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Safety Concerns With Metoprolol Tartrate

Specific Warnings and Precautions With Metoprolol Tartrate

Some precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking metoprolol tartrate include the following:
 
  • Metoprolol tartrate can interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Metoprolol Tartrate).
     
  • Metoprolol tartrate may hide certain signs of hyperthyroidism. Do not abruptly stop taking the drug, as this can cause serious symptoms of hyperthyroidism to appear suddenly and severely. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider before stopping metoprolol tartrate so that it can be done in a safe manner.
     
  • This medication may cause extreme low blood pressure and/or a slow heart rate in some people. Symptoms can include dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. If you develop any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. Extreme low blood pressure is more likely to occur in people who are taking a diuretic, who are on dialysis, or who have diarrhea or vomiting.
Also, make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how metoprolol tartrate affects you.
  • People who have severe congestive heart failure and are taking metoprolol tartrate are at an increased risk of their heart failure becoming worse. Therefore, if you have severe congestive heart failure and your healthcare provider prescribes this drug, it is because he or she believes that its benefits outweigh the potential risks. Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your situation more closely.
     
  • Using beta blockers such as metoprolol tartrate for a long time can, in some cases, lead to heart failure. If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your healthcare provider:
 
 
  • People who are taking metoprolol tartrate should not abruptly stop taking the medicine. In clinical studies, this has been shown to increase a person's chances of developing angina (chest pain), a heart attack, or serious irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). This risk is even greater in people with existing heart disease.

 

  • People with a type of tumor known as pheochromocytoma should not take metoprolol tartrate unless they have been treated first with an alpha blocker medication, since using metoprolol tartrate without an alpha blocker may actually cause a dangerous increase in blood pressure in such situations. Previously, it was recommended that people with a pheochromocytoma not take metoprolol at all, but this recommendation has been updated. 

 

  • Beta blockers, including metoprolol tartrate, are used with caution (if at all) in people with certain lung diseases, such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is because beta blockers affect the lungs and can cause a narrowing of the airways. This risk is increased in people with certain lung diseases. If you develop problems breathing or experience wheezing while taking metoprolol tartrate, call your healthcare provider.
     
  • For people with allergies, this medication may increase the reaction to the specific allergens, and the body may not respond to the usual doses of epinephrine.
     
  • If you are going to have surgery, let your healthcare provider or dentist know that you are taking metoprolol tartrate.
     
  • Metoprolol tartrate is a pregnancy Category C medicine, which means there may be an increased risk to the fetus when the medicine is taken during pregnancy. Prior to taking metoprolol tartrate, let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking the drug, contact your healthcare provider (see Lopressor and Pregnancy for more information).
     
  • Metoprolol tartrate passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding and taking this drug, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about your particular situation (see Metoprolol and Breastfeeding).
     
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Metoprolol Tartrate (Lopressor)

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