Bradycardia, including sinus pause, heart block, and cardiac arrest have occurred with the use of metoprolol. 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. If severe bradycardia develops, reduce or stop metoprolol.
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 and consider administering metoprolol in smaller doses 3 times daily, instead of larger doses 2 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.
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.
Metoprolol may mask certain clinical signs (e.g., tachycardia) of hyperthyroidism. Avoid abrupt withdrawal of beta-blockade, which might precipitate a thyroid storm.
While taking beta-blockers, patients with a history of severe anaphylactic reaction to a variety of allergens may be more reactive to repeated challenge, either accidental, diagnostic, or therapeutic. Such patients may be unresponsive to the usual doses of epinephrine used to treat allergic reaction.
Advise patients to take metoprolol regularly and continuously, as directed, with or immediately following meals. If a dose should be missed, the patient should take only the next scheduled dose (without doubling it). Patients should not discontinue metoprolol without consulting the physician.
Advise patients (1) to avoid operating automobiles and machinery or engaging in other tasks requiring alertness until the patient’s response to therapy with metoprolol has been determined; (2) to contact the physician if any difficulty in breathing occurs; (3) to inform the physician or dentist before any type of surgery that he or she is taking metoprolol.
Catecholamine-depleting drugs (e.g., reserpine) may have an additive effect when given with beta-blocking agents or monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Observe patients treated with metoprolol plus a catecholamine depletor for evidence of hypotension or marked bradycardia, which may produce vertigo, syncope, or postural hypotension. In addition, possibly significant hypertension may theoretically occur up to 14 days following discontinuation of the concomitant administration with an irreversible MAO inhibitor.
Both digitalis glycosides and beta-blockers slow atrioventricular conduction and decrease heart rate. Concomitant use can increase the risk of bradycardia. Monitor heart rate and PR interval.
Concomitant administration of a beta-adrenergic antagonist with a calcium channel blocker may produce an additive reduction in myocardial contractility because of negative chronotropic and inotropic effects.
Potent inhibitors of the CYP2D6 enzyme may increase the plasma concentration of metoprolol which would mimic the pharmacokinetics of CYP2D6 poor metabolizer (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Pharmacokinetics). Increase in plasma concentrations of metoprolol would decrease the cardioselectivity of metoprolol. Known clinically significant potent inhibitors of CYP2D6 are antidepressants such as fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, bupropion, clomipramine, and desipramine; antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, haloperidol, and thioridazine; antiarrhythmics such as quinidine or propafenone; antiretrovirals such as ritonavir; antihistamines such as diphenhydramine; antimalarials such as hydroxychloroquine or quinidine; antifungals such as terbinafine.
Concomitant administration of hydralazine may inhibit presystemic metabolism of metoprolol leading to increased concentrations of metoprolol.
Antihypertensive effect of alpha-adrenergic blockers such as guanethidine, betanidine, reserpine, alpha-methyldopa or clonidine may be potentiated by beta-blockers including metoprolol. Beta- adrenergic blockers may also potentiate the postural hypotensive effect of the first dose of prazosin, probably by preventing reflex tachycardia. On the contrary, beta-adrenergic blockers may also potentiate the hypertensive response to withdrawal of clonidine in patients receiving concomitant clonidine and beta-adrenergic blocker. If a patient is treated with clonidine and metoprolol concurrently, and clonidine treatment is to be discontinued, stop metoprolol several days before clonidine is withdrawn. Rebound hypertension that can follow withdrawal of clonidine may be increased in patients receiving concurrent beta-blocker treatment.
Concomitant administration with beta-blockers may enhance the vasoconstrictive action of ergot alkaloids.
In general, administration of a beta-blocker should be withheld before dipyridamole testing, with careful monitoring of heart rate following the dipyridamole injection.
Long-term studies in animals have been conducted to evaluate carcinogenic potential. In a 2-year study in rats at three oral dosage levels of up to 800 mg/kg per day, there was no increase in the development of spontaneously occurring benign or malignant neoplasms of any type. The only histologic changes that appeared to be drug-related were an increased incidence of generally mild focal accumulation of foamy macrophages in pulmonary alveoli and a slight increase in biliary hyperplasia. In a 21-month study in Swiss albino mice at three oral dosage levels of up to 750 mg/kg per day, benign lung tumors (small adenomas) occurred more frequently in female mice receiving the highest dose than in untreated control animals. There was no increase in malignant or total (benign plus malignant) lung tumors, or in the overall incidence of tumors or malignant tumors. This 21-month study was repeated in CD-1 mice, and no statistically or biologically significant differences were observed between treated and control mice of either sex for any type of tumor.
All mutagenicity tests performed (a dominant lethal study in mice, chromosome studies in somatic cells, a Salmonella/mammalian-microsome mutagenicity test, and a nucleus anomaly test in somatic interphase nuclei) were negative.
Reproduction toxicity studies in mice, rats and rabbits did not indicate teratogenic potential for metoprolol tartrate. Embryotoxicity and/or fetotoxicity in rats and rabbits were noted starting at doses of 50 mg/kg in rats and 25 mg/kg in rabbits, as demonstrated by increases in preimplantation loss, decreases in the number of viable fetuses per dose, and/or decreases in neonatal survival. High doses were associated with some maternal toxicity, and growth delay of the offspring in utero , which was reflected in minimally lower weights at birth. The oral NOAELs for embryo-fetal development in mice, rats, and rabbits were considered to be 25 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg, and 12.5 mg/kg. This corresponds to dose levels that are approximately 0.3 times, 4 times, and 0.5 times, respectively, when based on surface area, the maximum human oral dose (8 mg/kg/day) of metoprolol tartrate. Metoprolol tartrate has been associated with reversible adverse effects on spermatogenesis starting at oral dose levels of 3.5 mg/kg in rats (a dose that is only 0.1 times the human dose, when based on surface area), although other studies have shown no effect of metoprolol tartrate on reproductive performance in male rats.
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