"What are beta blockers?
The class of drugs called beta blockers were given their name because this class of medications counteracts the stimulatory effects of epinephrine (adrenaline) on the so-called beta-adrenergic receptors found"...
Ischemic Heart Disease
Following abrupt cessation of therapy with certain beta-blocking agents, exacerbations of angina pectoris and, in some cases, myocardial infarction have occurred. When discontinuing chronically administered TOPROL-XL, particularly in patients with ischemic heart disease, gradually reduce the dosage over a period of 1 - 2 weeks and monitor the patient. If angina markedly worsens or acute coronary ischemia develops, promptly reinstate TOPROL-XL, and take measures appropriate for the management of unstable angina. Warn patients not to interrupt therapy without their physician's advice. Because coronary artery disease is common and may be unrecognized, avoid abruptly discontinuing TOPROL-XL in patients treated only for hypertension.
Worsening cardiac failure may occur during up-titration of TOPROL-XL. If such symptoms occur, increase diuretics and restore clinical stability before advancing the dose of TOPROLXL [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. It may be necessary to lower the dose of TOPROLXL or temporarily discontinue it. Such episodes do not preclude subsequent successful titration of TOPROL-XL.
PATIENTS WITH BRONCHOSPASTIC DISEASES SHOULD, IN GENERAL, NOT RECEIVE BETA-BLOCKERS. Because of its relative beta1 cardio-selectivity, however, TOPROL-XL may be used in patients with bronchospastic disease who do not respond to, or cannot tolerate, other antihypertensive treatment. Because beta1-selectivity is not absolute, use the lowest possible dose of TOPROL-XL. Bronchodilators, including beta2-agonists, should be readily available or administered concomitantly [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
If TOPROL-XL 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.
Avoid initiation of a high-dose regimen of extended-release metoprolol in patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery, since such use in patients with cardiovascular risk factors has been associated with bradycardia, hypotension, stroke and death.
Chronically administered beta-blocking therapy should not be routinely withdrawn prior to major surgery, however, the impaired ability of the heart to respond to reflex adrenergic stimuli may augment the risks of general anesthesia and surgical procedures.
Diabetes and Hypoglycemia
Consider initiating TOPROL-XL therapy at doses lower than those recommended for a given indication; gradually increase dosage to optimize therapy, while monitoring closely for adverse events.
Beta-adrenergic blockade may mask certain clinical signs of hyperthyroidism, such as tachycardia. Abrupt withdrawal of beta-blockade may precipitate a thyroid storm.
While taking beta-blockers, patients with a history of severe anaphylactic reactions to a variety of allergens may be more reactive to repeated challenge and may be unresponsive to the usual doses of epinephrine used to treat an allergic reaction.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Beta-blockers can precipitate or aggravate symptoms of arterial insufficiency in patients with peripheral vascular disease.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Because of significant inotropic and chronotropic effects in patients treated with beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers of the verapamil and diltiazem type, caution should be exercised in patients treated with these agents concomitantly.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long-term studies in animals have been conducted to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of metoprolol tartrate. In 2-year studies in rats at three oral dosage levels of up to 800 mg/kg/day (41 times, on a mg/m² basis, the daily dose of 200 mg for a 60-kg patient), 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/day (18 times, on a mg/m² basis, the daily dose of 200 mg for a 60-kg patient), 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, nor 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 genotoxicity tests performed on metoprolol tartrate (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) and metoprolol succinate (a Salmonella/mammalian-microsome mutagenicity test) were negative.
No evidence of impaired fertility due to metoprolol tartrate was observed in a study performed in rats at doses up to 22 times, on a mg/m² basis, the daily dose of 200 mg in a 60kg patient.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
Metoprolol tartrate has been shown to increase post-implantation loss and decrease neonatal survival in rats at doses up to 22 times, on a mg/m² basis, the daily dose of 200 mg in a 60-kg patient. Distribution studies in mice confirm exposure of the fetus when metoprolol tartrate is administered to the pregnant animal. These studies have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or teratogenicity. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, use this drug during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Metoprolol is excreted in breast milk in very small quantities. An infant consuming 1 liter of breast milk daily would receive a dose of less than 1 mg of the drug. Consider possible infant exposure when TOPROL-XL is administered to a nursing woman.
One hundred forty-four hypertensive pediatric patients aged 6 to 16 years were randomized to placebo or to one of three dose levels of TOPROL-XL (0.2, 1.0 or 2.0 mg/kg once daily) and followed for 4 weeks. The study did not meet its primary endpoint (dose response for reduction in SBP). Some pre-specified secondary endpoints demonstrated effectiveness including:
- Dose-response for reduction in DBP,
- 1.0 mg/kg vs. placebo for change in SBP, and
- 2.0 mg/kg vs. placebo for change in SBP and DBP.
The mean placebo corrected reductions in SBP ranged from 3 to 6 mmHg, and DBP from 1 to 5 mmHg. Mean reduction in heart rate ranged from 5 to 7 bpm but considerably greater reductions were seen in some individuals [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
No clinically relevant differences in the adverse event profile were observed for pediatric patients aged 6 to 16 years as compared with adult patients.
Safety and effectiveness of TOPROL-XL have not been established in patients < 6 years of age.
Clinical studies of TOPROL-XL in hypertension did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience in hypertensive patients has not identified differences in responses between elderly and younger patients.
Of the 1,990 patients with heart failure randomized to TOPROL-XL in the MERIT-HF trial, 50% (990) were 65 years of age and older and 12% (238) were 75 years of age and older. There were no notable differences in efficacy or the rate of adverse reactions between older and younger patients.
No studies have been performed with TOPROL-XL in patients with hepatic impairment. Because TOPROL-XL is metabolized by the liver, metoprolol blood levels are likely to increase substantially with poor hepatic function. Therefore, initiate therapy at doses lower than those recommended for a given indication; and increase doses gradually in patients with impaired hepatic function.
The systemic availability and half-life of metoprolol in patients with renal failure do not differ to a clinically significant degree from those in normal subjects. No reduction in dosage is needed in patients with chronic renal failure [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/14/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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