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This medication is an alpha- and beta-blocker, used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It is also used after an acute heart attack to improve survival. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks and kidney problems. This drug works by blocking the action of certain natural chemicals in your body (such as epinephrine) that affect the heart and blood vessels. This results in lowering of heart rate, blood pressure, and strain on the heart.
Take this medication by mouth with food, usually twice daily, or as directed by your doctor. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same times each day. Take this drug exactly as prescribed. Do not increase or decrease the dose on your own. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. If you are being treated for high blood pressure, it may take 1 or 2 weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Your condition may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Coreg is used for treating high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It is related to labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate). Coreg blocks receptors of the adrenergic nervous system, the system of nerves in which epinephrine (adrenalin) is active. Nerves from the adrenergic system enter the heart and release an adrenergic chemical (norepinephrine) that attaches to receptors on the heart's muscle and stimulates the muscle to beat more rapidly and forcefully. By blocking the receptors, coreg reduces the heart's rate and force of contraction and, thereby, reduces the work of the heart. Coreg also blocks adrenergic receptors on arteries and causes the arteries to relax and the blood pressure to fall. The drop in blood pressure further reduces the work of the heart since it is easier to pump blood against a lower pressure.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature below 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Possible Side Effects
You may experience dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, tiredness, diarrhea, unusual dreams, trouble sleeping, dry eyes, or vision problems as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. This drug may reduce blood flow to your hands and feet, causing them to feel cold. Smoking may worsen this effect. Dress warmly and avoid tobacco use. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people, using this medication, do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: symptoms of a very slow heartbeat (e.g., persistent dizziness, fainting, unusual fatigue), fainting, bluish discoloration of the fingers and toes, numbness/tingling/swelling of the hands or feet, decreased sexual ability, reversible hair loss, mental/mood changes, worsening of heart failure symptoms (e.g., cough, trouble breathing, sudden weight gain), change in the amount of urine, increased thirst, increased urination. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising or bleeding, persistent sore throat or fever, yellowing skin or eyes, stomach pain, dark urine, persistent nausea. In the unlikely event you have a serious allergic reaction to this drug, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not share this medication with others. Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, exercise and dietary changes may increase the effectiveness of this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you. Have your blood pressure and pulse checked regularly while taking this medication. It may be best to learn how to monitor your own blood pressure and pulse. Discuss this with your doctor. Laboratory and/or medical tests may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.