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What Is Metoprolol Succinate?

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  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2016
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Metoprolol succinate is a beta blocker drug. It is most frequently prescribed for high blood pressure, heart conditions and chest pain. The drug may also be used to help prevent migraine headaches, manage an irregular heartbeat, or to increase the chances of survival after a heart attack. Some doctors also prescribe it to treat anxiety disorders. Metoprolol succinate does not last long in the body and thus must be taken either as an extended-release capsule or several times throughout the day.

The drug works to reduce strain on the blood vessels and heart. It does this by blocking chemicals in the body that increase the flow of blood to these areas. The allergy-relieving chemical epinephrine, for example, is one of the key elements that it targets.

Due to a risk of side effects such as heart attack and chest pain, patients are usually advised only to stop taking the drug under a doctor’s supervision. It can take anywhere from several days to a couple of weeks to safely stop treatment. In order to reduce strain on the body and ease the transition, many doctors will also recommend that the patient reduce physical activity while weaning off the drug.

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There are some conditions which may increase the risk of taking metoprolol succinate or at least require an adjusted dosage or increased doctor observation during treatment. This includes a slow or irregular heartbeat, previous heart attack, or any other cardiac issues. Other potentially problematic conditions include chest pain, liver conditions, an overactive thyroid, or any trouble with blood circulation. Women who are nursing or pregnant are typically advised not to take the drug.

The most common side effects of taking metoprolol succinate are mild but should be discussed with a doctor. They include nausea, vomiting, and stomachache. Some patients also experience diarrhea, constipation, and gas. Other common symptoms of taking the drug include dizziness, headache, and light-headedness. There have also been reports of dryness in the eyes or mouth.

Severe side effects from taking metoprolol succinate should receive immediate medical attention. They include jaundice, cold or blue extremities, fever, and chills. Some patients have reported pain or pounding in the chest, a slow heartbeat, and difficulty taking a full breath. Confusion, short-term loss of memory, or depression are also possible serious effects.

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serenesurface
Post 3

I don't think that metoprolol is an ideal option for people with depression and anxiety because depression is a possible side effect of the medication. I've not experienced it but I saw it listed in the drug description. The side effect I do experience from time to time however is dizziness. Sometimes the drug works too well and reduces blood pressure a little too much.

fBoyle
Post 2

@discographer-- My roommate is on this medication for high blood pressure and anxiety. She says it works for her.

Metoprolol is actually not an anxiety medication. It's sometimes given for anxiety sufferers who may also have high blood pressure. Or it may be prescribed off-label for situational anxiety. For example, some doctors prescribe this group of drugs for people who have social anxiety or who panic when they are about to speak in front of people, etc.

Of course, you should ask your doctor about it. Metoprolol may or may not be right for you. Your doctor has to decide that. If your high blood pressure is directly caused by anxiety, then treating the anxiety may resolve high blood pressure too. Just ask your doctor.

discographer
Post 1

Is anyone here taking metoprolol for anxiety and anxiety induced high blood pressure?

I don't have high blood pressure normally. It increases only when I'm having severe anxiety. In fact, I've had medical practitioners ask me for how long I've had high BP when checking me after an anxiety attack. Normally, I'm fine but my blood pressure goes up above 140 with anxiety.

Would metoprolol help? Should I ask my doctor about it?

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