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What is Metoprolol?

Metoprolol is a type of drug known as a beta-blocker. Doctors typically prescribe Metoprolol and other beta-blocker medications to treat cardiovascular conditions like hypertension and chest pain (angina).

Metoprolol is also prescribed to treat irregular heartbeats and to increase someone’s chances of survival after a heart attack or heart failure.

Metoprolol and other beta-blockers have also been shown to be useful when it comes to migraines, and for certain types of tremors caused by drugs used to treat mental disorders.

Metoprolol is the generic name of the brand-name drug known as Lopressor. The FDA approved the use of Metoprolol under the name Lopressor back in 1978. Today, Metoprolol is a widely used drug with around 27 million prescriptions each year in the United States.

And of course, Metoprolol is also widely used by performers (singers, speakers, musicians, etc) off-script to help with their performance anxiety symptoms.

How does Metoprolol work?

Metoprolol and other beta-blockers work by reducing the stress on your cardiovascular system. They lower the force with which your heart has to pump blood, causing a relaxing effect.

There are adrenergic receptors in the heart known as beta receptors. Adrenaline, which is a stress-related hormone, binds to these beta receptors in the heart to make it pump harder and faster.

When you experience a fight-or-flight response, also known as a stress response, your adrenaline levels are elevated, which results in symptoms like racing heartbeat and higher blood pressure.

By blocking the effects of adrenaline, beta-blockers prevent the hormone from binding with the beta-receptors in the heart. As a result, the heart can pump blood with less force, which has an overall relaxing effect on your cardiovascular system, including the blood vessels.

Elevated blood pressure is often a result of tightened blood vessels. Relaxing the blood vessels can have a lowering effect on your blood pressure.

A side effect to this all, is a large decrease (sometimes a complete removal) of performance anxiety/stage fright symptoms.

Metoprolol Recommended Dosage for Anxiety

Typically, your doctor will recommend your Metoprolol dosage based on your specific needs.

That said, the typical Metoprolol dosage for anxiety is between 50mg per day and 100mg per day. It may be taken at once or divided up in different doses. Depending on how you respond to the initial dosage, your physician may recommend that you increase your daily intake. The maximum recommended dosage is 450mg per day.

Metoprolol Side-effects

Beta-blockers, in general, are pretty safe. But here are some of the potential, albeit rare, side effects of Metoprolol:

  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Dry mouth
  • Gut issues like gas, bloating, constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea

Severe side effects are quite rare with Metoprolol, but if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking the beta-blocker, be sure to contact your doctor immediately:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained swelling of hands, feet, or ankles
  • Fainting