metoprolol, Lopressor, Toprol XL

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GENERIC NAME: metoprolol

BRAND NAMES: Lopressor, Toprol XL

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Metoprolol is a beta-adrenergic blocking agent that is used for treating high blood pressure, heart pain, abnormal rhythms of the heart, and some neurologic conditions. Examples of beta-adrenergic blockers include propanolol (Inderal, Inderal LA, Innopran XL), atenolol (Tenormin), and timolol (Blocadren). Metoprolol blocks the action of the sympathetic nervous system, a portion of the involuntary nervous system, by blocking beta receptors on sympathetic nerves. Since the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for increasing the rate with which the heart beats, by blocking the action of these nerves metoprolol reduces the heart rate and is useful in treating abnormally rapid heart rhythms.

Metoprolol also reduces the force of contraction of heart muscle and thereby lowers blood pressure. By reducing the heart rate and the force of muscle contraction, metoprolol reduces the need for oxygen by heart muscle. Since heart pain (angina pectoris) occurs when oxygen demand of the heart muscle exceeds the supply of oxygen, metoprolol, by reducing the demand for oxygen, is helpful in treating heart pain. The FDA approved metoprolol in August 1978.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/21/2013



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