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How Does Metoprolol Succinate Treat Ischemic Heart Disease?

High blood pressure, which leads to a whole host of related issues, is highly prevalent in the modern world, with reports indicating that it impacts about 67 million Americans, or one third of the population. If not addressed, it can lead to heart attacks, strokes, heart disease and similar ailments. It is worth noting that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and strokes are third on that list. Since both are related to high blood pressure, it can be said to be one of the most dangerous conditions in the world.

Treatment Tactics

If a person is diagnosed with high blood pressure, there are many different ways that it can be treated. Diuretics could be utilized to lower the total amount of water in the person’s body, therefore lowering the pressure. ACE (Angiotensin-converting–enzyme) inhibitors could be used to help increase the size of the blood vessels so that more blood can pass through. Diet and exercise are also important, as reducing fat and sodium levels can help tremendously, as can weight loss. However, these tactics are sometimes not enough, so patients will have to try multiple medications to see which ones – or what combination of the total – work best for them.

The Impact of Metoprolol Succinate

One other option is the use of metoprolol succinate, which is known as a beta blocker. These are very common when used to treat both hypertension and cardiac ischemia. They work by limiting the body’s ability to produce epinephrine, which is basically just adrenaline. Many people are familiar with the way that adrenaline works from sports or stressful situations, in which it can flood the body with energy. This also causes the person’s heart to beat quickly or to beat harder, both of which can increase blood pressure. To a smaller degree, epinephrine is always doing this, even when there is no notable increase due to outside stimuli.

The beta blockers lower the production levels without stopping them completely, and so less epinephrine means that the heart does not work as aggressively. It slows down, pumping less blood and working less vigorously to do so. This takes a lot of pressure off of the artery walls, therefore reducing the risk of issues like cardiac ischemia, stroke, and the like. Blood pressure levels are still sufficient for daily living, but they are not as high as they would be in someone with naturally high blood pressure or someone who has raised those levels through lifestyle choices.

The Side Effects

Almost all types of treatment are going to come with some side effects, and metoprolol succinate is no different. However, the side effects do tend to be mild, leading to things like fatigue, loss of energy and dizziness. In rare cases, erectile dysfunction has been reported. However, due to their effectiveness in treating these dangerous disorders, beta blockers are commonly used since limited side effects are not so inhibitive as to outweigh the benefits.

Sources:
http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/faqs.htm
http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=7e87a7ee-b16e-464a-a77c-0f7a40e04cf7
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/The_Healthy_Heart_Preventing_detecting_and_treating_coronary_artery_disease.htm
http://www.rxlist.com/toprol-xl-drug/warnings-precautions.htm

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