What's The Difference Between Metoprolol and Metoprolol Succinate?

Prescription Drugs

What's The Difference Between Metoprolol and Metoprolol Succinate?

Jennifer Hadley
By Jennifer Hadley
Apr 06, 2021
Jennifer Liang, PharmD
Medically Reviewed ByJennifer Liang, PharmD
Man looking down and reading his prescription medication bottle

More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure or take medication to control hypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Millions also suffer from chest pain known as angina.

For the one in three adults who have high blood pressure or a history of heart attack, a medication known as a beta-blocker is frequently prescribed. Examples of beta-blockers include the brand drug Lopressor (metoprolol tartrate) or Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate).

So, what is the difference between metoprolol and metoprolol succinate? Read on to learn more.

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Differences between Metoprolol Tartrate and Metoprolol Succinate

Both metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate are FDA-approved to treat hypertension and angina. They both have the same active ingredient, but there are some differences between the two. Differences between metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate include:

  • Drug formulation
  • Standard dosage
  • Conditions treated

Drug Formulation

Metoprolol tartrate is an immediate-release drug that is FDA-approved for adults. It may be taken multiple times a day. Metoprolol succinate is an extended-release drug that is FDA-approved for children ages six and older and adults. This means that the active ingredient is released over time, so it is taken just once a day.

Conditions Treated

Both metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate are FDA-approved to treat high blood pressure and angina (chest pain). Metoprolol tartrate is also FDA-approved for the treatment of a heart attack. Metoprolol tartrate treatment generally begins within three days of the cardiovascular event.

Metoprolol succinate is FDA-approved as a treatment for congestive heart failure. Both medications may also be used off-label for the treatment of other cardiovascular conditions including an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), dangerous levels of thyroid hormone production (thyroid storm), and an abnormally fast heart rate (supraventricular tachycardia).

Dosage

Both metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate may be taken short-term or for extended periods. However, the dosage of metoprolol tartrate may be higher. The standard dosage of metoprolol succinate is generally 100 mg per day. The standard dosage of metoprolol tartrate may range from 100 mg to 400 mg per day.

Is metoprolol tartrate better than metoprolol succinate?

Both forms of metoprolol are effective in treating hypertension and angina. Metoprolol tartrate is more effective as a treatment for a heart attack. Metoprolol succinate has been shown to be more effective as a treatment for congestive heart failure.

How do I switch from metoprolol tartrate to metoprolol succinate?

Before making any switch in medication for high blood pressure or chest pain, you need to speak with your health care provider. One form of metoprolol may be better for your condition, depending in part on if you have heart disease or other underlying conditions.

You should not stop taking either beta-blocker abruptly without talking to your health care provider. Abruptly stopping metoprolol may lead to symptoms worsening, or a heart attack.
Never change medications, or begin any new medications or supplements without speaking to your doctor.

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Price Differences Between Metoprolol Tartrate and Metoprolol Succinate

Because metoprolol tartrate and metoprolol succinate are generic medications they are much cheaper than their brand counterparts, Lopressor, and Toprol XL. Still, you may save even more money on these generic medications by using an RxSaver coupon.

The RxSaver coupon price for metoprolol tartrate starts at $4.00 for 25 mg and 30 tablets.

The RxSaver coupon price for metoprolol succinate starts at $8.33 for 25 mg and 30 tablets extended release/24hs.

Always Talk to Your Health Care Provider

If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, talk with your health care provider about ways you can help lower your blood pressure. Modifications to lifestyle, along with taking your medication exactly as prescribed can often reduce high blood pressure significantly. The American Heart Association provides a helpful checklist of ways to help prevent, or manage your blood pressure, which you can discuss with your physician.

*Lowest online price at national pharmacy chains Costco, CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens and Walmart as of 3/26/2021. Prices vary by location and pharmacy, see RxSaver.com for actual pricing in your area.

Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer Hadley

Jen Hadley is a freelance writer and journalist based in Los Angeles, who writes extensively about the medical, legal, health care, and consumer products industries. Jen is a regular contributor to RxSaver.

Jennifer Liang, PharmD

Jennifer Liang, PharmD

Chia Feng (Jenn) Liang, PharmD, is a pharmacist who earned her Pharm D. from St. John's University in Queens, NY. She remains in active practice serving as a local pharmacist for Walgreens. She has acted as the first point of care to the community and helped patients understand and manage chronic and acute conditions. She has educated patients on the role and importance of medication and adherence to improve health outcomes.

The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.