Toprol XL is a medication belonging to the beta-blocker class, which is commonly prescribed to alleviate symptoms associated with angina, heart failure, and hypertension. Reducing high blood pressure helps prevent severe health conditions such as kidney problems, strokes, and heart attacks.
This drug operates by impeding the function of specific natural chemicals in the body, such as epinephrine, which directly impacts the heart and blood vessels. This process leads to a reduction in heart rate, blood pressure, and ultimately relieves stress on the heart.
Uses and Dosage
Metoprolol is available as a tablet and an extended-release tablet, both intended to be taken orally. The standard tablet is typically taken once or twice daily alongside or immediately after meals, whereas the extended-release tablet is usually taken once a day. For consistency, take metoprolol at the same time(s) daily. To ensure safe usage, take metoprolol precisely as prescribed by your physician, avoiding any increase or decrease in dosage or frequency without their approval.
In some instances, it may be necessary to split the extended-release tablet, in which case the tablet or half tablet should be swallowed whole, without chewing or crushing.
Your physician may initiate treatment with a low metoprolol dose and gradually adjust the dose based on your response.
While metoprolol can alleviate symptoms of high blood pressure and angina, it does not cure them.
Metoprolol extended-release tablets can help manage heart failure, but it does not provide a cure.
The full benefits of metoprolol may not be apparent until several weeks after initiation. Continue taking it even if you feel better.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- dry mouth
- stomach pain
- gas or bloating
- rash or itching
- cold hands and feet
- runny nose
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- shortness of breath
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- weight gain
- rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
Inform your doctor or pharmacist of any allergies you have, including a possible allergy to metoprolol or other beta-blockers, such as propranolol or atenolol. Inactive ingredients present in this medication may trigger allergic reactions or other adverse effects.
Prior to taking metoprolol, share your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have had certain types of heart rhythm issues like sick sinus syndrome, a slow heartbeat, or second- or third-degree atrioventricular block, liver disease, breathing difficulties like asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema, mental/mood disorders such as depression, blood circulation problems such as peripheral vascular disease or Raynaud’s disease, or a specific muscle disease referred to as myasthenia gravis.
This medication may cause drowsiness or dizziness, and alcohol or marijuana can increase these effects. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing any activity that requires alertness until you can do so safely.
If you have diabetes, this drug can mask the fast or pounding heartbeat you usually experience when your blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar such as dizziness and sweating are not affected by this medication. Additionally, it may make it more difficult to manage your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar regularly and share the results with your doctor. If you have symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst or urination, notify your doctor immediately. They may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise regimen, or diet.
Children may be at greater risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), especially if they are vomiting or not eating regularly. To prevent low blood sugar, feed children on a regular schedule. If your child cannot eat regularly, is vomiting, or experiences symptoms of low blood sugar such as seizures or sweating, discontinue this medication and inform the doctor right away.
During pregnancy, use metoprolol only when absolutely necessary, as it may harm the unborn baby. Discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Speak with your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Toprol XL is available in the following forms and strengths:
Toprol XL extended-release tablet:
metoprolol succinate tablet:
Does it matter what time of day you take Toprol XL?
Your doctor may advise you to take your first dose before bedtime because it could make you feel dizzy. If you do not feel dizzy after the first dose, take Toprol XL when convenient.
How soon does Toprol XL work?
Toprol XL starts to work after about 2 hours, but it can take up to 1 week to take full effect.