Hypertension is regarded as one of the most common health conditions that afflict a major portion of the population. An estimated 47 percent of adults in the US are diagnosed with hypertension, which in turn is responsible for various other health conditions. Long term damage to organs is one of the possible outcomes of high blood pressure. For instance, individuals with arterial hypertension are likely to end up with angina. Other outcomes of high blood pressure include thickening of walls, and this exposes the patient to possible long term health complications. Toprol XL is one among the various medications prescribed for treating hypertension. Here is a look at recorded and possible Toprol xl side effects to help individuals cope better with undesirable outcomes and to prevent or mitigate the effects.

Overview of Toprol XL

Medically known as a beta blocker, Toprol XL, the branded formulation of metoprolol succinate, is prescribed for the following conditions:

Toprol XL is an extended-release formulation, of the beta blocker, which belongs to the succinate category of derivatives. The other category of derivates is tartrate, which has a slightly different mechanism of action and outcomes.

Mechanism of action of Toprol XL 

Toprol XL works by reducing the cardiac output, and it is this property as a beta-1 adrenergic receptor inhibitor that gives the medication its efficacy in treating hypertension.  By virtue of its ability to work without any impact on beta-2 receptors, it delivers the desired outcomes without affecting other functions. This makes it a preferred choice for targeted treatment of various conditions.

The highlight of the medication

The standout property of the medication is the speed of absorption of the drug on consumption. The serum concentration is made available in the body within two hours of being consumed as gastrointestinal tract quickly absorbs the drug. When the drug is administered intravenously, the speed increases by as much as six times, which ensures that the drug is made available in the shortest possible time.

How to take Toprol XL? 

There are specific instructions on the manner in which the medication is to be consumed; this may be in the form of general instructions or specific recommendations from treating specialists. Bioavailability of the medication depends on the manner in which it is taken – when consumed with food, the drug is absorbed easily, thereby delivering better or faster results. In addition to the above, there is also the need to avoid nausea that may be experienced by patients who take the drug on an empty stomach. First time users of the medication are likely to experience nausea, and taking the medication along with food can help overcome the problem.

FDA warning about toprol xl side effects

All prescription medications are under the regulatory authorities, and the safety/efficacy of drugs are certified by the FDA after standard processes and trials. One of the highest level of warnings of drugs is the Black Box warning issued by the FDA, which is intended to warn patients, and healthcare workers about the possible risks linked to use of specific drugs or medications.

Toprol XL figures on the list of drugs that carry the black box warning, and this makes it all the more important for patients and caregivers to diligently follow the instructions. It is pertinent to note that a black box warning is essentially a note of caution about the effects and is to be considered as a banned substance. Precautions typically include the need to avoid abruptly discontinuation of the medication. This is likely to end up with undesirable effects, and it is therefore necessary for patients and caregivers to follow the advice of doctors and gradually reduce the dosage before completely stopping the medication. In the event of patients stopping the medication, without following the necessary precautions, there is the possibility of effects such as pain in the chest, or discomfort in the chest. This could also result in a spike in blood pressure levels, that could also develop into a heart complication with long term implications.

Dosage recommendations of Toprol XL  

Undesirable effects of all medications are sometimes attributed to incorrect dosage of medications. Here is a short compilation of safe limits of the medication, that can be used to avoid unwanted effects as a result of wrong dosage. It is necessary to bear in mind that the information is intended to serve as a reference and individuals are to follow the advice of treating doctors regarding the actual dosage. This is because dosage may not be the same for all individuals, and will be determined by all various factors including the following:

  • Condition being treated by the medication
  • Age of patient
  • Gender of patient
  • Use of other medications
  • Pre-existing/diagnosed conditions

Angina The recommended dosage for patients diagnosed with angina is typically an initial daily dosage of 100 for adults between the ages of 18 and 64. The initially dosage is then gradually increased to meet the specific requirements as determined by the factors mentioned above. However, regardless of the condition or other factors, the dosage is not to exceed 400 mg per day.

High blood pressure The recommended dosage for patients with high blood pressure is an initial daily dosage of that could be anywhere between 25 mg to 100 mg. This is typically a single dose, that will be gradually increased, to deliver desired outcomes, and determined by the various factors mentioned above. Regardless of the condition, or other factors, the maximum permitted daily dosage is not to exceed 400 mg.

Children aged between 6 – 17 years are prescribed dosages on the basis of body weight. The recommended daily dosage in such instances is 1 mg per kilogram of body weight, which may then be gradually increased depending on the conditions and the desired outcomes. Regardless of the condition or the body weight, the maximum permitted dosage should not exceed 50 mg daily during the initial stages of the treatment, and caregivers are to strictly follow this dosage advice. Subsequent daily dosages are not to exceed 200 mg, regardless of the condition.

Heart failure The recommended dosage for patients diagnosed with NYHA Class II is a dosage of 25 mg daily for a period of two weeks. This is to be followed with a slightly altered dosage, medically known as a maintenance dose, of strength as determined by the specialists. The dosage, as required, may sometimes be increased as per the condition. This increase is not to be affected abruptly, but in a staggered manner. It is also necessary to ensure that the maximum dosage does not exceed 200 mg daily, regardless of the condition.

Liver condition Dosages for patients diagnosed with liver conditions or elderly patients are always lower than regular recommended dosages. This is because of the inability of the liver to properly process the drug, and as a result of this, the levels of the drug in the body may increase significantly, exposing the patient to possible side effects. Ideally, a liver function test will help determine the ability or the condition of the liver, and on the basis of the tests, dosages are recommended.

Frequently reported toprol xl side effects  

As outlined earlier, there are different types of side effects that may be experienced by users of all medications. Toprol XL may present certain commonly reported side effects, apart from adverse effects. The commonly occurring Toprol XL side effects resolve quickly without the need for medications in most cases. Certain users may be free from all side effects and may have the advantage of continuing the medication without any apprehensions or modifications in dosage or schedule.

Mild effects – Outcomes that are classified as mild and not a reason for alarm include feelings of dizziness, apart from general overall tiredness. Other conditions include constipation, and on a contrasting note some patients may also experience diarrhea. Another outcome that may disrupt life in a different way is the possible effect on the sexual abilities of the patient. This is not a permanent outcome and will resolve naturally after the initial period of commencing the medication or when the drug is discontinued.  Mild effects may also include:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Cough
  • Skin problems – rashes
  • Change in heart beat rate

Serious effects – It is essential to treat identify and serious effects with a sense of urgency depending on the intensity or the duration. In rare instances, there may also be a need to seek emergency medical attention, before the conditions aggravate and go out of control.  For instance, patients may experience a quick reduction in blood pressure levels. The condition, also known as hypotension can turn in to a serious condition if it is not resolved in time. Symptoms that are indicative of the condition include abnormal dizziness that may not be linked to any other known condition. Patients and caregivers are advised to constantly monitor and identify any such symptoms before it turns into unmanageable proportions. Patients who complain of severe dizzy feelings, or feelings of light headedness are to be provided with suitable treatment at a healthcare facility.

Other serious effects include a possible faint feeling in patients on the medication. Various other symptoms may also be experienced by patients, including a cold feeling at the limb extremities, apart from fatigue that increases in intensity. Reports of fatigue that is worsening is to be treated with suitable importance, with appropriate treatment. As a result of the mechanism of action of the medication, patients may behave erratically, and totally inconsistent with normal behavior witnessed prior to the medication. Conditions that may be linked to the medication in include depression, and anxiety; and these conditions may not be linked to any other known or diagnosed health condition.

The drug is known to have an impact on the patient’s interests, especially in activities that are classified as routine. For instance, libido, as mentioned earlier may decrease, appetite may be lost, and this in turn could result in poor health o the patient. Disinterest in sex may cause relationship issues, and frustration, and it is therefore necessary for caregivers and healthcare workers to clearly identify the symptoms and accord necessary importance and treatment to handle the condition.

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