This medication is a beta-blocker used to treat chest pain (angina), heart failure, and high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.This drug works by blocking the action of certain natural chemicals in your body (such as epinephrine) that affect the heart and blood vessels. This lowers heart rate, blood pressure, and strain on the heart.
How to use Metoprolol Succinate
See also Warning section.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Some brands of this medication (those containing metoprolol tartrate) may be better absorbed when you take them with or right after a meal. Other brands (those containing metoprolol succinate) may be taken with or without food. Follow your doctor’s directions for your brand, and take it the same way at the same time each day.
Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets or capsules. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split extended-release tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
If you are using the extended-release capsules, swallow the capsule whole. If you have trouble swallowing it whole, you may open the capsule and sprinkle its contents on a spoonful of soft food (such as applesauce, pudding, or yogurt). Swallow the drug/food mixture without chewing. Use the mixture within 60 minutes. Do not prepare a supply in advance. If you are giving this medication through a tube into the stomach, ask your doctor or pharmacist for specific directions. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, since alcohol may interfere with the slow release of this medication and increase the risk of side effects.
To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Your condition may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped.
For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
To prevent chest pain, a second heart attack, or migraine headaches, it is very important to take this medication regularly as prescribed. This drug should not be used to treat chest pain or migraines when they occur. Use other medications to relieve sudden attacks as directed by your doctor (for example, nitroglycerin tablets placed under the tongue for chest pain, “triptan” drugs such as sumatriptan for migraines). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (for example, if your routine blood pressure readings remain high or increase, if your chest pain or migraines occur more often).
Drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, diarrhea, and slow heartbeat may occur. Decreased sexual ability has been reported rarely. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
With some brands of this medication, an empty tablet shell may appear in your stool. This is harmless.
This drug may reduce blood flow to your hands and feet, causing them to feel cold. Smoking may worsen this effect. Dress warmly and avoid tobacco use.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, blue fingers/toes, trouble breathing, new or worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain), mental/mood changes (such as confusion, mood swings, depression).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.