A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers -- for example, 120/80. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure. In previous clinical studies, people taking metoprolol succinate were able, on average, to decrease systolic blood pressure by 6 mmHg to 8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 4 mmHg to 7 mmHg. The higher the dose, the greater the drop in blood pressure tended to be. By lowering blood pressure, metoprolol succinate can also decrease the risks that accompany long-term high blood pressure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure). By decreasing the workload of the heart, the medication can decrease the number of angina attacks and increase exercise tolerance.
For people with congestive heart failure, the effects of metoprolol succinate on the heart and blood vessels have been shown to result in a decrease in hospitalizations and loss of life from congestive heart failure.
Some general considerations for when and how to take metoprolol succinate include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form and is taken once a day.
- Metoprolol succinate should be taken with or immediately after a meal.
- Do not break, chew, or crush the tablets. However, they may be broken in half (on the "score" line), without disrupting their extended-release characteristics.
- Metoprolol succinate should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For this medication to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. Metoprolol succinate will not work if you stop taking it.
- You should not stop taking metoprolol succinate without first discussing it with your healthcare provider. Stopping the drug abruptly increases the risk of serious side effects (see Precautions and Warnings With Metoprolol Succinate).