Highlights for metoprolol
- Metoprolol oral tablet is available as generic drugs and as brand-name drugs. Brand names: Lopressor and Toprol XL.
- Metoprolol comes as immediate-release and extended-release tablets, and an extended-release capsule. It also comes in an injectable form that’s only given by a healthcare provider.
- Metoprolol is a drug called a beta-blocker. It’s used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and angina (chest pain).
What is Metoprolol?
Metoprolol is a prescription drug. It comes as immediate-release and extended-release oral tablets, and extended-release oral capsules. It also comes in an injectable form that’s only given by a healthcare provider.
Metoprolol oral tablets are available as the brand-name drugs Lopressor and Toprol XL. They’re also available as generic drugs. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name versions. In some cases, they may not be available in all strengths or forms as the brand-name drugs.
The two brand-name forms of metoprolol (as well as the different generic forms) are different versions of the medication. They’re both metoprolol, but they contain different salt forms. Lopressor is metoprolol tartrate, while Toprol-XL is metoprolol succinate. The different salt forms enable the drugs to be used to treat different conditions.
Metoprolol succinate is an extended-release version of metoprolol, so it remains in your bloodstream for a longer time. Metoprolol tartrate is an immediate-release version of metoprolol.
Why it’s used
Both forms of metoprolol — metoprolol tartrate (Lopressor) and metoprolol succinate (Toprol-XL) — are used to:
- lower high blood pressure
- reduce chest pain (angina)
However, metoprolol tartrate is also used to treat and prevent heart attacks, while metoprolol succinate is also used to treat heart failure.
Metoprolol may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you may have to take it with hydrochlorothiazide or chlorthalidone.
How it works
Both versions of metoprolol belong to a class of drugs called beta-blockers. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Blood pressure is often raised because blood vessels are tightened. This puts a strain on the heart and increases the body’s oxygen demand.
Beta-blockers work by preventing norepinephrine (adrenalin) from acting on beta receptors in blood vessels and in the heart. This causes blood vessels to relax. By relaxing the blood vessels, beta-blockers help to lower the heart rate and decrease the heart’s demand for oxygen. This in turn helps decrease blood pressure and reduce chest pain.