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, 200, and 12.5 mg/kg. This corresponds to dose levels that are approximately 0.3, 4, 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.
Upon confirming the diagnosis of pregnancy, women should immediately inform the doctor.
Metoprolol has been shown to increase postimplantation loss and decrease neonatal survival in rats at doses up to 11 times the maximum daily human dose of 450 mg, when based on surface area. Distribution studies in mice confirm exposure of the fetus when metoprolol is administered to the pregnant animal. These limited animal studies do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to teratogenicity (see Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility).There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. The amount of data on the use of metoprolol in pregnant women is limited. The risk to the fetus/mother is unknown. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Metoprolol is excreted in breast milk in a very small quantity. An infant consuming 1 liter of breast milk daily would receive a dose of less than 1 mg of the drug.
The effects of metoprolol on the fertility of human have not been studied.
Metoprolol showed effects on spermatogenesis in male rats at a therapeutic dose level, but had no effect on rates of conception at higher doses in animal fertility studies (see Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility).
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Clinical trials of metoprolol in hypertension did not include sufficient numbers of elderly patients to determine whether patients over 65 years of age differ from younger subjects in their response to metoprolol. Other reported clinical experience in elderly hypertensive patients has not identified any difference in response from younger patients.
In worldwide clinical trials of metoprolol in myocardial infarction, where approximately 478 patients were over 65 years of age (0 over 75 years of age), no age-related differences in safety and effectiveness were found. Other reported clinical experience in myocardial infarction has not identified differences in response between the elderly and younger patients. However, greater sensitivity of some elderly individuals taking metoprolol cannot be categorically ruled out. Therefore, in general, it is recommended that dosing proceed with caution in this population.
Most adverse effects have been mild and transient.
Central Nervous System: Tiredness and dizziness have occurred in about 10 of 100 patients. Depression has been reported in about 5 of 100 patients. Mental confusion and short-term memory loss have been reported. Headache, nightmares, and insomnia have also been reported.
Cardiovascular: Shortness of breath and bradycardia have occurred in approximately 3 of 100 patients. Cold extremities; arterial insufficiency, usually of the Raynaud type; palpitations; congestive heart failure; peripheral edema; and hypotension have been reported in about 1 of 100 patients. Gangrene in patients with pre-existing severe peripheral circulatory disorders has also been reported very rarely. (See CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS.)
Respiratory: Wheezing (bronchospasm) and dyspnea have been reported in about 1 of 100 patients (see WARNINGS). Rhinitis has also been reported.
Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea has occurred in about 5 of 100 patients. Nausea, dry mouth, gastric pain, constipation, flatulence, and heartburn have been reported in about 1 of 100 patients. Vomiting was a common occurrence. Postmarketing experience reveals very rare reports of hepatitis, jaundice and non-specific hepatic dysfunction. Isolated cases of transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, and lactic dehydrogenase elevations have also been reported.
Hypersensitive Reactions: Pruritus or rash have occurred in about 5 of 100 patients. Very rarely, photosensitivity and worsening of psoriasis has been reported.
Miscellaneous: Peyronie’s disease has been reported in fewer than 1 of 100,000 patients. Musculoskeletal pain, blurred vision, and tinnitus have also been reported.
There have been rare reports of reversible alopecia, agranulocytosis, and dry eyes. Discontinuation of the drug should be considered if any such reaction is not otherwise explicable. There have been very rare reports of weight gain, arthritis, and retroperitoneal fibrosis (relationship to metoprolol has not been definitely established).The oculomucocutaneous syndrome associated with the beta-blocker practolol has not been reported with metoprolol.
Central Nervous System: Tiredness has been reported in about 1 of 100 patients. Vertigo, sleep disturbances, hallucinations, headache, dizziness, visual disturbances, confusion, and reduced libido have also been reported, but a drug relationship is not clear.Cardiovascular: In the randomized comparison of metoprolol and placebo described in the CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY section, the following adverse reactions were reported:
|Hypotension (systolic BP < 90 mmHg)||27.4%||23.2%|
|Bradycardia (heart rate <40 beats/min)||15.9%||6.7%|
|Second- or third-degree heart block||4.7%||4.7%|
|First-degree heart block (P-R ≥0.26 sec)||5.3%||1.9%|
Respiratory: Dyspnea of pulmonary origin has been reported in fewer than 1 of 100 patients.
Gastrointestinal: Nausea and abdominal pain have been reported in fewer than 1 of 100 patients.
Dermatologic: Rash and worsened psoriasis have been reported, but a drug relationship is not clear.Miscellaneous: Unstable diabetes and claudication have been reported, but a drug relationship is not clear.
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