Metoprolol Succinate: Package Insert and Label Information (Page 2 of 4)

6.2 Post-Marketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets or immediate-release metoprolol. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

C ardiovascular: Cold extremities, arterial insufficiency (usually of the Raynaud type), palpitations, peripheral edema, syncope, chest pain and hypotension.

R espiratory: Wheezing (bronchospasm), dyspnea.

C entral Nervous System: Confusion, short-term memory loss, headache, somnolence, nightmares, insomnia, anxiety/nervousness, hallucinations, paresthesia.

G astrointestinal: Nausea, dry mouth, constipation, flatulence, heartburn, hepatitis, vomiting.

H ypersensitive Reactions: Pruritus.

Miscellaneous: Musculoskeletal pain, arthralgia, blurred vision, decreased libido, male impotence, tinnitus, reversible alopecia, agranulocytosis, dry eyes, worsening of psoriasis, Peyronie’s disease, sweating, photosensitivity, taste disturbance.

P o tential Adverse Reactions: In addition, there are adverse reactions not listed above that have been reported with other beta-adrenergic blocking agents and should be considered potential adverse reactions to metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets.

C entral Nervous System: Reversible mental depression progressing to catatonia; an acute reversible syndrome characterized by disorientation for time and place, short-term memory loss, emotional lability, clouded sensorium, and decreased performance on neuropsychometrics.

H ematologic: Agranulocytosis, nonthrombocytopenic purpura, thrombocytopenic purpura.

Hypersensitive Reactions: Laryngospasm, respiratory distress.

6.3 Laboratory Test Findings

Clinical laboratory findings may include elevated levels of serum transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, and lactate dehydrogenase.


7.1 Catecholamine Depleting Drugs

Catecholamine depleting drugs (e.g., reserpine, monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors) may have an additive effect when given with beta-blocking agents. Observe patients treated with metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets plus a catecholamine depletor for evidence of hypotension or marked bradycardia, which may produce vertigo, syncope, or postural hypotension.

7.2 CYP2D6 Inhibitors

Drugs that inhibit CYP2D6 such as quinidine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and propafenone are likely to increase metoprolol concentration. In healthy subjects with CYP2D6 extensive metabolizer phenotype, coadministration of quinidine 100 mg and immediate-release metoprolol 200 mg tripled the concentration of S-metoprolol and doubled the metoprolol elimination half-life. In four patients with cardiovascular disease, coadministration of propafenone 150 mg t.i.d. with immediate-release metoprolol 50 mg t.i.d. resulted in two- to five-fold increases in the steady-state concentration of metoprolol. These increases in plasma concentration would decrease the cardioselectivity of metoprolol.

7.3 Digitalis, Clonidine, and Calcium Channel Blockers

Digitalis glycosides, clonidine, diltiazem and verapamil slow atrioventricular conduction and decrease heart rate. Concomitant use with beta blockers can increase the risk of bradycardia.

If clonidine and a beta blocker, such as metoprolol are coadministered, withdraw the beta-blocker several days before the gradual withdrawal of clonidine because beta-blockers may exacerbate the rebound hypertension that can follow the withdrawal of clonidine. If replacing clonidine by beta-blocker therapy, delay the introduction of beta-blockers for several days after clonidine administration has stopped [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11) ].


8.1 Pregnancy

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/m 2 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.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

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 metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets are administered to a nursing woman.

8.4 Pediatric Use

One hundred forty-four hypertensive pediatric patients aged 6 to 16 years were randomized to placebo or to one of three dose levels of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets (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 ( 2.1)].

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 metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets have not been established in patients <6 years of age.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets 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 metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets 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.

In general, use a low initial starting dose in elderly patients given their greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

8.6 Hepatic Impairment

No studies have been performed with metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets in patients with hepatic impairment. Because metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets are 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.

8.7 Renal Impairment

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 (12.3)] .


Signs and Symptoms — Overdosage of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets may lead to severe bradycardia, hypotension, and cardiogenic shock. Clinical presentation can also include: atrioventricular block, heart failure, bronchospasm, hypoxia, impairment of consciousness/coma, nausea and vomiting.

Treatment — Consider treating the patient with intensive care. Patients with myocardial infarction or heart failure may be prone to significant hemodynamic instability. Seek consultation with a regional poison control center and a medical toxicologist as needed. Beta-blocker overdose may result in significant resistance to resuscitation with adrenergic agents, including beta-agonists. On the basis of the pharmacologic actions of metoprolol, employ the following measures.

There is very limited experience with the use of hemodialysis to remove metoprolol, however metoprolol is not highly protein bound.

Bradycardia: Evaluate the need for atropine, adrenergic-stimulating drugs or pacemaker to treat bradycardia and conduction disorders.

Hypotension: Treat underlying bradycardia. Consider intravenous vasopressor infusion, such as dopamine or norepinephrine.

Heart failure and shock: May be treated when appropriate with suitable volume expansion, injection of glucagon (if necessary, followed by an intravenous infusion of glucagon), intravenous administration of adrenergic drugs such as dobutamine, with α 1 receptor agonistic drugs added in presence of vasodilation.

Bronchospasm: Can usually be reversed by bronchodilators.


Metoprolol succinate, is a beta1-selective (cardioselective) adrenoceptor blocking agent, for oral administration, available as extended-release tablets. Metoprolol Succinate Extended-Release Tablets have been formulated to provide a controlled and predictable release of metoprolol for once-daily administration. The tablets comprise a multiple unit system containing metoprolol succinate in a multitude of controlled release pellets. Each pellet acts as a separate drug delivery unit and is designed to deliver metoprolol continuously over the dosage interval. The tablets contain 95 and 190 mg of metoprolol succinate equivalent to 100 and 200 mg of metoprolol tartrate, USP, respectively. Its chemical name is (±) 1- (isopropylamino)-3-[p-(2-methoxyethyl) phenoxy]-2-propanol succinate (2:1) (salt). Its structural formula is:

(click image for full-size original)

Metoprolol succinate, USP is a white crystalline powder with a molecular weight of 652.8. It is freely soluble in water; soluble in methanol; sparingly soluble in ethanol; slightly soluble in dichloromethane and 2-propanol; practically insoluble in ethyl-acetate, acetone, diethylether and heptane.

Inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, ethylcellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol–partially hydrolyzed, sugar spheres (composed of corn starch and sucrose), talc, titanium dioxide and triethyl citrate.

FDA approved dissolution test specifications differ from USP.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

H ypertension: The mechanism of the antihypertensive effects of beta-blocking agents has not been elucidated. However, several possible mechanisms have been proposed: (1) competitive antagonism of catecholamines at peripheral (especially cardiac) adrenergic neuron sites, leading to decreased cardiac output; (2) a central effect leading to reduced sympathetic outflow to the periphery; and (3) suppression of renin activity.

Heart Failure: The precise mechanism for the beneficial effects of beta-blockers in heart failure has not been elucidated.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Clinical pharmacology studies have confirmed the beta-blocking activity of metoprolol in man, as shown by (1) reduction in heart rate and cardiac output at rest and upon exercise, (2) reduction of systolic blood pressure upon exercise, (3) inhibition of isoproterenol-induced tachycardia, and (4) reduction of reflex orthostatic tachycardia.

Metoprolol is a beta 1 -selective (cardioselective) adrenergic receptor blocking agent. This preferential effect is not absolute, however, and at higher plasma concentrations, metoprolol also inhibits beta 2 -adrenoreceptors, chiefly located in the bronchial and vascular musculature. Metoprolol has no intrinsic sympathomimetic activity, and membrane-stabilizing activity is detectable only at plasma concentrations much greater than required for beta-blockade. Animal and human experiments indicate that metoprolol slows the sinus rate and decreases AV nodal conduction.

The relative beta 1 -selectivity of metoprolol has been confirmed by the following: (1) In normal subjects, metoprolol is unable to reverse the beta 2 -mediated vasodilating effects of epinephrine. This contrasts with the effect of nonselective beta-blockers, which completely reverse the vasodilating effects of epinephrine. (2) In asthmatic patients, metoprolol reduces FEV 1 and FVC significantly less than a nonselective beta-blocker, propranolol, at equivalent beta 1 -receptor blocking doses.

The relationship between plasma metoprolol levels and reduction in exercise heart rate is independent of the pharmaceutical formulation. Using an E max model, the maximum effect is a 30% reduction in exercise heart rate, which is attributed to beta 1 -blockade. Beta 1 -blocking effects in the range of 30 to 80% of the maximal effect (approximately 8 to 23% reduction in exercise heart rate) correspond to metoprolol plasma concentrations from 30 to 540 nmol/L. The relative beta 1 ­selectivity of metoprolol diminishes and blockade of beta 2 -adrenoceptors increases at plasma concentration above 300 nmol/L.

Although beta-adrenergic receptor blockade is useful in the treatment of angina, hypertension, and heart failure there are situations in which sympathetic stimulation is vital. In patients with severely damaged hearts, adequate ventricular function may depend on sympathetic drive. In the presence of AV block, beta-blockade may prevent the necessary facilitating effect of sympathetic activity on conduction. Beta 2 -adrenergic blockade results in passive bronchial constriction by interfering with endogenous adrenergic bronchodilator activity in patients subject to bronchospasm and may also interfere with exogenous bronchodilators in such patients.

In other studies, treatment with metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets produced an improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction. Metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets were also shown to delay the increase in left ventricular end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes after 6 months of treatment.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

A dults: In man, absorption of metoprolol is rapid and complete. Plasma levels following oral administration of conventional metoprolol tablets, however, approximate 50% of levels following intravenous administration, indicating about 50% first-pass metabolism. Metoprolol crosses the blood-brain barrier and has been reported in the CSF in a concentration 78% of the simultaneous plasma concentration.

Plasma levels achieved are highly variable after oral administration. Only a small fraction of the drug (about 12%) is bound to human serum albumin. Metoprolol is a racemic mixture of R- and S- enantiomers, and is primarily metabolized by CYP2D6. When administered orally, it exhibits stereoselective metabolism that is dependent on oxidation phenotype. Elimination is mainly by biotransformation in the liver, and the plasma half-life ranges from approximately 3 to 7 hours. Less than 5% of an oral dose of metoprolol is recovered unchanged in the urine; the rest is excreted by the kidneys as metabolites that appear to have no beta-blocking activity.

Following intravenous administration of metoprolol, the urinary recovery of unchanged drug is approximately 10%. 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. Consequently, no reduction in metoprolol succinate dosage is usually needed in patients with chronic renal failure.

Metoprolol is metabolized predominantly by CYP2D6, an enzyme that is absent in about 8% of Caucasians (poor metabolizers) and about 2% of most other populations. CYP2D6 can be inhibited by a number of drugs. Poor metabolizers and extensive metabolizers who concomitantly use CYP2D6 inhibiting drugs will have increased (several-fold) metoprolol blood levels, decreasing metoprolol’s cardioselectivity [see Drug Interactions (7.2)] .

In comparison to conventional metoprolol, the plasma metoprolol levels following administration of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets are characterized by lower peaks, longer time to peak and significantly lower peak to trough variation. The peak plasma levels following once-daily administration of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets average one-fourth to one-half the peak plasma levels obtained following a corresponding dose of conventional metoprolol, administered once daily or in divided doses. At steady state the average bioavailability of metoprolol following administration of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets, across the dosage range of 50 to 400 mg once daily, was 77% relative to the corresponding single or divided doses of conventional metoprolol. Nevertheless, over the 24-hour dosing interval, β 1 -blockade is comparable and dose-related [see Clinical Pharmacology (12)] . The bioavailability of metoprolol shows a dose-related, although not directly proportional, increase with dose and is not significantly affected by food following metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets administration.

Pediatrics: The pharmacokinetic profile of metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets was studied in 120 pediatric hypertensive patients (6 to 17 years of age) receiving doses ranging from 12.5 to 200 mg once daily. The pharmacokinetics of metoprolol were similar to those described previously in adults. Age, gender, race, and ideal body weight had no significant effects on metoprolol pharmacokinetics. Metoprolol apparent oral clearance (CL/F) increased linearly with body weight. Metoprolol pharmacokinetics have not been investigated in patients <6 years of age. provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the US Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual package label entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the US National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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