Compare Atenolol vs. Lopressor

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Tenormin
(Atenolol)

Lopressor
(Metoprolol Tartrate)

Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Tenormin (Atenolol) is good for controlling chest pain and treating heart failure and heart attack with fewer side effects than other beta blockers. You have to take it on an empty stomach, and you can't miss doses.Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Lopressor (Metoprolol Tartrate) is good for controlling chest pain and treating heart failure and heart attack. You have to take it with food, and you can't miss doses.
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Reviews & ratings
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4.896860986547085Atenolol
Reviews for Tenormin (Atenolol)
57%
of people (All ages) say Tenormin (Atenolol) is worth it
48%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
446 reviews
Have you used Tenormin (Atenolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Lopressor (Metoprolol Tartrate)
61%
+4% vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
46%
2% vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
15%
+1% vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
446 reviews
Have you used Lopressor (Metoprolol Tartrate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtenololLopressor
  • Tiredness 13%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Cold extremities 7%
  • Low mood disorder 3%
  • Vivid dreams 2%
  • Shortness of breath 2%
  • Leg pain 2%
  • Nausea 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Fatigue 1%
More Atenolol side effects »
  • Abnormally slow heartbeat 9%
  • Low blood pressure 4%
  • First-degree heart block 3%
More Lopressor side effects »
How it works
AtenololLopressor
Tenormin (Atenolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart. It lowers blood pressure by slowing down the heart and making it less work to pump.Lopressor (Metoprolol Tartrate) is a beta blocker. It lowers blood pressure by slowing heart rate, relaxing blood vessels, and lowering the body's fight-or-flight response.
Type of medication
AtenololLopressor
Antihypertensive
Beta blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Beta blocker
Prescription only
Available as
AtenololLopressor
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
AtenololLopressor
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtenololLopressor
  • Suddenly stopping Tenormin (Atenolol)
    • Taking calcium channel blockers
    • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
    • Diabetes
      • Taking clonidine
      Detailed Tenormin (Atenolol) risks & warnings »
      • Diabetes
        • Coronary artery disease
        • Heart failure
        • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
        • History of asthma
        Detailed Lopressor (Metoprolol Tartrate) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        AtenololLopressor
        DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        See the FDA package insert
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        See the FDA package insert
        Food
        No specific food related info.
        • Metoprolol tartrate is the immediate release version of Toprol XL. You have to take Metoprolol tartrate with food for it to work best. (On the other hand, you can take Toprol XL any time.)
        • Take it with food.
        Sleep
        Upsides and benefits
        AtenololLopressor
        • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
        • A first-choice treatment for heart failure and heart attack.
        • At lower doses, Atenolol has fewer side effects than most beta blockers because it targets the heart and doesn't cross into the brain and central nervous system.
        • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina). Makes pain attacks less frequent and makes it easier to be active without having chest pain.
        • A first-choice treatment for heart failure. May prevent long-term heart damage.
        • A first-choice treatment for heart attack. Lowers the risk of death during and after a heart attack.
        Downsides and risks
        AtenololLopressor
        • You have to take Atenolol on an empty stomach.
        • You can't miss doses. Stopping Atenolol suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
        • Taking a beta blocker might make you feel more tired or out of breath during exercise or normal daily routines. This gets better for most people, but for some might not go away.
        • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure according to the latest guidelines, except if you have heart failure or heart disease. As a second choice, your doctor might add it to medicines you're already taking if your blood pressure is still too high.
        • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
        • Metoprolol tartrate is the immediate release version of Toprol XL. You have to take Metoprolol tartrate with food for it to work best. (On the other hand, you can take Toprol XL any time.)
        • You can't miss doses. Stopping Metoprolol tartrate suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
        • Taking a beta blocker might make you feel more tired or out of breath during exercise or normal daily routines. This gets better for most people, but for some might not go away.
        • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure according to the latest guidelines, except if you have heart failure or heart disease. As a second choice, your doctor might add it to medicines you're already taking if your blood pressure is still too high.
        • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        AtenololLopressor
        • Take it on an empty stomach.
        • Can cause fatigue and insomnia.
        • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
        • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
        • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar. Be careful if you're diabetic.
        • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
        • Take it with food.
        • Can cause fatigue and headache.
        • This is the immediate release version. It also comes as an extended release form: Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate).
        • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
        • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
        • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar. Be careful if you're diabetic.
        • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
        Learn more
        More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Tenormin (Atenolol)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about LopressorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Lopressor (Metoprolol Tartrate)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it