Effects of Metoprolol on Memory & the Brain

By Heidi Maines

Metoprolol is a drug used to treat high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks. Drugs.com explains that it is a beta-blocker that "affects the heart and circulation (bloodflow through arteries and veins)." As with many medications that are used to treat cardiovascular conditions, many adverse effects are associated with metoprolol.

Allergic Reactions

While using any type of metoprolol (tartrate tablets, succinate extended-release tablets), a severe allergic reaction is possible. According to drugs.com, symptoms include rash, hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or mouth, chest pain, blueness or feeling cold in the hands and feet, irregular heartbeat, fainting, mood changes, depression, confusion and hallucinations. Severe dizziness, severe lightheadedness, vision changes, swelling of the limbs, jaundice, wheezing and pounding in the chest may also occur during an allergic reaction, reports drugs.com.

Adverse Effects---Central Nervous System/Psychiatric

Drugs.com states that 10 to 20 percent of every 100 patients have reported some sort of nervous system adverse effects while being treated with metoprolol. These include dizziness, headache, nightmares and trouble sleeping. More serious nervous system adverse effects include depression, mental confusion, anxiety, hallucinations, fatigue and short-term memory loss, explains drugs.com. These can be detrimental to your health. Contact your doctor if any of them persist or worsen.

Adverse Effects---Cardiovascular/Respiratory/Metabolic

Reported cardiovascular adverse effects include slowing of the heart, chest pain, low blood pressure, palpitations, cold extremities, edema, congestive heart failure, and arterial insufficiency, states drugs.com. Respiratory side effects include wheezing, coughing and in some cases, disease of the airways (dyspnea). As explained by drugs.com, metabolic adverse effects are changes in cholesterol levels, weight gain, high levels of potassium in the blood, unusual bruising or bleeding and low levels of blood sugar.

Adverse Effects---Gastrointestinal/Genitourinary/Hepatic

Many adverse gastrointestinal effects are associated with metoprolol use. These include diarrhea, dry mouth, gastric pain, constipation, gas, disorders of the digestive tract and heartburn, reports drugs.com. Vomiting has also been experienced by patients. Genitourinary adverse effects are mainly limited to male patients, according to drugs.com. These include impotence and decrease in the production of testosterone. Rarely, hepatic adverse effects occur. Reported symptoms are hepatic toxicity and in very rare cases, hepatitis.

Considerations

Heart-disease.emedtv.com states that additional adverse effects may include hair loss, ringing in the ears, arthritis and diabetes (rare). It appears that adverse effects associated with the brain and memory are possible, and in some cases severe. Ultimately, it is up to you and your doctor to choose the right heart medication for you. Some may never experience adverse effects, while others may have a strong or even fatal reaction to metoprolol.

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