In controlled clinical studies, metoprolol tartrate has been shown to be an effective antihypertensive agent when used alone or as concomitant therapy with thiazide-type diuretics, at dosages of 100 mg to 450 mg daily. In controlled, comparative, clinical studies, metoprolol has been shown to be as effective an antihypertensive agent as propranolol, methyldopa, and thiazide-type diuretics, to be equally effective in supine and standing positions.
In controlled clinical trials, metoprolol tartrate, administered two or four times daily, has been shown to be an effective antianginal agent, reducing the number of angina attacks and increasing exercise tolerance. The dosage used in these studies ranged from 100 mg to 400 mg daily. A controlled, comparative, clinical trial showed that metoprolol was indistinguishable from propranolol in the treatment of angina pectoris.
In a large (1,395 patients randomized), double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, metoprolol was shown to reduce 3-month mortality by 36% in patients with suspected or definite myocardial infarction.
Patients were randomized and treated as soon as possible after their arrival in the hospital, once their clinical condition had stabilized and their hemodynamic status had been carefully evaluated. Subjects were ineligible if they had hypotension, bradycardia, peripheral signs of shock, and/or more than minimal basal rales as signs of congestive heart failure. Initial treatment consisted of intravenous followed by oral administration of metoprolol tartrate or placebo, given in a coronary care or comparable unit. Oral maintenance therapy with metoprolol or placebo was then continued for 3 months. After this double-blind period, all patients were given metoprolol and followed up to 1 year.
The median delay from the onset of symptoms to the initiation of therapy was 8 hours in both the metoprolol- and placebo-treatment groups. Among patients treated with metoprolol, there were comparable reductions in 3-month mortality for those treated early (≤8 hours) and those in whom treatment was started later. Significant reductions in the incidence of ventricular fibrillation and in chest pain following initial intravenous therapy were also observed with metoprolol and were independent of the interval between onset of symptoms and initiation of therapy.
In this study, patients treated with metoprolol received the drug both very early (intra-venously) and during a subsequent 3-month period, while placebo patients received no beta-blocker treatment for this period. The study thus was able to show a benefit from the overall metoprolol regimen but cannot separate the benefit of very early intravenous treatment from the benefit of later beta-blocker therapy. Nonetheless, because the overall regimen showed a clear beneficial effect on survival without evidence of an early adverse effect on survival, one acceptable dosage regimen is the precise regimen used in the trial. Because the specific benefit of very early treatment remains to be defined however, it is also reasonable to administer the drug orally to patients at a later time as is recommended for certain other beta blockers.
Metoprolol tartrate tablets, USP are indicated for the treatment of hypertension. They may be used alone or in combination with other antihypertensive agents.
Metoprolol tartrate tablets, USP are indicated in the long-term treatment of angina pectoris.
Metoprolol tartrate tablets, USP are indicated in the treatment of hemodynamically stable patients with definite or suspected acute myocardial infarction to reduce cardiovascular mortality. Treatment with intravenous metoprolol tartrate can be initiated as soon as the patient’s clinical condition allows (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, CONTRAINDICATIONS, and WARNINGS).
Metoprolol tartrate is contraindicated in sinus bradycardia, heart block greater than first degree, cardiogenic shock, and overt cardiac failure (see WARNINGS).
Hypersensitivity to metoprolol and related derivatives, or to any of the excipients; hypersensitivity to other beta blockers (cross sensitivity between beta blockers can occur).
Severe peripheral arterial circulatory disorders.
Metoprolol is contraindicated in patients with a heart rate <45 beats/min; second- and third-degree heart block; significant first-degree heart block (P-R interval ≥0.24 sec); systolic blood pressure <100 mmHg; or moderate-to-severe cardiac failure (see WARNINGS).
Beta blockers, like metoprolol tartrate, can cause depression of myocardial contractility and may precipitate heart failure and cardiogenic shock. If signs or symptoms of heart failure develop, treat the patient according to recommended guidelines. It may be necessary to lower the dose of metoprolol tartrate or to discontinue it.
Do not abruptly discontinue metoprolol therapy in patients with coronary artery disease. Severe exacerbation of angina myocardial infarction and ventricular arrhythmias have been reported in patients with coronary artery disease following the abrupt discontinuation of therapy with beta-blockers. When discontinuing chronically administered metoprolol, particularly in patients with coronary artery disease, the dosage should be gradually reduced over a period of 1 to 2 weeks and the patient should be carefully monitored. If angina markedly worsens or acute coronary insufficiency develops, metoprolol administration should be reinstated promptly, at least temporarily, and other measures appropriate for the management of unstable angina should be taken. Patients should be warned against interruption or discontinuation of therapy without the physician’s advice. Because coronary artery disease is common and may be unrecognized, it may be prudent not to discontinue metoprolol therapy abruptly even in patients treated only for hypertension.
Chronically administered beta-blocking therapy should not be routinely withdrawn prior to major surgery; however, the impaired ability of the heart to respond to reflex adrenergic stimuli may augment the risks of general anesthesia and surgical procedures.
Bradycardia, including sinus pause, heart block and cardiac arrest have occurred with the use of metoprolol tartrate. Patients with first-degree atrioventricular block, sinus node dysfunction, or conduction disorders may be at increased risk. Monitor heart rate and rhythm in patients receiving metoprolol tartrate. If severe bradycardia develops, reduce or stop metoprolol tartrate.
Patients with bronchospastic disease, should, in general, not receive beta blockers, including metoprolol. Because of its relative beta 1 selectivity, however, metoprolol may be used in patients with bronchospastic disease who do not respond to, or cannot tolerate, other antihypertensive treatment. Because beta 1 selectivity is not absolute, use the lowest possible dose of metoprolol tartrate and consider administering metoprolol in smaller doses three times daily, instead of larger doses two times daily, to avoid the higher plasma levels associated with the longer dosing interval (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Bronchodilators, including beta 2 agonists, should be readily available or administered concomitantly.
Diabetes and Hypoglycemia
Beta blockers may mask tachycardia occurring with hypoglycemia, but other manifestations such as dizziness and sweating may not be significantly affected.
If metoprolol is used in the setting of pheochromocytoma, it should be given in combination with an alpha blocker, and only after the alpha blocker has been initiated. Administration of beta blockers alone in the setting of pheochromocytoma has been associated with a paradoxical increase in blood pressure due to the attenuation of beta-mediated vasodilatation in skeletal muscle.
Thyrotoxicosis Metoprolol may mask certain clinical signs (e.g., tachycardia) of hyperthyroidism. Avoid abrupt withdrawal of beta blockade, which might precipitate a thyroid storm.
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