Metoprolol tartrate versus metoprolol succinate

What is Metoprolol?

Metoprolol is a drug commonly used to lower high blood pressure and regulate heart rate. Check the following:

It also reduces death from cardiovascular disease after a heart attack.

Metoprolol is available in immediate-release (Lopressor tablets) and extended-release (Toprol XL tablets and Kapspargo sprinkle capsules) versions. It belongs to a class of drugs known as beta blockers.

The following article will cover the differences between the immediate-release and extended-release versions of Metoprolol, how they work, safety, and off-label uses.

What is the difference between metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate?


Your body absorbs Metoprolol completely and quickly.

While metoprolol can be used to control heart rate and blood pressure, its tartrate and succinate formulations are different.

Metoprolol succinate has the following characteristics:

  • Brand names: Toprol XL tablets and Kapspargo sprinkle capsules
  • Prolonged release product
  • Used once a day
  • Approved for the treatment of stable congestive heart failure with symptoms
  • It reduces death and improves outcomes in people with heart failure

Metoprolol tartrate has the following attributes:

  • Brand name: Lopressor
  • Immediate release product
  • Used twice a day
  • Not used to treat heart failure

Metoprolol tartrate and succinate have similar side effects. However, side effects vary from person to person.

How do they work?

Metoprolol belongs to a class of drugs known as beta-blockers.

It affects the body’s response to certain nerve impulses.

Metoprolol generally works by slowing the heart rate.

This makes it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body.

Who should avoid using metoprolol tartrate or metoprolol succinate?

Do not use Metoprolol if you have specific health problems such as the following:

You may also need to avoid metoprolol if you have it

  • Problems with blood circulation
  • Asthma or other lung diseases
  • Pheochromocytoma (a tumor on a kidney gland that can cause a high heart rate and blood pressure)
  • Heart or liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland)
  • A positive pregnancy test
  • A planned intervention

If you take Metoprolol Extended-Release Capsules, do not consume alcohol or medications containing alcohol.

What are the possible side effects?

All drugs have side effects, including metoprolol. Some possible side effects of metoprolol include but are not limited to:

  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Mental confusion
  • Heachache
  • Nightmares
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Rhinorrhea
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Stomach ache
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
  • Hallucination
  • Peripheral edema (swelling of the hands, ankles and feet)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Alopecia
  • Reduced libido

There have also been reports of gangrene in people with severe peripheral circulatory disorders.

What are the possible interactions?

Some medicines can affect the effectiveness of metoprolol.

Some can also make side effects like hypotension (low blood pressure) and bradycardia (very slow heart rate) worse.

Possible drug interactions with metoprolol include the following:

Note:To prevent high blood pressure from rebounding, if you are receiving clonidine and Lopressor at the same time, it is essential that you stop Lopressor several days before stopping the clonidine.

Are there any off-label uses for metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate?

Metoprolol can be used off-label for other conditions.

The term “off-label” refers to the use of prescription drugs for purposes not approved by regulatory bodies such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The use of medicines for off-label use is common as healthcare professionals find that some drugs are useful for purposes other than those approved by the FDA.

Metoprolol is commonly used off-label to treat supraventricular tachycardia (irregularly rapid heartbeat) and thyroid storm (an acute and life-threatening complication of hyperthyroidism).

Abruptly stopping metoprolol can also worsen symptoms of hyperthyroidism or cause a thyroid storm.

Please contact your doctor with questions about medicine and treatment.

Summary

You can control your blood pressure and heart rate using metoprolol tartrate or succinate.

However, if you have heart failure, you may not be able to use metoprolol tartrate.

Please pay attention to the medicine and prescription when picking it up from the pharmacy.

Metoprolol succinate and metoprolol tartrate are not the same.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you notice a change in the appearance of your pills and/or a switch from tartrate to succinate or vice versa.

Frequent questions

  • What is Metoprolol Tartrate vs Metoprolol Succinate?

    Metoprolol tartrate (Lopressor) is an immediate-release product. Metoprolol succinate (Toprol XL tablet or Kapspargo squirt capsule) is an extended-release product.

  • When should I use metoprolol succinate versus tartrate?

    Metoprolol succinate treats heart failure with symptoms, helping to reduce mortality (death) and improve outcomes. Heart failure is not treated with metoprolol tartrate.

  • What are the tips for taking metoprolol succinate vs tartrate?

    Take metoprolol tartrate with food or after a meal, and take metoprolol succinate with or without food.

    Both Metoprolol Succinate and Tartrate tablets are scored, so you can break them in half without affecting how they work. Extended-release drugs generally shouldn’t be broken in half. Metoprolol succinate tablet (Toprol XL) is one of the exceptions, as they are scored and can be broken in half. However, swallow the tablet whole or half and do not chew or crush it.

    If you use metoprolol succinate (Kapspargo sprinkle) capsules, you can sprinkle the contents of the capsule into soft foods such as applesauce, pudding, or yogurt and take within 60 minutes of sprinkling. Please do not keep it for future use.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read about our editorial process to learn more about how we fact check and keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.


By Queen Buyalos, PharmD

Queen Buyalos is a freelance pharmacist and medical writer. She is proud to support cancer prevention, general health and mental health education. Queen enjoys advising and educating patients about drug therapy and translating complex ideas into simple language.

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