Every medication on the market today has some side effects. It's the trade off that we make in order to receive the care that we need. Let's discuss some of the side effects of metoprolol. The side effects will differ somewhat depending on whether you are taking metoprolol tartrate or metoprolol succinate. We will also discuss drug interactions.
General metoprolol side effects
Because metoprolol slows the heart rate, opens blood vessels, and lowers blood pressure, it can have many other effects on the body. Some of these include weakness, dizziness, and drowsiness. Therefore, it is vital to see how this medication affects you before driving or operating heavy machinery while under its influence. It may also have effects on the gastrointestinal tract resulting in nausea or vomiting. Other stomach problems and symptoms differ depending on the type of metoprolol that you are taking.
Tartrate vs. succinate side effects
Metoprolol succinate has a tendency to dry a patient out. Thus, metoprolol succinate side effects may also include dry mouth and constipation. Metoprolol tartrate can create the opposite effect, resulting in diarrhea. Metoprolol tartrate side effects can also include sleep problems such as insomnia or unusual dreams.
Metoprolol and alcohol
First of all, metoprolol and alcohol should not be mixed. This is because the alcohol can increase some of the prevalent side effects of metoprolol including dizziness and drowsiness. Your doctor may also advise you on how to use any vitamins or minerals that you are taking while you are on metoprolol as some of these may alter the effectiveness of the drug. Calcium in particular can prevent proper absorption. Any multivitamin that you take while on metoprolol should be taken at least two hours apart from the drug.
Metoprolol and food interactions
Food on the other hand, can play an important role in proper absorption, thus metoprolol should be taken either during or after a meal. Taking the pill along with the same meal every day will help you to stay on a regular schedule. Your doctor may make dietary suggestions along with prescribing metoprolol. For example, if you are taking the drug to lower your blood pressure, you may also be told to maintain a low sodium diet. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise is vital as metoprolol is just one part of the treatment for hypertension.
Taking any beta blocker such as metoprolol may increase LDL cholesterol levels, and these levels should be closely monitored by your physician while you are on this medication.