the benefits clearly outweigh any potential risks.
The listed conditions are not an exhaustive list, and there may be other reasons why you should avoid taking Metoprolol. As such, it’s important to discuss this medication with a doctor before taking it. Your medical history will provide insight into any potential risks associated with consuming Metoprolol.
What are the Most Common Side Effects of Metoprolol?
The most common side effects of Metoprolol include fatigue or tiredness, dizziness or lightheadedness Other common side effects may include:
- Difficulty sleeping, and slow heart rate.
- Changes in sex drive
You should speak to your doctor if any of these side effects become more severe or persist for a long time.
What to Avoid While Taking Metoprolol?
While taking Metoprolol, you should avoid the following:
- Drinking alcohol – Drinking can enhance the blood pressure-lowering effect of the drug, leading to potential dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Certain medications – some drugs can interact with Metoprolol, so be aware of any medication you are taking and whether it will conflict with your prescription.
- Driving or operating heavy machinery – side effects like dizziness or lightheadedness can impair judgment and coordination. You should first wait to see how the medication makes you feel before driving.
The list above is not exhaustive, and you should consult with your doctor about any other activities or medication you should avoid while taking Metoprolol.
How Long Does It Take for Metoprolol to Work?
It may take a week or two for you to see any improvement in your condition after starting Metoprolol. Make sure to take your medication as prescribed and don’t stop taking it until your doctor tells you to do so.
It’s important to note that the effects of Metoprolol won’t be immediate. It takes time for this medication to reach its full effect, meaning your blood pressure may not drop significantly within the first few days. Be patient and continue taking the prescribed dose until you can see results.
What Is the Typical Dosage for Metoprolol?
The dosage of Metoprolol varies from patient to patient and will depend on what condition it’s being used to treat.
Generally, the dose for hypertension the starting dosage is 100 mg a day. From there your doctor may increase the dose depending on how your body responds.
Do not adjust your dosage without speaking to a medical professional first. Doing so could lead to serious problems that may require emergency care.
Can You Buy Metoprolol Over-The-Counter (OTC)?
No, Metoprolol is a prescription-only medication and can’t be purchased over-the-counter (OTC).
Can You Get Metoprolol Online?
Yes, you can get an online prescription for Metoprolol from DrHouse. DrHouse offers a convenient and fast on-demand telehealth service, which allows you to start a consultation with a qualified doctor online and get the prescription you need without ever having to leave your home.
How Do I Get an Online Prescription for Metoprolol?
Getting an online prescription is simple and fast with DrHouse. All you have to do is:
- Sign up
- Download our telehealth app
- Fill in your personal information
- Answer a few questions about your medical history
- Start an on-demand virtual visit with one of our healthcare providers
Once you have started the virtual visit, your provider will determine whether you are a good candidate for Metoprolol (Lopressor). If they deem it to be an appropriate treatment option for you, they will issue an online prescription which can then be filled at any pharmacy of your choice.
Can I Get a Refill for Metoprolol From DrHouse?
Yes, you can get a refill for Metoprolol from DrHouse. To refill your Metoprolol prescription, start an on-demand virtual visit with one of our healthcare providers. During the visit, they will assess your condition and determine if a refill is required.
If they deem it to be an appropriate treatment option for you, they will issue an online prescription which can then be filled at any pharmacy of your choice.
What Are Some Other Medications Available for Treating High Blood Pressure?
While Metoprolol is a very popular and effective treatment for high blood pressure, there are other medications available that may be better suited to certain individuals. Some of these include:
Calcium channel blockers
- Amlodipine (Norvasc)
- Nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
- Diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac)
- Verapamil (Calan, Verelan)
- Felodipine (Plendil)
- Chlorthalidone (Thalitone)
- Indapamide (Lozol)
- Furosemide (Lasix)
- Spironolactone (Aldactone)
- Lisinopril (Prinivil)
- Enalapril (Vasotec)
- Ramipril (Altace)
- Quinapril (Accupril)
- Losartan (Cozaar)
- Valsartan (Diovan)
- Irbesartan (Avapro)
- Telmisartan (Micardis)
- Doxazosin (Cardura)
- Prazosin (Minipress)
Note that this list is not exhaustive and there are other medications that may be used to manage high blood pressure as well. Also, each of the medications mentioned above works differently and has different side effects.
You should always talk to a doctor about which medication is best for you.
What Are Some Other Beta Blockers Available?
In addition to Metoprolol, there are other beta blockers available that may be more suitable for certain individuals. Some of these include: