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 a heart attack. It has fewer side effects than other beta blockers. You need to take it on an empty stomach and you can't skip doses.Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate) is good for controlling chest pain, treating heart failure, and heart attack. It has the added benefit of being taken once a day.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.92Atenolol
Reviews for Atenolol
58%
of people (All ages) say Atenolol is worth it
48%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
457 reviews
Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Toprol XL
60%
-2% worse vs. Atenolol
54%
-6% worse vs. Atenolol
13%
-3% worse vs. Atenolol
164 reviews
Have you used Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtenololToprol XL
  • Feeling off balance 2%
  • Drowsiness 2%
  • Slower heartbeat 3%
  • Leg Pain 2%
  • Light-headedness 3%
  • Decreased energy 3%
  • Vivid dreams 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Nausea 2%
More Atenolol side effects »
  • Shortness of breath 3%
  • Slower heartbeat 3%
  • Depression 5%
  • Skin rash and itching 5%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Tiredness 10%
  • Dizziness 10%
  • Dizziness/balance problems 1%
More Toprol XL side effects »
How it works
AtenololToprol XL
Tenormin (atenolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart by slowing down the heart and making the heart pump better.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
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
AtenololToprol XL
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
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 »
  • Sudden discontinuation of medicine
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidsim
  • Heart failure
Detailed Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Upsides and benefits
AtenololToprol XL
  • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
  • A first-choice treatment for heart attack recovery.
  • At lower doses, Tenormin (atenolol) has fewer side effects than other beta blockers because it targets the heart and not other parts of the body.
  • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina). It makes attacks less frequent and helps you be more active without having chest pain.
  • Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate) is a first-choice treatment for heart failure since it may prevent long-term heart damage.
  • It's also a first-choice for heart attack treatment since it lowers the risk of death during and after a heart attack.
  • Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate) is the extended release version of metoprolol tartrate and only needs to be taken once a day.
  • It's available as a generic and is relatively cheap.
Downsides and risks
AtenololToprol XL
  • You need to take Tenormin (atenolol) on an empty stomach.
  • 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 it might not go away for others.
  • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure unless you have heart disease. However, your doctor could add it to other medicines you're already if your blood pressure is still too high.
  • You can't miss or skip doses. If you stop Tenormin (atenolol) suddenly, it can cause your blood pressure to go up really quickly, raising your risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Tenormin (atenolol) can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
  • Taking a beta blocker can make you feel more tired or out of breath during exercise or normal daily routines. This gets better for most people, but for some this may not go away.
  • It's not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure according to the latest guidelines, except if you have heart failure or heart disease.
  • Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate) can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you have diabetes.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate) suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up quickly, which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AtenololToprol XL
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Raises good cholesterol.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice dark urine or yellowing in your eyes or skin.
  • Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate) cause dizziness in the first few days.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine and let your doctor know if it hasn't improved.
  • It can make you feel tired or give you headaches.
  • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar, so be careful taking this if you have diabetes.
  • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
  • This is the extended-release version, but it also comes in an immediate-release form, metoprolol tartrate.
Learn more
More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about Toprol XLSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it