Clinical Pharmacokinetics of Metoprolol: A Systematic Review

Clin Pharmacokinet. 2022 Aug;61(8):1095-1114. doi: 10.1007/s40262-022-01145-y. Epub 2022 Jun 28.


Background: Metoprolol is recommended for therapeutic use in multiple cardiovascular conditions, thyroid crisis, and circumscribed choroidal hemangioma. A detailed systematic review on the metoprolol literature would be beneficial to assess all pharmacokinetic parameters in humans and their respective effects on patients with hepatic, renal, and cardiovascular diseases. This review combines all the pharmacokinetic data on metoprolol from various accessible studies, which may assist in clinical decision making.

Methodology: The Google Scholar and PubMed databases were searched to screen articles associated with the clinical pharmacokinetics of metoprolol. The comprehensive literature search retrieved 41 articles including data on plasma concentration-time profiles after intravenous and oral (immediate-release, controlled-release, slow-release, or extended-release) routes of administration, and at least one pharmacokinetic parameter was reported in all studies included.

Results: Out of 41 retrieved articles, six were after intravenous and 12 were after oral administration in healthy individuals. The oral studies depict a dose-dependent increase in maximum plasma concentration (Cmax), time to reach maximum plasma concentration (Tmax), and area under the concentration-time curve (AUC). Two studies were conducted in R- and S-enantiomers, in which one study reported the gender differences, depicting greater Cmax and AUC among women, whereas in another study S-metoprolol was found to have higher values of Cmax, Tmax, and AUC in comparison with R-metoprolol. Results in different diseases depicted that after IV administration of 20 mg, patients with renal impairment showed an increase in clearance (CL) (60 L/h vs 48 L/h) compared with healthy subjects, whereas a decrease in CL (36.6 ± 7.8 L/h vs 48 ± 6.6 L/h) was seen in patients with hepatic cirrhosis at a similar dose. In comparison with a single oral dose following administration of 15 mg IV in three divided doses, patients having an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) showed an increase in Cmax (823 nmol/L vs 248 nmol/L) at a steady state. Twenty different studies have reported significant changes in CL, Cmax, and AUC of metoprolol when it is co-administered with other drugs. One study has reported a drug-food interaction for metoprolol but no significant changes were seen in the Cmax and AUC.

Conclusion: This review summarizes all the pharmacokinetic parameters of metoprolol after pooling up-to-date data from all the studies available. The summarized pharmacokinetic data presented in this review can assist in developing and evaluating pharmacokinetic models of metoprolol. Moreover, this data can provide practitioners with an insight into dosage adjustments among the diseased populations and can assist in preventing potential adverse drug reactions. This review can also help avoid side effects and drug-drug interactions.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Area Under Curve
  • Female
  • Food-Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Liver*
  • Metoprolol* / pharmacokinetics


  • Metoprolol