Metoprolol for Anxiety
Metoprolol (Lopressor® and Toprol-XL®) is a prescription medication approved for treating several conditions related to the heart and blood vessels, such as high blood pressure, angina, and congestive heart failure. This medication can also help improve survival rates following a heart attack.
However, on occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend metoprolol for treating something other than what the medication is technically approved to treat. This is called an "off-label" use. Using it for anxiety treatment, for example, is one possible off-label use of the medication.
The drug may help relieve anxiety symptoms by blocking certain receptors in the body, called beta receptors. These receptors are located in a number of places within the body, including the heart and blood vessels. These receptors are what stress hormones (such as adrenaline) attach to, causing certain reactions in the body, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. By blocking them, the medication causes the reverse effect of these stress hormones. It decreases heart rate and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as the workload of the heart.
(Click What Is Metoprolol Used For? for a complete overview of how anxiety can be treated with metoprolol. This article also discusses how metoprolol works, its safety in children, and potential off-label uses of the drug.)