Lopressor, like other beta blockers, is a competitive inhibitor of beta-receptor agonists, and its effects can be reversed by administration of such agents, e.g., dobutamine or isoproterenol. However, such patients may be subject to protracted severe hypotension. Difficulty in restarting and maintaining the heart beat has also been reported with beta blockers.
Cardiac Failure : Sympathetic stimulation is a vital component supporting circulatory function, and beta blockade carries the potential hazard of depressing myocardial contractility and precipitating or exacerbating minimal cardiac failure.
During treatment with Lopressor, the hemodynamic status of the patient should be carefully monitored. If heart failure occurs or persists despite appropriate treatment, Lopressor should be discontinued.
Bradycardia : Lopressor produces a decrease in sinus heart rate in most patients; this decrease is greatest among patients with high initial heart rates and least among patients with low initial heart rates. Acute myocardial infarction (particularly inferior infarction) may in itself produce significant lowering of the sinus rate. If the sinus rate decreases to <40 beats/min, particularly if associated with evidence of lowered cardiac output, atropine (0.25-0.5 mg) should be administered intravenously. If treatment with atropine is not successful, Lopressor should be discontinued, and cautious administration of isoproterenol or installation of a cardiac pacemaker should be considered.
AV Block : Lopressor slows AV conduction and may produce significant first- (P-R interval ≥0.26 sec), second-, or third-degree heart block. Acute myocardial infarction also produces heart block.
If heart block occurs, Lopressor should be discontinued and atropine (0.25-0.5 mg) should be administered intravenously. If treatment with atropine is not successful, cautious administration of isoproterenol or installation of a cardiac pacemaker should be considered.
Hypotension : If hypotension (systolic blood pressure ≤90 mmHg) occurs, Lopressor should be discontinued, and the hemodynamic status of the patient and the extent of myocardial damage carefully assessed. Invasive monitoring of central venous, pulmonary capillary wedge, and arterial pressures may be required. Appropriate therapy with fluids, positive inotropic agents, balloon counterpulsation, or other treatment modalities should be instituted. If hypotension is associated with sinus bradycardia or AV block, treatment should be directed at reversing these (see above).
Bronchospastic Diseases : PATIENTS WITH BRONCHOSPASTIC DISEASES SHOULD, IN GENERAL, NOT RECEIVE BETA BLOCKERS , including Lopressor . Because of its relative beta 1 selectivity, Lopressor may be used with extreme caution in patients with bronchospastic disease. Because it is unknown to what extent beta 2 -stimulating agents may exacerbate myocardial ischemia and the extent of infarction, these agents should not be used prophylactically. If bronchospasm not related to congestive heart failure occurs, Lopressor should be discontinued. A theophylline derivative or a beta 2 agonist may be administered cautiously, depending on the clinical condition of the patient. Both theophylline derivatives and beta 2 agonists may produce serious cardiac arrhythmias.
Lopressor should be used with caution in patients with impaired hepatic function.
Information for Patients
Patients should be advised to take Lopressor regularly and continuously, as directed, with or immediately following meals. If a dose should be missed, the patient should take only the next scheduled dose (without doubling it). Patients should not discontinue Lopressor without consulting the physician.
Patients should be advised (1) to avoid operating automobiles and machinery or engaging in other tasks requiring alertness until the patient’s response to therapy with Lopressor has been determined; (2) to contact the physician if any difficulty in breathing occurs; (3) to inform the physician or dentist before any type of surgery that he or she is taking Lopressor.
Catecholamine-depleting drugs (e.g., reserpine) may have an additive effect when given with beta-blocking agents. Patients treated with Lopressor plus a catecholamine depletor should therefore be closely observed for evidence of hypotension or marked bradycardia, which may produce vertigo, syncope, or postural hypotension.
Both digitalis glycosides and beta blockers slow atrioventricular conduction and decrease heart rate. Concomitant use can increase the risk of bradycardia.
Risk of Anaphylactic Reaction : While taking beta blockers, patients with a history of severe anaphylactic reaction to a variety of allergens may be more reactive to repeated challenge, either accidental, diagnostic, or therapeutic. Such patients may be unresponsive to the usual doses of epinephrine used to treat allergic reaction.
Some inhalation anesthetics may enhance the cardiodepressant effect of beta blockers (see WARNINGS, Major Surgery).
Potent inhibitors of the CYP2D6 enzyme may increase the plasma concentration of Lopressor. Strong inhibition of CYP2D6 would mimic the pharmacokinetics of CYP2D6 poor metabolizer (see Pharmacokinetics section). Caution should therefore be exercised when coadministering potent CYP2D6 inhibitors with Lopressor. Known clinically significant potent inhibitors of CYP2D6 are antidepressants such as fluoxetine, paroxetine or bupropion, antipsychotics such as thioridazine, antiarrhythmics such as quinidine or propafenone, antiretrovirals such as ritonavir, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, antimalarials such as hydroxychloroquine or quinidine, antifungals such as terbinafine and medications for stomach ulcers such as cimetidine.
If a patient is treated with clonidine and Lopressor concurrently, and clonidine treatment is to be discontinued, Lopressor should be stopped several days before clonidine is withdrawn. Rebound hypertension that can follow withdrawal of clonidine may be increased in patients receiving concurrent beta-blocker treatment.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long-term studies in animals have been conducted to evaluate carcinogenic potential. In a 2-year study in rats at three oral dosage levels of up to 800 mg/kg per day, there was no increase in the development of spontaneously occurring benign or malignant neoplasms of any type. The only histologic changes that appeared to be drug related were an increased incidence of generally mild focal accumulation of foamy macrophages in pulmonary alveoli and a slight increase in biliary hyperplasia. In a 21-month study in Swiss albino mice at three oral dosage levels of up to 750 mg/kg per day, benign lung tumors (small adenomas) occurred more frequently in female mice receiving the highest dose than in untreated control animals. There was no increase in malignant or total (benign plus malignant) lung tumors, or in the overall incidence of tumors or malignant tumors. This 21-month study was repeated in CD-1 mice, and no statistically or biologically significant differences were observed between treated and control mice of either sex for any type of tumor.
All mutagenicity tests performed (a dominant lethal study in mice, chromosome studies in somatic cells, a Salmonella/mammalian-microsome mutagenicity test, and a nucleus anomaly test in somatic interphase nuclei) were negative.
No evidence of impaired fertility due to Lopressor was observed in a study performed in rats at doses up to 55.5 times the maximum daily human dose of 450 mg.
Pregnancy Category C
Lopressor has been shown to increase postimplantation loss and decrease neonatal survival in rats at doses up to 55.5 times the maximum daily human dose of 450 mg. Distribution studies in mice confirm exposure of the fetus when Lopressor is administered to the pregnant animal. These studies have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or teratogenicity. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Lopressor is excreted in breast milk in a very small quantity. An infant consuming 1 liter of breast milk daily would receive a dose of less than 1 mg of the drug. Caution should be exercised when Lopressor is administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Clinical trials of Lopressor in hypertension did not include sufficient numbers of elderly patients to determine whether patients over 65 years of age differ from younger subjects in their response to Lopressor. Other reported clinical experience in elderly hypertensive patients has not identified any difference in response from younger patients.
In worldwide clinical trials of Lopressor in myocardial infarction, where approximately 478 patients were over 65 years of age (0 over 75 years of age), no age-related differences in safety and effectiveness were found. Other reported clinical experience in myocardial infarction has not identified differences in response between the elderly and younger patients. However, greater sensitivity of some elderly individuals taking Lopressor cannot be categorically ruled out. Therefore, in general, it is recommended that dosing proceed with caution in this population.