Compare Atenolol vs. Toprol XL

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

Tenormin
(Atenolol)

Toprol Xl
(Metoprolol Succinate)

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. Toprol Xl (Metoprolol Succinate) is good for controlling chest pain and treating heart failure and heart attack. You can't miss doses.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.896860986547085Atenolol
Reviews for Tenormin (Atenolol)
57%
of people say Tenormin (Atenolol) is worth it
48%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Toprol Xl (Metoprolol Succinate)
60%
+3% vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
55%
+7% vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
13%
+3% vs. Tenormin (Atenolol)
Side effects
AtenololToprol XL
  • 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%
  • Heart block 3%
More Toprol XL side effects »
How it works
AtenololToprol XL
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.Toprol Xl (Metoprolol Succinate) 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
AtenololToprol XL
Antihypertensive
Beta blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Beta blocker
Prescription only
Available as
AtenololToprol XL
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
AtenololToprol XL
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtenololToprol XL
  • 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 Toprol Xl (Metoprolol Succinate) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        AtenololToprol XL
        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
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        AtenololToprol XL
        • 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.
        • Toprol XL is the extended release version of Lopressor.
        Downsides and risks
        AtenololToprol XL
        • You have to take Atenolol on an empty stomach.
        • 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.
        • 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.
        • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
        • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure according to the latest guidelines, except if you have heart failure or heart disease.
        • You can't miss doses. Stopping Toprol XL 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.
        • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        AtenololToprol XL
        • 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.
        • Can cause fatigue and headache.
        • Extended release version. Also comes in immediate release called Lopressor (metoprolol tartrate).
        • 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
        More about Toprol XLSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert