What Is Metoprolol Used For?
Angina is a type of heart disease that occurs when the heart muscle is not getting enough nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood for a short time. The inadequate blood flow is caused by narrowed coronary arteries (the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart). Chest pain is the most common angina symptom (see Angina Symptoms to learn more).
Metoprolol is effective in treating symptoms of angina, decreasing the number of attacks, and improving exercise tolerance. This occurs because the medicine decreases the workload of the heart. This, in turn, means that the heart needs less oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to function properly at any given level of effort. Metoprolol does not cure this type of heart disease, however.
Improving Survival Following a Heart Attack
A heart attack (also known as a myocardial infarction) is a life-threatening event in which the supply of blood and oxygen to part of the heart is blocked for a long enough time that heart muscle dies.
When people are given metoprolol after a heart attack, the risk of dying decreases by up to 36 percent. It is not known how this or other beta blockers improve survival following a heart attack.
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body. It does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working; it means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way that it should.
For people with congestive heart failure, metoprolol decreases blood pressure and makes the heart more efficient, which allows more blood to be pumped from the heart. These effects cause decreased hospitalizations and loss of life from heart failure. This data comes from clinical studies where metoprolol was combined with other congestive heart failure medications, including ACE inhibitors, diuretics, and digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®, Lanoxicap®).