Compare Toprol XL vs. Atenolol

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

Toprol XL
(metoprolol succinate)

Tenormin
(atenolol)

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.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.
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Reviews & ratings
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5.2Toprol XL
Reviews for Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate)
60%
of people (All ages) say Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate) is worth it
54%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
164 reviews
Have you used Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tenormin (atenolol)
58%
-2% worse vs. Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate)
48%
-6% worse vs. Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate)
16%
-3% worse vs. Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate)
457 reviews
Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Toprol XLAtenolol
  • Tiredness 10%
  • Dizziness 10%
  • Low mood disorder 5%
  • Skin rash and itching 5%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Shortness of breath 3%
  • Slower heartbeat 3%
  • Dizziness/balance problems 1%
More Toprol XL side effects »
  • Tiredness 13%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Low mood disorder 3%
  • Cold arms and legs 7%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Shortness of breath 2%
  • Light-headedness 3%
  • Leg pain 2%
  • Decreased energy 3%
More Atenolol side effects »
How it works
Toprol XLAtenolol
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.Tenormin (atenolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart by slowing down the heart and making the heart pump better.
Type of medication
Toprol XLAtenolol
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
Toprol XLAtenolol
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for
Toprol XLAtenolol
Risk factors for serious side effects
Toprol XLAtenolol
  • Sudden discontinuation of medicine
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidsim
  • Heart failure
  • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
  • History of asthma
  • History of COPD
Detailed Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate) risks & warnings »
  • Suddenly stopping Tenormin (atenolol)
    • Taking calcium channel blockers
    • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
    • Diabetes
      • Taking clonidine
      Detailed Tenormin (atenolol) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy

      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.

      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.

      Upsides and benefits
      Toprol XLAtenolol
      • 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.
      • 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.
      Downsides and risks
      Toprol XLAtenolol
      • 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.
      • 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.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      Toprol XLAtenolol
      • 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.
      • 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.
      Learn more
      More about Toprol XLSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it