Chest pain (or, angina) is triggered when your cardiac muscles find it difficult to supply needful amount of blood to the heart. Upon experiencing chest pains, it is not a good practice to delay treatment. If left unchecked, such pains are likely to lead to a cardiac arrest or a heart failure. You may also experience a persistent rise in blood pressure level. This indicates that your cardiac system needs to work very hard to get ample blood to flow into the heart. Meds belonging to a class called beta blockers are widely administered for the treatment of these conditions. Beta blockers such as metoprolol help regulate blood pressure. But, can this med cause falls? It is a wise thing to know more on this.

Beta blocking meds are the first generation of medications used for the management of high blood pressure levels. Ever since the launch of beta blockers, several other genres of meds have also been launched in the market to reduce cardiac problems. Modern versions include water pills (also known as diuretics), angiotensin receptor blocking drugs (ARBs), calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibiting meds. Owing to such new launches, beta blockers have taken a secondary position in treating cardiac conditions like angina or hypertension.

Metoprolol is a popular med in the beta blocker genre of drugs. Its use is mainly to treat conditions such as chest pain (due to lack of proper blood flow), increase in blood pressure level as well as heart failure. The key ingredients work to slow down your heartbeat, reduce blood pressure and ease your cardiac muscles. A key substance known as epinephrine / adrenaline works to streamline blood pressure levels – especially, this leads to a likely drop in blood pressure level. The key task of metoprolol is to manage the effects of adrenaline (epinephrine). Metoprolol is usually taken orally, and is taken strictly as per instructions of your treating physician. It is a potent drug. Hence, the first few dosages are maintained at lower strengths. However, once your system does not develop any major side effects, dosages are gradually boosted.

Can intake of metoprolol cause falls?

Common side effects of metoprolol include being dizzy, weariness, slow down of heartbeat as well as a significant drop in libido. If one or more of these side effects are persisting for long, talk to your caregiver without much delay. In some one-off cases, this drug may reduce the flow of blood to your lower limbs (especially, feet or ankles); in such instances, seek medical help from a healthcare setting. Consumption of alcoholic drinks may work adversely and may aggravate your dizziness. It is hence highly recommended to discontinue drinking (as well as smoking) if you are starting to take metoprolol.

People who have had a history of drug abuse or addiction to intoxicants such as cannabis (marijuana) are advised to tell their doctor about such conditions. Such people are more vulnerable to falls; elders may also experience falls – and may risk breaking their bones. Your caregiver may advise you not to drive vehicles, work on heavy machinery or stay away from playing adventurous sports (like cycling, swimming, etc.). Not heeding to such advice may lead to falls and accidents which may risk your life as well as others’ lives.

Other precautions associated with the intake of metoprolol

Your caregiver must know of other meds that you are currently consuming and also, of treatment plans that you are presently pursuing. It is a good practice to list all drugs in your current medication plans. Ensure to include over-the-counter (OTC) meds, proteins, vitamins, herbal aids and prescribed drugs in your list. If your current medication plans include meds such as ranitidine, quinidine, cimetidine etc., your doctor must know of the duration of such medication plans along with dosage strengths. Those who are undergoing a surgery must keep their caregiver updated of your intake of metoprolol or any other beta blockers.

In general, commonly witnessed discomforts are dizziness, staying drowsy, and (as mentioned above) encountering accidental falls. In some one-off cases, respiratory problems, rapid heartbeats or tachycardia have been noticed. Upon witnessing any one or more of these side effects, consult with your caregiver on an urgent mode. Those living with medical conditions such as heart blocks, erratic heartbeats and blood vessels related problems are advised not to take metoprolol. Also, one must not take different forms of beta blocking drugs simultaneously; it may lead to toxicity and can lower your blood pressure to a very low level (i.e., intense spell of hypotension).

Metoprolol does have the clearance from food and drug administration (FDA) for case management of angina and for treating consistent spells of increase in blood pressure level (i.e., hypertension). This med is available as a tablet and as an injection. Also, it is available under two broad categories namely, an immediate-release form and an extended release version. Immediate-release version is largely administered if you have acute spells of cardiac defibrillation. On the other hand, the extended-release version (sold as Toprol XL – a very popular brand) is administered for handling heart attacks or cardiac failure. In some cases, beta blocking drugs are taken with hydrochlorothiazide – a well-known water pill / diuretic drug. Such a combinatorial treatment is widely considered as more effective to treat acute spells of high blood pressure.

In sum, metoprolol is likely to cause discomforts such as dizziness, feeling tired etc. Severe side effects may include inflammation, palpitation as well as faster heartbeat. People aged above 55 years are not recommended to take larger dosage forms. In a few people – specifically among those with a medical history of fainting (passing out) or convulsions – this drug may trigger accidental falls. In people with osteoporosis, such falls can cause breakage of bones.

In such instances, it is highly recommended to seek emergency medical help. Those who are living in Canada are advised to call Health Canada or reach out to poison control center. Residents of US may call 911 immediately or call the helpdesk of food and drug administration (FDA). Above all, talk to your doctor about your lifestyle and habits like drinking or smoking of tobacco products. Your doctor may advise discontinuation of drinking and smoking. Those who find it difficult to stop drinking may need to reduce the intake of alcoholic drinks. For needful precautions – especially to avoid falls – adhere to the instructions issued by your caregiving team.

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