Ryan is an experienced health writer helping educate and inform people on all types of important health topics. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT and can be found recreating in the local mountains.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
June 22, 2021
Toprol XL (generic: metoprolol succinate) is a beta-blocker. It can treat various disorders, including high blood pressure, angina, congestive heart failure, and hyperthyroidism. Heart arrhythmia is one of the disorders commonly treated by Toprol XL.
A heart arrhythmia is when the heart beats abnormally because of faulty electrical impulses. You experience this as a fluttering feeling, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), or bradycardia (slow heartbeat). Some people without any symptoms are still diagnosed with arrhythmia.
Arrhythmias may be a temporary condition caused by stress or may become chronic and require treatment. Untreated heart arrhythmia can increase the risk for stroke or heart attack.
Arrhythmia can be caused by various factors, including:
Beta-blockers like Toprol XL decrease cardiac output and heart rate resulting in decreased adrenaline and lower blood pressure. Toprol XL is a first-line treatment, especially for stress-related arrhythmias. If your doctor decides that your arrhythmia makes you a candidate for treatment, they will likely start with a beta-blocker.
EverydayDr recommends talking to a doctor online through our partner PlushCare. Their doctors are world-class and can write prescriptions online. All PlushCare doctors are accredited and have graduated from a top-50 US medical institution. Book an appointment here and speak to a doctor in as little as 15 minutes.
Using Toprol XL (or any beta-blocker) as an anxiety treatment is considered an off-label use of the medication. The drug is not manufactured or sold to treat that specific disorder, but doctors sometimes prescribe it that way.
Although Toprol XL is only intended to treat heart conditions like arrhythmias and angina, it helps anxiety in some instances. Toprol XL blocks specific receptors for stress hormones like adrenaline and can effectively reduce anxiety patients’ symptoms.
Toprol XL also reduces some adverse effects of stress like elevated heart rate or increased blood pressure. Reducing stress effects can help control symptoms for chronic anxiety disorder, although there are caveats. Some patients may not be able to use Toprol XL for anxiety if it interacts with other medications used to treat their anxiety.
Always talk to your doctor before starting any new medication and telling them about every medication you’re currently taking.
Doctors more commonly prescribe beta-blockers like Toprol XL to treat situational anxiety, a more acute condition. Situational anxiety is when a person has negative symptoms before performing tasks that may be public or cause fear, such as speaking before a group or making an important decision.
The fight or flight response can cause sweating, rapid heartbeat, a rise in blood pressure, flushing in the face, shortness of breath, or lightheadedness. Toprol XL decreases signs and symptoms of fight or flight response, giving relief during occasional situational anxiety events or panic attacks.
Make an appointment with your doctor to find out if Toprol XL is the right treatment for your anxiety, and be sure to share a detailed medical history that includes the use of all other medications or supplements. You can also go to PlushCare’s mental health prescription program if you are interested in Toprol XL for anxiety.
Toprol XL, like all prescription medications, has the risk of side effects. Let your doctor know about any new health changes, signs, or symptoms after starting a medication. Some common side effects of Toprol XL include the following:
Some less common and serious side effects can occur. Contact your doctor right away if you notice any of the following:
Toprol XL can cause a rare but life-threatening allergic reaction. Get emergency assistance immediately if you notice hives (red spots on the skin), difficulty breathing, or swelling of the lips, face, tongue, or throat.
Some medications can interact with Toprol XL, so be sure to let your doctor know about any medications you are taking. The following drugs can cause an adverse reaction with Toprol XL:
“Tell your doctor and pharmacist,” warns MedlinePlus.gov “if you are allergic to metoprolol, acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin, in Tenoretic), betaxolol, bisoprolol (Zebeta, in Ziac), carvedilol (Coreg, Coreg CR), esmolol (Brevibloc), labetalol, nadolol (Corgard, in Corzide), pindolol, propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA, Innopran XL, in Inderide), sotalol (Betapace, Betapace AF, Sorine), [or] timolol.”
Toprol XL is an extended-release tablet administered orally once daily. Talk to your doctor about the prescription dosage. Your doctor may start you with a low dosage and increase the dosage as needed.
Toprol XL is a brand name. You can purchase a generic version called metoprolol succinate for a discounted price.
Be sure a medical professional prescribes the generic version of Toprol XL, and be aware that there can be some minor differences in how the medications dissolve in the body. Some patients report changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, or headache when changing from Toprol XL to a generic brand.
When purchasing any medication, be sure that you are buying from a well-known and credentialed national company. Most pharmacies are available online but beware of some discount drug warehouses that sell medication for far steeper discounts than the median price. Some online drug companies stock brands manufactured by other countries and are not under the FDA’s jurisdiction and quality control.
PlushCare doctors can not only diagnose certain conditions and prescribe non-controlled medications. They can help you order prescriptions from a reputable source. If you are interested in Toprol XL, a PlushCare doctor can discuss it with you and prescribe it if found to be beneficial. Book an appointment with PlushCare today.
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