metoprolol (generic name)

Toprol-XL (brand name)

Beta-blockers reduce the workload on the heart and help it to beat more regularly
(me TOE proe lole)
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What is this medicine?

METOPROLOL (me TOE proe lole) is a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers reduce the workload on the heart and help it to beat more regularly. This medicine is used to treat high blood pressure and to prevent chest pain. It is also used to after a heart attack and to prevent an additional heart attack from occurring.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • diabetes
  • heart or vessel disease like slow heart rate, worsening heart failure, heart block, sick sinus syndrome or Raynaud's disease
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma or emphysema
  • pheochromocytoma
  • thyroid disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to metoprolol, other beta-blockers, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not crush or chew. Take this medicine with or immediately after meals. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take more medicine than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly. This could lead to serious heart-related effects.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • sotalol

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • clonidine
  • digoxin
  • dobutamine
  • epinephrine
  • isoproterenol
  • medicine to control heart rhythm like quinidine, propafenone
  • medicine for depression like monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, fluoxetine, and paroxetine
  • medicine for blood pressure like calcium channel blockers
  • reserpine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Contact your doctor right away if your symptoms worsen. Check your blood pressure and pulse rate regularly. Ask your health care professional what your blood pressure and pulse rate should be, and when you should contact them.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Contact your doctor if these symptoms continue. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives
  • cold or numb hands or feet
  • depression
  • difficulty breathing
  • faint
  • fever with sore throat
  • irregular heartbeat, chest pain
  • rapid weight gain
  • swollen legs or ankles

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • anxiety or nervousness
  • change in sex drive or performance
  • dry skin
  • headache
  • nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • short term memory loss
  • stomach upset or diarrhea
  • unusually tired

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: February 27, 2009
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