New alert gives advice on prescribing and administration of metoprolol

5 Aug 2014 | Medication Safety

A new alert has been issued to highlight the risk of inadvertent overdose associated with the prescribing and administration of oral metoprolol in adults.

Metoprolol is often prescribed for patients with cardiovascular disease, in particular heart failure. It is prescribed in various doses and there are a number of different tablet strengths available; 118.75mg and 11.875mg are two of the doses used. The larger of these two doses is more commonly seen in adult wards in hospitals.

Three incidents have occurred in New Zealand hospitals where a low dose of 11.875mg metoprolol has been prescribed and the dose of 118.75mg metoprolol has been administered. In all three cases, the nurse read the dose as 118.75mg.

This alert recommends that the low dose of 11.875mg should not be prescribed for adult patients and instead metoprolol should be started at a dose of 23.75mg. This recommendation is supported by the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Click the link below to view the alert.

Last updated 05/08/2014