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metoprolol & alcohol

i have been diagnosed with WPW, i am 38 years old. my episodes of tachycardia happen 2-3 times per year. we have known about this issue since my first episode which occurred in 1990. i was never given anything when an episode occurred, it simply went away on its own about 1 -1.5 hours later. Just a few days ago, my cardiologist decided to put me on metoprolol. I am not sure about this. Any thoughts?? Also, i enjow having a few alcoholic beverages regularly, What should i be concerned about when combining metoprolol and alcohol? Thanks
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Avatar universal
I have had episodes of SVT for my entire life and was diagnosed with WPW 30 years ago. My episodes also always go away on their own -- usually with in the first few minutes if I can lay prone and do some valsalva maneuvers, although I occasionally have gone to the ER for monitoring only because if the SVT lasts too long my BP gets a little low. Because my episodes began to increase in frequency some years ago, they tried me on several drugs (none of which I like or felt helped) and I eventually settled on 25mg per day of Toprol XL (time released Metoprolol), which is a pretty low dose and I have been taking that for over a decade.

I'm not much of a drinker (just don't like the taste of it or the SVT that the alcohol sometimes brings on!) but when I have had a glass of wine or two, or a mixed drink with hard liquor, I have never had a problem due to the metoprolol --  but I have had problems with alcohol triggering tachy and ectopics.

Overall, I'm not sure the metoprolol does much for me, but my doctor considers it "prophylactic" for lowering my heart rate and lessening my chances of SVT episodes. Some people adapt to it really well and/or find it very helpful, others have side effects and/or find it does not improve their condition. I think it might be contributing to low BP in my case (I tend toward low BP anyway), but it ends up being a trade off of having low BP and fewer tach episodes or more tach episodes and a normal BP.

If you are having only a few episodes a year and are feeling otherwise good with no other health problems, I would definitely want to know why the doc is suggesting you take metoprolol -- not that there is necessarily anything wrong with taking it, but I would certainly want to know the reasoning before I started the medication. Also, I have never heard of there being a problem wih metoprolol and alcohol, so would be curious to know more about that if you are aware of it being a concern.
Avatar universal
thanks for your help and info. i too am a bit confused about why i have been given these meds to take. I just started talking them today. i am very confused. i have never taken any meds in my life and dont like the idea of having to take these. I really dont know what to do
Avatar universal
Having dealt with this my whole life, my best advice is to ask questions and demand answers -- and if you don't get what you want or need from one doc, get another opinion. And above all, unless you feel physically bad from the WPW, develop new symptoms or have someone really qualified, whom you trust, tell you there is a concern, try to stay pretty relaxed about it. And always get a second opinion!

During my long "WPW career", I have been told everything from "it's all in your head" to "you are going to drop dead from this someday". I have had some docs who just completely freak out about it and have even been denied dental care and elective surgery for fear that during a minor procedure my heart would go into arrhythmia and they wouldn't know how to deal with it.

Given that it's been 50 years of these episodes and I've lived a very full and normal life -- and I'm still here -- I tend to agree with the docs who are much more relaxed about the whole thing. I have heard enough times to feel fairly confident about it that in MOST cases WPW is relatively benign and more of a lifestyle problem than a health problem.

I think the take home message is that everyone is an individual -- including doctors -- and you need to find what -- and whom -- works for you so you can live your life happily and healthfully.
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