There are many drugs in the market today, their uses ranging from mild headaches to severe infections. The dosage forms of these also vary. These include delayed-release dosage forms, immediate-release dosage forms and extended-release ones.
What is Metoprolol ER
What is an extended-release dosage form exactly? Extended-release drugs have a special coating that controls the drug to be released into the blood for a prolonged time. A drug in the extended-release form would be maintained in the bloodstream for a longer period of time as compared to a drug in the regular, immediate-release form. When the drug level in the blood is sustained, the drug’s therapeutic effect would also be consistent. Generally, this type of dosage form is safer to take due to its ability to maintain a constant drug level in the blood. Immediate-release forms may cause severe side effects because the dose in the blood may be too high. If the dose in the blood is too low, however, the desired therapeutic effect may not be achieved.
One drug in the sustained-release form is Metoprolol succinate. It is a medication that is prescribed to treat angina pectoris or chest pain, irregular heart rhythms, hypertension and heart failure. It can also be used to lessen the risk of heart attacks. It works to block the receptors that control the muscles of the heart and blood vessels by causing them to relax, thereby slowing heart rate and allowing more blood flow and circulation.
Metoprolol ER must be taken with food or right after meals and swallowed whole. If it is chewed or crushed, the drug might be released at once. Doses of this drug are available in 25 mg to 100 mg, prescribed by the doctor depending on the patient’s medical condition, age and other medications being taken. For treatment of angina, the usual dose is 100 mg once a day. Physicians prescribe 25 mg to 100 mg of metoprolol succinate daily for hypertension or high blood pressure. The maximum dose allowable for this drug is 400 mg once a day.
As metoprolol ER is used for maintenance of cardiovascular conditions, doses of it are required to be taken on a daily basis. A sustained-release form is especially useful for cardiovascular drugs for maintenance due to its risky side effects when the drug is not taken regularly. When a drug is taken multiple times a day, there is a chance that the patient may forget to take his medication. Metoprolol ER has an advantage against regular, immediate-release forms because one dose once a day may ensure that the patient is already receiving his required drug dose for the day.
The Side Effects
Side effects of metoprolol ER are mood swings, stomach pain, diarrhea, and chest pain may also be noticed. As with any other drug, metoprolol is dangerous when the dose taken is above the normal recommended dose. Its action is mainly reducing the heart rate, so overdose would show symptoms of a slower heart beat, dizziness and weakness. Fainting is not unheard of. Difficulty in breathing also occurs.
Metoprolol ER is a maintenance drug and its treatment should not be stopped abruptly. Sudden cessation may cause serious side effects and worsen the condition of the patient. Before discontinuing medication, the dose must be tapered gradually. Consulting your doctor is necessary before deciding to stop this medication.