Q. A few months ago, I finally yielded to my doctor’s pressure and went on a blood pressure medication, against my better judgment. I am a 63-year-old female. The medication is metoprolol succinate.
If you could tell me some of its side effects, I would be grateful. I am not feeling well and I am guessing this new med is the culprit.
A. Metoprolol, like other beta blocker blood pressure medicines, may cause fatigue, dizziness or diarrhea. Some people develop an itchy rash while taking the medicine, while others may find themselves short of breath. It slows heart rate, sometimes by quite a lot.
Many cardiologists are reassessing beta blockers, though. Such drugs are rarely considered first line treatments for hypertension these days (Lancet, Oct. 29, 2005). Blood pressure control is very important, so don’t stop your medication on your own. (It is dangerous to stop a beta blocker drug suddenly.) Discuss your symptoms with your doctor and ask about other possible treatments.
Perhaps this reader’s experience will help you: “I was told I need to be on blood pressure meds. I don't like to take pills so I tried breathing exercises and going to the gym. I didn't have high blood pressure at my last visit.”