Metoprolol: anyone experience seizure-like episodes while on this drug?

Posted , 3 users are following.


I am a 59-year old female.  I recently had a Holter monitor test which showed that I have Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT).  In addition I have heart palpitations.

My cardiologist told me to take Metoprolol 12.5 mg twice a day.

While on Metoprolol I have experienced seizure-like episodes.  

I am interested to hear whether anyone else has experienced this side effect.  

Thank you.

0 likes, 8 replies

8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Tulip777...I was taking Metropolol 12.5mg 2xdaily a few years back. I suffered terrible headaches because of it.

    The headaches were so bad, they frightened me. I went back to my Dr.& he prescribed something else. Then about 2 yrs ago, he prescribed ATENOLOL 12.5 mg 2xdaily. No problem. No headaches whatsoever. A friend of mine who is a pharmacist said that one of them, & I can't remember which...crosses the blood brain barrier, whereas the other does not. I'll assume the Atenolol doesn't because I didn't get the headaches.

    My doctor that I had previously (I left the Dr. who prescribed the beta blockers) said he couldn't understand why I was taking 12.5 2x day. Neither could the pharmacist because beta blockers are meant to be taken ONCE per day. Perhaps you could suggest Atenolol to your doctor. The worst answer you can get is 'no'.

    • Posted

      Hi mike92384,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to respond in such detail.  This information is very helpful.

  • Posted

    Tulip222...I must apologise to you re what  said about taking beta blockers 2x daily. According to what I'm quoting to you, METROPOLOL should be taken 2x daily. Where I'm concerned, I'd never go anywhere near Metropolol again because of the frightening headaches it caused. When medications cross the blood brain barrier, they get into the cerebral wonder the headaches could be caused. Here's the blurb on them. Again, get back to your doctor, & see if he/she is willing to give you Atenolol instead.


    Atenolol and Metroprolol are both beta blockers.

    Beta blockers are in general equally effective but there are differences in them which may affect choice in treating particular diseases or patients.

    There are 2 main differences between Atenolol and Metoprolol:

    1. Atenolol is water soluble. Metoprolol is lipid soluble so is more likely to produce sleep disturbances and nightmares because it can cross the blood brain barrier. 

    2. Atenolol has a longer half life and can be taken once a day while Metoprolol needs to be taken twice daily.

    • Posted

      Hi mike92384,

      Thank you very much for the clarification.  I spoke with my pharmacist today and he said Atenolol would be a good alternative to Metoprolol.  I will talk with my cardiologist about it on Friday.

    • Posted

      Hi mike92384,

      I wanted to follow up.  When I saw my cardiologist almost three weeks ago, we discussed alternative medications and she prescribed a calcium channel blocker instead of the metoprolol.  So far so good — much less tired, hardly any side effects and better control of symptoms.  

      Yesterday I saw a neurologist to talk about the seizure-like episodes I experienced while on metoprolol, and he completely understood that I felt terrible on metoprolol.  He said he personally dreaded the day when he would be told to take a beta blocker!  

    • Posted

      Tulip777...glad you're  feeling better. What type of Calcium Channel Blocker are you now taking?? Norvasc is the brand name for Amlodipine. I'm sure you've been made aware of possible side-effects, i.e. swollen feet, ankles, legs. Some people do well with it (I know a few people), while others can't take it. A few years back I was taking 5mg..but we lost control of the bp., so the Dr. I had back then, doubled the dose to 10mg. I wound up with badly swollen feet, ankles & legs. So, needless to say, I had to come off the medication. This may not happen to you...we're all different.

      I wish you the best of luck!!!!!! smile Please let me know how you get on.

    • Posted

      I am on extended release diltiazem, 120 mg per day.
  • Edited

    Hello, I found this by googling 'can metoprolol cause seizures?' Yes, it happened to me. I was having feelings like my heart was jumping in my chest, coupled with feeling light headed and once almost fainting. My doctor ordered a 48 hour Holter monitor. The Holter found numerous benign PACs and PVCs, and 2 episodes of ventricular tachycardia. I was referred to a cardiologist, who prescribed 25mg of metoprolol. After a couple of weeks on the metoprolol, I began having seizure like episodes, which I have never had before. The potential side effects listed for metoprolol that I found online never mentioned seizures. I only found this, like I said, after googling.

    I had about 4 or 5 seizure episodes, and then I weaned myself off the metoprolol. No seizures have happened since I stopped taking metoprolol. I will see the cardiologist this Friday and ask for something else to control my heart misfirings.

    By the way, my dentist, whom I saw recently, told me that my seizure like episodes sounds like dystonia, which he said can be caused by many different medications.

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.