Metoprolol is classified as a beta blocker. This means that it works to decrease blood pressure by slowing heart rate and expanding blood vessels. It does this by blocking the action of nerves that tell the heart to beat, thus decrease the speed at which the heart beats. What are some of the more common uses of this drug? Read on to learn more about metoprolol use.
Uses of metoprolol
The most common metoprolol use is to decreases blood pressure. Sometimes it is prescribed alone, and other times along with other medications. There are, however, other reasons for the prescribing of metoprolol. One use is for migraine headaches. It also slows the heart rate and can be used to control a rapid heartbeat.
Sometimes individuals receive metoprolol for anxiety because it can help to slow the heart rate down during a panic attack. This is considered off-label use because it was not the intended use of the drug. It has not been tested for this sort of use. It is always dangerous to take a pill for off-label use because you cannot be certain of the effects it will have when not being used for its intended purpose.
Metoprolol extended-release (Metoprolol ER)
Metoprolol can come in several different forms. Some are to be taking throughout the day, however, metoprolol ER is an extended release tablet. This is used so that patients only have to take the pill once per day. Sometimes you will hear it referred to as metoprolol XL. This is because the name brand of this drug, Toprol, uses XL to indicate the extended release version of the pill rather than the ER designation. A Toprol-XL can be split in half if you are taking a lower dose than the pill that you received from the pharmacy.
Metoprolol, like any other drug, has potential side effects. Many of the more common side effects are minor. To limit these effects and maximize the benefits of use, be sure to take this drug only as directed by your physician. Very often a low sodium diet is recommended by a doctor along with prescribing this medication for high blood pressure. If your doctor makes this recommendation, be sure to implement the dietary change along with taking the prescription as directed. For example, it is very often recommended that metoprolol be taken either with or directly after a meal.
As with any prescription medication, never acquire this drug without a physician's approval.