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The use of metoprolol CR/XL in the treatment of patients with diabetes and chronic heart failure

Authors Ovidio De Freitas, Oliver Lenz, Alessia Fornoni, Barry J Materson

Published 15 June 2006 Volume 2006:2(2) Pages 139—144

Ovidio De Freitas, Oliver Lenz, Alessia Fornoni, Barry J Materson

Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Department of Medicine, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA

Abstract: About 5 million Americans suffer from heart failure. Given the correlation of heart failure with age and the rising life expectancy, the prevalence of heart failure continues to increase in the general population. Sympathetic stimulation intensifies with progressive heart failure. The rationale to use β-blockers in individuals with impaired myocardial function is based on experimental evidence supporting the notion that prolonged α- and β-adrenergic stimulation leads to worsening heart failure. Until recently, safety concerns have precluded the use of β-blockers in patients with diabetes and heart failure. However, several large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials such as Metoprolol Randomized Intervention Trial in Congestive Heart Failure (MERIT-HF) have shown that β-blockers can be safely used in patients with diabetes and heart failure. Moreover, β-blockers significantly improved morbidity and mortality in this population. Based on this evidence, it is now recommended to add β-blockers such as metoprolol CR/XL with an escalating dosage regimen to the treatment of patients with symptomatic heart failure who already are receiving a stable medical regimen including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, diuretics, vasodilators, or digitalis.

Keywords: metoprolol, heart failure, diabetes mellitus, β-adrenergic blocking agents, MERITHF

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