Sounds like 'met-oh-proe-lol'

Easy-to-read medicine information about metoprolol – what it is, how to take metoprolol safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers
  • Betaloc CR®
  • Lopressor®
  • Slow Lopressor®
  • AFT-Metoprolol CR®

What is metoprolol?

  • Metoprolol is used to treat many conditions such as after a heart attack (to prevent heart damage), heart failure, high blood pressure (hypertension), and irregular heart beat.
  • It works by blocking certain chemicals in the body, and in that way slows the heart rate and lowers blood pressure.
  • Metoprolol is also used to prevent migraine headaches.


  • The dose of metoprolol will be different for different people.
  • Metoprolol is available in 2 forms, an:
    • immediate release tablet and a 
    • controlled release tablet.
  • Check with your pharmacist which version you are taking.
  • Always take your metoprolol exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much metoprolol to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take metoprolol

  • If you are prescribed the immediate release tablet:
    • take these as you have been prescribed (usually 2 or 3 times a day)
    • take your doses at the same times each day.
  • If you are prescribed the controlled release tablet (usually has CR after the name):
    • take these once a day, in the morning
    • swallow the tablets whole, with a glass of water – do not crush or chew them.
  • You can take metoprolol with or without food.
  • Limit or avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking metoprolol.
  • If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.
  • Do not stop taking metoprolol suddenly; speak to your doctor or nurse before stopping.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, metoprolol can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
  • These are quite common when you first start taking metoprolol, and usually go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling faint when you stand up
  • This is common when you first start taking metoprolol.
  • Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting to avoid falls.
  • Problems with breathing such as chest tightness, or wheezing or swelling of the ankles or feet.
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine.


  • Check with a pharmacist before taking over the counter medicines such as:
    • Cold or flu tablets containing phenylephrine (e.g. Sudafed PE), or diphenhydramine (e.g. Benadryl Original)
    • Anti-inflammatories such as diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren Rapid), ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen), mefenamic acid (e.g. Ponstan), naproxen (e.g. Naprogesic)
  • Metoprolol may interact with a few medications and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting metoprolol or before starting any new medicines.

Learn more

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets:

New Zealand Formulary Patient Information: metoprolol