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In this lesson, we will go over the drug classification of metoprolol. And then we will review when metoprolol is indicated for therapeutic uses and what kind of side effects the medication has.

Introduction

Have you ever seen or heard of a medication named Lopressor or Toprol? It wouldn’t be surprising if you have, because these are the two trade names of one of the most common medications to treat high blood pressure, metoprolol (generic name).

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If you have not, please don’t despair because it possibly means you have no one around you suffering from a silent killer, a.k.a. high blood pressure (medical term: hypertension).

Uses

Metoprolol is a beta1-selective adrenoreceptor blocking agent. But let’s break down what that means. Beta-blockers ‘block’ the effects of adrenaline on your body’s beta receptors.

Beta1-selective blockers block beta 1 receptors more than they block beta 2 receptors. That is how they got the name ‘beta1-selective.’To get a better understanding of what ‘selective’ means, think about chemotherapy drugs.

The more selective they are, the better the drugs work because they are able to find malignant cells (cancer cells) to act on without killing normal cells. A lot of patients with chemotherapy suffer from hair loss because of the non-selectivity of cancer drugs. In other words, normal hair cells die along with cancer cells because the medications attack both cancer and non-cancerous cells.Metoprolol has less effect on beta 2 receptors, which affect muscles or organs.

Instead, if affects beta 1 receptors, which are responsible for heart rate and the strength of your heart.Metoprolol is indicated for the treatment of hypertension to lower blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events, primarily strokes and myocardial infarctions (also known as heart attacks), and angina pectoris. Metoprolol is also prescribed for the treatment of stable, symptomatic heart failure of ischemic, hypertensive or cardiomyopathic origin.

Side Effects

Metroprolol does have some side effects.

The most common are listed below:

  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bradycardia (a slower-than-normal heartrate)
  • Hypotension
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Pruritus (itching)

Summary

Metoprolol is used to decrease heart rate and therefore, it lowers blood pressure. Its side effects come from the effects on the heart, and they include low blood pressure, low heart rate, and light-headedness among others.Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site is for your information only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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