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Updated on September 13, 2023
5 min read

What Happens When You Mix Alcohol and Metoprolol?

Mara Sugue
Dr P. E. Pancoast, MD
Written by 
7 Sources Cited
Mara Sugue
Written by 
7 Sources Cited

What is Metoprolol (Beta-Blocker)?

Metoprolol is a beta-blocker medication. It relaxes the blood vessels and slows the heart rate to improve blood flow and decrease blood pressure.

It is commonly used for the following:

  • Preventing chest pain (angina)
  • Improving survival following a heart attack
  • In combination with other medications to treat cardiovascular disease
  • Preventing migraines and headaches
  • Treating an irregular heartbeat
  • Addressing movement disorders from mental illness medications

How Does Metoprolol Work?

Metoprolol and other beta-blockers work by changing how your body responds to nerve impulses in the heart. This slows down your heart rate, relaxing your blood vessels.

The slower blood pressure also lessens the force of your heartbeat. This is called bradycardia.

Relaxed blood vessels can make it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body. This is especially true if your heart is damaged or affected by other conditions.


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Can You Drink Alcohol When Taking Metoprolol?

Doctors strongly advise against drinking alcohol while taking beta-blockers like metoprolol. Because metoprolol already lowers your blood pressure, adding alcohol into your system can further reduce it. This additive effect can cause your blood pressure to drop to a dangerously low level, leading to hypotension.

Dangers of Mixing Metoprolol and Alcohol

The drug interactions between metoprolol and alcohol can lead to a very low blood pressure level. This can cause the following side effects and symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting, especially if you get up too fast
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Inability to concentrate

Drinking alcohol can also adversely affect the health conditions treated with beta-blockers. These include:

  • Heart conditions
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Glaucoma

Effects of Alcohol on Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure, you should avoid drinking alcohol as much as possible. Drinking alcohol when you have high blood pressure can cause it to fluctuate. Over time, this can also cause permanent hypertension and weight gain.

Consider cutting back on alcohol consumption if you're drinking too much. You should drink moderately to reduce the risk of alcohol-related conditions and injuries.

Doctors recommend that men should limit themselves to 2 or fewer drinks a day. Meanwhile, the recommended limit for women is 1 drink or less.

Side Effects of Metoprolol

Metoprolol can cause side effects. Seek medical advice from your doctor if any of these common side effects and symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Tiredness
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach pain
  • Gas or bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Rash or itching
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Runny nose

Serious Side Effects of Metoprolol

Some side effects of metoprolol can be more serious. The following symptoms are rare, but call your doctor or for medical attention immediately if you experience any of them:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Weight gain
  • Fainting
  • Rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat

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Interactions With Blood Pressure Medications

If you take other blood pressure medications combined with beta-blockers and alcohol, your risk of low blood pressure increases. This is especially true for the following classes of drugs:


Alpha-blockers medication causes vasodilation in small blood vessels by blocking the effects of norepinephrine. Vasodilation is when your blood vessels widen due to the relaxation of the blood vessel’s muscular walls.

The medicine also treats the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). This is a condition in men in which the prostate gland is enlarged and may cause difficulty urinating.

Examples of alpha-blockers include:

  • Doxazosin (Cardura) 
  • Prazosin (Minipress) 
  • Terazosin (Hytrin)

Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers cause vasodilation by preventing calcium from entering the cells in your blood vessels.

Examples of calcium channel blockers include:

  • Amlodipine (Norvasc) 
  • Diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac) 
  • Nifedipine (Procardia) 
  • Verapamil (Calan)

If you consume alcohol while taking beta-blockers and develop any of the symptoms or side effects above, visit your doctor or health care provider. You can receive medical advice on your symptoms and discuss whether drinking is safe.

Other Drug Interactions with Metoprolol

Metoprolol can also have adverse effects when combined with:

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • CYP2D6 Inhibitors (such as fluoxetine and paroxetine)
  • Clonidine
  • Heart rhythm drugs (such as quinidine and propafenone)
  • Antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine)

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Can You Take Metoprolol if You Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

Speak with your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not yet known if metoprolol can adversely affect an unborn baby.

Having high blood pressure during pregnancy may lead to complications like diabetes or eclampsia. The latter refers to dangerously high blood pressure that can lead to medical issues in both mother and baby.

The advantages of treating hypertension may outweigh any risks to the baby. Babies born to hypertensive mothers have problems separate from their mothers.

You should also speak to a doctor before using metoprolol if breastfeeding. Metoprolol can enter into breast milk. This may lead to the following:

  • Dry skin
  • Dry mouth 
  • Diarrhea 
  • A slow heartbeat
  • Constipation in your baby

Treatment Options for Alcohol Abuse & Addiction

Alcohol addiction can occur when someone drinks heavily. It’s one of the most significant public health problems in the United States. 

There are a variety of methods for treating alcohol use disorders. Understanding the options for treatment is an essential first step.

Here are some common treatments for alcohol use disorders:


Metoprolol is a beta-blocker drug that can treat high blood pressure and chest pain. It works by changing how your body reacts to nerve impulses and relaxes your blood vessels.

You should not mix this drug with alcohol because it can lead to serious side effects. By further lowering your blood pressure, it can drop to dangerously low levels, resulting in hypotension.

If you're taking metoprolol and drinking alcohol, you should limit how much alcohol you consume. The side effects of this combination can be dangerous, if not life-threatening, so it's important to seek immediate medical attention if you notice severe side effects.

Updated on September 13, 2023
7 sources cited
Updated on September 13, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. Shah et al. "Metoprolol-Associated Central Nervous System Complications." Cureus, 2020.
  2. Morris J., and Dunham, A. "Metoprolol." Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing.
  3. Tasnim et al. "Effect of alcohol on blood pressure." Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2017.
  4. “Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2014.
  5. “Prostate Enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia).” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2014.
  6. “Metoprolol - Drug Usage Statistics.” ClinCalc DrugStats Database, 2018.
  7. "Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022.
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