Around 108 million adults in the US are diagnosed as having hypertension, with only one fourth of the patients having the condition under control. On a related note, one out of every four fatalities in the US are attributed to cardiovascular conditions. Various medications are presently used for treating either or both the conditions, either as monotherapy or as combination therapy. Without exception, all medications trigger possible undesirable effects along with desired outcomes; here is a look at possible metoprolol tartrate side effects. This will help in mitigating the side effects and managing the symptoms.
Drug overview and metoprolol tartrate side effects
Before we look at possible metoprolol tartrate side effects it is important to understand more about the drug and its mechanism of action. Available in immediate release and extended-release formulations, Metoprolol is a beta blocker that is used for treating hypertension, chest pain and cardiovascular conditions. Chest pain, medically known as angina is commonly treated with the medication, and also as a treatment regimen for preventing cardiovascular incidents. The drug is typically taken as part of combination therapy with good medical outcomes, in the prevention of heart failures.
Mechanism of action of metoprolol tartrate
The primary mechanism of action of metoprolol tartrate is attributed to the reduction in cardia excitability and cardiac output, apart from heart rate. This is a dose dependent action, and the drug is also known to bring down the atrioventricular conduction. The results of administration of the medication have been encouraging, with a considerable improvement in patients. Mortality rates have been recorded to have reduced, alongside a reduction in re-infarction. As a beta blocker, the drug specifically brings about a reduction in cardiac output without any impact beta-receptors. The increase in blood pressure levels is mainly as a result of the tightening of blood vessels which in turn increases the demand for oxygen. The drug brings about a relaxation of the blood vessels, thereby easing the burden on the heart and the demand for oxygen.
Drug interactions : metoprolol tartrate side effects
Interaction with other medications could possibly result in metoprolol tartrate side effects. This includes other prescription medications, supplements labelled as herbal, and OTC products. Here are some of the common drug interactions that have been reported and recorded in the past. Medications that are used for treating mental health such as MAOIs are likely to impact the functioning of the medication. For instance, this could either amplify the effects of metoprolol or it could degrade the effects of the medication. Additionally, this could also result in slowing down the heart rate to a level beyond the requirement., apart from a light-hearted feeling. Patients on MAOIs are expected to leave a clear gap of two weeks between the two medications to prevent undesirable side effects.
Similarly, medication used for treating heart rhythm drugs are also known to interact with metoprolol and could result in a reduction of heart rates below the desired levels. Common drug names include digoxin and quinidine. Other medications used for the treatment of high blood pressure such as calcium channel blockers could also result in complications and metoprolol tartrate side effects. As both the drugs have common outcomes, the combined outcome could result in a reduction of heart rates that is not desirable. It is therefore necessary to use the drugs under careful medical supervision and observation. Drugs of this category include but are not limited to felodipine, nimodipine, and diltiazem.
Formulations that have a mechanism of action that are similar to metoprolol could enhance the levels of metoprolol in the body. For instance, certain medications that are typically used for treating depression and other mood related mental health conditions are processed in the body in a manner that is similar to metoprolol. Consequently, this could result in an increase in metoprolol levels with possible metoprolol tartrate side effects. Commonly used drugs that could interact in this manner include desipramine, haloperidol, fluoxetine, sertraline etc. Various categories of drugs are also known to be processed in the body in a similar manner. For instance, antiretroviral medications such as ritonavir, drugs used for treating hypertension, such as hydralazine, and antifungal medications such as terbinafine are all processed in the body in the same manner as metoprolol. Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, and popular formulations for treating malaria such as hydroxychloroquine and quinidine are also processed in a similar manner. It is therefore necessary to seek medical advice when on any of these medications or categories of medications.
Drugs and medications that could result in possible metoprolol tartrate side effects include alpha-blockers. These medications are used for reducing blood pressure levels and when taken with metoprolol, there could be undesirable side effects, including a reduction in blood pressure levels beyond safe levels. It is therefore necessary to exercise great caution when taking drugs such as clonidine, or reserpine etc. An additional note of caution for individuals on clonidine – an abrupt discontinuation of the medication when on metoprolol could trigger a spike in blood pressure levels. It is therefore necessary to gradually reduce the dosage before discontinuation.
Other medications that could result in possible metoprolol tartrate side effects are ergot alkaloids that are commonly used for treating headache. When the medication is taken in combination with the beta blocker, there could be an undesirable narrowing of the blood vessels. Similarly, dipyridamole, administered for heart testing could also result in adverse side effects. It is therefore necessary to seek medical advice prior to taking the medication.
Commonly reported metoprolol tartrate side effects
Commonly reported metoprolol tartrate side effects include anormal fatigue and tiredness not attributed to any condition. These side effects can be temporary in nature and may resolve naturally without the need for special medical attention or intervention. Assistance may be required only when the condition persists for long or if the condition is intense/serious in nature. Side effects reported in the past include dizziness and constipation. Individuals are likely to experience bouts of diarrhea when on the medication, while others may find a reduction in libido. The outbreak of mild rashes is also a possibility, while some patients also have breathing problems, that could also be accompanied with cough or wheezing. Another side effect that needs more caution is bradycardia – the condition where the heart rate reduces to extremely lower levels.
Metoprolol tartrate side effects that are serious in nature
In addition to the above side effects that are common and frequently occurring, there are other metoprolol tartrate side effects that could be serious in nature. These side effects are not common and may typically affect only a small section of patients. Individuals experiencing any of the following abnormal conditions are to seek the intervention of medical specialists in a healthcare facility. For instance, a sudden light headed feeling is a reason for concern. Similarly, severe dizzy feelings or a faint feeling could also be symptoms of hypotension. This refers to the condition where the blood pressure levels have dipped below the desired or safe levels. Other discernible feelings include limb extremities that feel cold to the touch or are painful.
Various other manifestations and symptoms require urgent medical intervention. This includes heart rate that is very slow, resulting in a medical condition known as extreme bradycardia. Individuals who feel tiredness that progresses or aggravates with each passing day, are also to seek medical attention as this could be an indication of severe side effects. Metoprolol tartrate side effects include the possibility of patients entering into a depressive state of mind. This is visible in constantly feeling sad or anxious without any actual reason. The individual may experience a distinct disinterest in activities that were earlier a favorite activity. Similarly, individuals are likely to end up binge eating, while others may have difficulty in concentrating. Patients may also feel hopeless or have low self-esteem.
Ideal dosage and tips on following the right practices to avoid metoprolol tartrate side effects
Some of the commonly reported metoprolol tartrate side effects are attributed to wrong or incorrect dosages. Additionally, it is important to follow the right methods or routine of taking medication. The ideal dosage is determined by various factors, such as the age of the individual, the severity of the condition, the reason for taking the medication and the existence of other conditions. Additionally, it is also important to monitor closely, the onset of any possible adverse or undesirable side effects with the initial doses. This would help identify possible side effects that may manifest in the future, and depending on this, the dosage could be modified.
Typical dosage of metoprolol for high blood pressure
To avoid potential metoprolol tartrate side effects the ideal dosage of metoprolol for high blood pressure is as explained. Whenever the medication is recommended to be taken as an immediate formulation, the recommended dosage typically starts from 25 mg with the maximum recommended dosage capped at 100 mg. When the medication is taken as an extended-release formulation, the ideal dosage begins at 25 mg and is capped at 200 mg. This is broad recommendations and would differ from brand to brand. Similarly, when generic formulations are being taken there would be minor changes in the dosage.
Typical dosage of metoprolol for treating chest pain
Patients recommended metoprolol for treating angina are ideally prescribed dosages as explained. Whenever immediate release formulations are recommended, the ideal dosage begins at 25 mg, with the maximum dosage capped at 100 mg. Similarly, to avoid metoprolol tartrate side effects, the ideal dosage of extended-release formulations begins at 25 mg with the maximum recommended dosage capped at 20o mg. The dosages may differ from brand to brand and could also be administered differently, depending on the age groups. For instance, adults in the age group of eighteen to 60 years are most likely to be recommended a dosage that is different from the dosages recommended for senior citizens and for children.
Patients are also recommended the medication after having suffered a heart attack. The recommended dosage for treating this condition is the same as that of the recommended dosage for the conditions mentioned above. Metoprolol tartrate side effects are also likely to be experienced by patients with certain conditions. For instance, individuals with liver ailments are recommended to take an altered dosage. This is because impaired liver functions will have an impact on the effectiveness of the medication.
Precautions to be taken when on the medication
To avoid metoprolol tartrate side effects certain precautions are to be followed as a matter of routine. For instance, the drug is not to stopped abruptly, as this could result in adverse conditions. Patients may experience angina, or a spike in blood pressure levels and in some cases, there is also the possibility of a heart attack. The dosage is to be gradually reduced before stopping it completely.