There are many types of drugs in the modern world. How can we tell one from the other? That’s where drug classification comes in. A drug can be classified into how it acts or how it treats a certain condition. One example that will be discussed further is the beta-blocker metoprolol.
First, the term beta-blocker must be defined. What is it and what does it do? A beta-adrenergic blocking drug acts to prevent epinephrine and norepinephrine from stimulating the beta-adrenergic receptors. The said receptors are found on the sympathetic nervous system. Blocking the sympathetic activity of the heart means the cardiac muscles and blood vessels become more relaxed, allowing better blood flow and better blood circulation. Heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure will decrease. The cardiac load and the heart’s demand for oxygen will also lower. This is why beta-blockers prove useful in managing hypertension or high blood pressure. It can also be used in treating angina pectoris or chest pain, as well as irregular heart rhythm.
The problem with beta-blockers, however, is that blockage of beta receptors could cause bronchoconstriction, because the muscles of the bronchi are composed of beta receptors. That’s why patients with asthma and other respiratory problems are advised to take special precaution when taking these drugs.
Fortunately, there are drugs formulated to specifically target the beta-1 receptors of the body. The beta-1 receptors are the dominant receptors found in the heart, while the bronchial muscles are mostly composed of beta-2. Usage of cardioselective beta-1 blockers lessens the risk of bronchoconstriction so it is a little safer to use in patients with respiratory conditions. Metoprolol is one of these cardioselective beta-blocking agents. However, at higher doses, metoprolol may still be able to block the beta-2 receptors found in the lungs, leading to breathing difficulty. So again, caution must be practiced in patients with respiratory ailments.
Angina pectoris occurs in a person when the coronary arteries offer too little room for the blood to pass. The outcome of this would be a lowered oxygen and nutrient supply. Metoprolol classification as an anti-anginal drug is reasonable because of its action of lowering the cardiac workload. The heart would demand less supply of oxygen, rendering the drug effective in decreasing the occurrence of angina attacks.
Metoprolol classification as an antihypertensive is also acceptable because of the drug’s ability to block stimulation of the beta-1 receptors, resulting in decreased constriction of the heart and blood vessels thereby lowering blood pressure. This drug’s ability to decrease blood pressure also makes it effective in managing congestive heart failure. A lowered blood pressure improves the heart’s capacity to pump blood more efficiently, lessening the risk of CHF.
Metoprolol is also useful in managing supraventricular tachycardia because by blocking the beta-1 receptors, it can lower the sympathetic activity of the heart and slow down the heart rate. Anti-arrhythmic may be used as another type of metoprolol classification.
Metoprolol classification is mostly a cardiovascular drug. It is considered an anti-anginal, antihypertensive and anti-arrhythmic. The therapeutic effects of this drug may be great, but the side effects are also dangerous. Remember to check with a physician or a pharmacist before taking this medication. Also, as this drug is used as maintenance therapy for certain conditions, it also causes some withdrawal symptoms. Abrupt cessation of this substance can worsen some cardiac problems. The doctor’s advice is necessary before stopping this medication. Make sure to know proper metoprolol classification, side effects and special precautions before complying with physician’s advice.