Metoprolol Succinate Extended-release

METOPROLOL SUCCINATE EXTENDED-RELEASE — metoprolol succinate tablet, film coated, extended release
Ethex Corporation

Rx OnlyP4878-9 03/09


Metoprolol succinate is a beta1 -selective (cardioselective) adrenoceptor blocking agent, for oral administration, available as extended-release tablets. Metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets have been formulated to provide a controlled and predictable release of metoprolol for once daily oral administration. The tablets comprise a multiple unit system containing metoprolol succinate in a multitude of controlled-release pellets. Each pellet acts as a separate drug delivery unit and is designed to deliver metoprolol continuously over the dosage interval. The tablets contain 47.5 mg of metoprolol succinate equivalent to 50 mg of metoprolol tartrate, USP. Its chemical name is (±) 1-(isopropylamino)-3-[p-(2-methoxyethyl) phenoxy]-2-propanol succinate (2:1) (salt). Its structural formula is:

Structural Formula

Metoprolol succinate is a white crystalline powder with a molecular weight of 652.8. It is freely soluble in water; soluble in methanol; sparingly soluble in ethanol; slightly soluble in dichloromethane and 2-propanol; practically insoluble in ethyl-acetate, acetone, diethylether and heptane. Inactive ingredients: calcium stearate, carboxymethylcellulose sodium, carnauba wax, croscarmellose sodium, glyceryl behenate, hydrogenated vegetable oil, hypromellose, maltodextrin, methacrylic acid copolymer, microcrystalline cellulose, polydextrose, polyethylene glycol, povidone, sodium stearyl fumarate, titanium dioxide, triacetin, triethyl citrate, vinyl acetate copolymer.

The USP dissolution test is pending.



Metoprolol is a beta1 -selective (cardioselective) adrenergic receptor blocking agent. This preferential effect is not absolute, however, and at higher plasma concentrations, metoprolol also inhibits beta2 -adrenoreceptors, chiefly located in the bronchial and vascular musculature. Metoprolol has no intrinsic sympathomimetic activity, and membrane-stabilizing activity is detectable only at plasma concentrations much greater than required for beta-blockade. Animal and human experiments indicate that metoprolol slows the sinus rate and decreases AV nodal conduction.

Clinical pharmacology studies have confirmed the beta-blocking activity of metoprolol in man, as shown by (1) reduction in heart rate and cardiac output at rest and upon exercise, (2) reduction of systolic blood pressure upon exercise, (3) inhibition of isoproterenol-induced tachycardia, and (4) reduction of reflex orthostatic tachycardia.

The relative beta1 -selectivity of metoprolol has been confirmed by the following: (1) In normal subjects, metoprolol is unable to reverse the beta2 -mediated vasodilating effects of epinephrine. This contrasts with the effect of nonselective beta-blockers, which completely reverse the vasodilating effects of epinephrine. (2) In asthmatic patients, metoprolol reduces FEV1 and FVC significantly less than a nonselective beta-blocker, propranolol, at equivalent beta1 -receptor blocking doses.

In five controlled studies in normal healthy subjects, the same daily doses of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets and immediate-release metoprolol were compared in terms of the extent and duration of beta 1 -blockade produced. Both formulations were given in a dose range equivalent to 100 to 400 mg of immediate release metoprolol per day. In these studies, metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets were administered once a day and immediate-release metoprolol was administered once to four times a day. A sixth controlled study compared the beta1 — blocking effects of a 50 mg daily dose of the two formulations. In each study, beta1 -blockade was expressed as the percent change from baseline in exercise heart rate following standardized submaximal exercise tolerance tests at steady state. Metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets administered once a day, and immediate-release metoprolol administered once to four times a day, provided comparable total beta1 -blockade over 24 hours (area under the beta1 -blockade versus time curve) in the dose range 100 to 400 mg. At a dosage of 50 mg once daily, metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets produced significantly higher total beta1 -blockade over 24 hours than immediate-release metoprolol. For metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets, the percent reduction in exercise heart rate was relatively stable throughout the entire dosage interval and the level of beta1 -blockade increased with increasing doses from 50 to 300 mg daily. The effects at peak/trough (i.e., at 24 hours post-dosing) were 14/9, 16/10, 24/14, 27/22 and 27/20% reduction in exercise heart rate for doses of 50, 100, 200, 300 and 400 mg metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets once a day, respectively. In contrast to metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets, immediate-release metoprolol given at a dose of 50 to 100 mg once a day produced a significantly larger peak effect on exercise tachycardia, but the effect was not evident at 24 hours. To match the peak to trough ratio obtained with metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets over the dosing range of 200 to 400 mg, a t.i.d. to q.i.d. divided dosing regimen was required for immediate-release metoprolol. A controlled crossover study in heart failure patients compared the plasma concentrations and beta1 -blocking effects of 50 mg immediate-release metoprolol administered t.i.d., 100 mg and 200 mg metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets once daily. A 50 mg dose of immediate-release metoprolol t.i.d. produced a peak plasma level of metoprolol similar to the peak level observed with 200 mg of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets. A 200 mg dose of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets produced a larger effect on suppression of exercise-induced and Holter-monitored heart rate over 24 hours compared to 50 mg t.i.d. of immediate-release metoprolol.

The relationship between plasma metoprolol levels and reduction in exercise heart rate is independent of the pharmaceutical formulation. Using an Emax model, the maximum effect is a 30% reduction in exercise heart rate, which is attributed to beta1 -blockade. Beta1 -blocking effects in the range of 30 to 80% of the maximal effect (approximately 8 to 23% reduction in exercise heart rate) corresponds to metoprolol plasma concentrations from 30 to 540 nmol/L. The relative beta1 -selectivity of metoprolol diminishes and blockade of beta2 -adrenoceptors increases at plasma concentrations above 300 nmol/L.

Although beta-adrenergic receptor blockade is useful in the treatment of angina, hypertension, and heart failure there are situations in which sympathetic stimulation is vital. In patients with severely damaged hearts, adequate ventricular function may depend on sympathetic drive. In the presence of AV block, beta-blockade may prevent the necessary facilitating effect of sympathetic activity on conduction. Beta2 -adrenergic blockade results in passive bronchial constriction by interfering with endogenous adrenergic bronchodilator activity in patients subject to bronchospasm and may also interfere with exogenous bronchodilators in such patients.

In other studies, treatment with metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets produced an improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction. Metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets were also shown to delay the increase in left ventricular end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes after 6 months of treatment.



In man, absorption of metoprolol is rapid and complete. Plasma levels following oral administration of conventional metoprolol tablets, however, approximate 50% of levels following intravenous administration, indicating about 50% first-pass metabolism. Metoprolol crosses the blood-brain barrier and has been reported in the CSF in a concentration 78% of the simultaneous plasma concentration.

Plasma levels achieved are highly variable after oral administration. Only a small fraction of the drug (about 12%) is bound to human serum albumin. Metoprolol is a racemic mixture of R- and S-enantiomers, and is primarily metabolized by CYP2D6. When administered orally, it exhibits stereoselective metabolism that is dependent on oxidation phenotype. Elimination is mainly by biotransformation in the liver, and the plasma half-life ranges from approximately 3 to 7 hours. Less than 5% of an oral dose of metoprolol is recovered unchanged in the urine; the rest is excreted by the kidneys as metabolites that appear to have no beta-blocking activity. Following intravenous administration of metoprolol, the urinary recovery of unchanged drug is approximately 10%. The systemic availability and half-life of metoprolol in patients with renal failure do not differ to a clinically significant degree from those in normal subjects. Consequently, no reduction in dosage is usually needed in patients with chronic renal failure.

Metoprolol is metabolized predominantly by CYP2D6, an enzyme that is absent in about 8% of Caucasians (poor metabolizers) and about 2% of most other populations. CYP2D6 can be inhibited by a number of drugs. Concomitant use of inhibiting drugs in poor metabolizers will increase blood levels of metoprolol several-fold, decreasing metoprolol’s cardioselectivity (see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions).

In comparison to conventional metoprolol, the plasma metoprolol levels following administration of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets are characterized by lower peaks, longer time to peak and significantly lower peak to trough variation. The peak plasma levels following once-daily administration of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets average one-fourth to one-half the peak plasma levels obtained following a corresponding dose of conventional metoprolol, administered once daily or in divided doses. At steady state the average bioavailability of metoprolol following administration of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets, across the dosage range of 50 to 400 mg once daily, was 77% relative to the corresponding single or divided doses of conventional metoprolol. Nevertheless, over the 24-hour dosing interval, beta1 -blockade is comparable and dose-related (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). The bioavailability of metoprolol shows a dose-related, although not directly proportional, increase with dose and is not significantly affected by food following metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets administration.

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