Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, affects 1 in every 3 American adults. While many people show no symptoms of hypertension, this condition can lead to heart problems, heart disease, and even fatal complications.
There are a number of treatments for hypertension including a change in diet, reducing alcohol consumption, losing weight, and stress reduction. Medication is also available to help control high blood pressure.
But in the Lopressor vs Toprol debate, which is better for treating high blood pressure? In this article, we are going to go over all the information you’ll need to make a decision on which medication is right for you.
What Is Hypertension?
As we already mentioned, hypertension is the clinical term for high blood pressure. Hypertension is usually defined by having a blood pressure higher than 120 over 80.
This means that the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries is too high. This can damage your arteries and lead to serious health problems including heart disease and stroke.
Blood pressure usually increases and worsens over time without showing any symptoms. You could experience:
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms don’t arise until your hypertension has progressed in severity, so it’s important to have regular check-ups with your doctor to have your blood pressure checked.
The causes of hypertension are varied. It could be a result of poor diet, alcohol consumption, high stress, or even simply your age. Certain diseases and medications can also cause hypertension as well.
What Are Beta Blockers?
Beta Blockers are a type of drug that blocks adrenaline from working in your body.
Adrenaline is a stress hormone that is released in times of stress or anxiety. Under normal conditions, adrenaline induces an increased heart rate, enlarged pupils, and, among other things, increased blood pressure.
Beta Blockers inhibit the effects of adrenaline, which will help normalize your blood pressure if you have hypertension.
What Is Lopressor?
Lopressor is the brand name of the drug metoprolol tartrate. This medication is a beta blocker that works to inhibit the effects of adrenaline in the body.
This medication is available by prescription only. It’s taken orally and can be taken anywhere between 1 to 3 times per day.
There is also an injectable solution of Lopressor that can be injected by a doctor.
What Is Toprol?
Toprol is another brand name medication of the drug metoprolol succinate. This is another beta blocker that is very similar to Lopressor with a different salt chemical structure (tartrate in Lopressor and succinate in Toprol).
Toprol is also available by prescription only and is taken via an oral pill once per day.
Lopressor vs Toprol: Similarities
While some people might see these two drugs as interchangeable, there are actually a number of significant differences that need to be taken into account.
Both Lopressor and Toprol can be used to treat hypertension and chest pain (angina). They are also both in the same class of drugs (beta blockers) and can both be taken via an oral pill.
These two medications can have similar side effects as well. Some side effects you could expect from both Lopressor and Toprol include:
- Low blood pressure
Some serious side effects that you could experience on either of these medications are:
- Shortness of breath
- Extremely low heart rate
Any serious side effects, or effects that are affecting your everyday life, should be discussed with your doctor.
Lopressor vs Toprol: Differences
That’s where the similarities end for these two medications.
Lopressor can be taken via an oral medication or with an injection while a Toprol XL dose is administered solely with an oral medication.
The Toprol tablet is extended release, meaning it slowly releases the medication over time.
A Lopressor tablet is an immediate release medication, which means it can be taken multiple times per day depending on the dose outline by your physician.
A key difference between Lopressor and Toprol is for the treatment of other disorders and diseases besides hypertension.
Lopressor can be used to prevent heart attacks, reduce damage taken during a heart attack, and treat patients post heart attack. Lopressor can also be used to treat unstable angina and heart arrhythmias.
Toprol is not used to treat patients post-heart attack or as a heart attack preventative. It is, however, used to treat heart failure.
When taking Toprol, you could experience some side effects that you would not if you were taking Lopressor. Worsening chest pain and a worsened heart disease condition are both rare, but significant, risks associated with taking Toprol.
Both Toprol and Lopressor have generics that will likely be cheaper than the brand name version of these two beta blockers. Insurance should cover these medications.
If you are paying out of pocket or find that your insurance doesn’t cover these medications, the cost could be a factor in your decision of Lopressor vs Toprol. Lopressor can be twice the cost of Toprol both for the brand name and the generic.
Both Lopressor and Toprol can be excellent treatment options for the treatment of hypertension and chest pain. However, there are key differences that can make the decision of Lopressor vs Toprol more difficult.
If you’re at risk of heart attack or want to simultaneously treat unstable angina or arrhythmias, Lopressor could be for you. If a low cost is your top priority, perhaps Toprol is the way to go.
Whatever the case, you should discuss your options with your doctor to make sure your condition is going to be treated properly with the right medication.
For an extensive list of all types of blood pressure medications, check out our website. You’ll find information on all of your treatment options concerning your high blood pressure.