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What Are the Different Types of Metoprolol Tablets?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Metoprolol tablets vary in dosage, color, shape, and release type. They are sold under a variety of regional brand names. No matter the name, this well-known beta blocker is commonly available in two slightly different formulas. These are metoprolol succinate and tartrate, and they have similarities and differences.

In general, metoprolol tablets may come in strengths from 25 milligrams (mg) to 200 mg. Many of the lower strength pills are round, but stronger ones are often oval in shape. Some of these tablets may be scored for easy splitting. Though this varies by manufacturer, pills may be plain white or could be many other colors.

One of the big differences in metoprolol tablets is whether they are made in an extended release (XR) formula. Metoprolol succinate is the XR version of the drug. Most individuals who use the XR formula take one pill daily. In contrast, metoprolol tartrate is not an extended release formula. Most patients will therefore take two to three doses each day.

Additionally, extended and regular release formulas may be used for slightly different conditions. Both tablets can treat high blood pressure and angina. Doctors more frequently prescribe metoprolol succinate, the XR version, as a treatment for congestive heart failure. XR tablets are also available in a combined form with hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic, for more extensive heart failure management. Conversely, physicians often recommend the regular release drug as a protective measure after a heart attack has occurred.

Distinctions between the two types of metoprolol tablets are also noted in their action. Extended release forms have lower initial bioavailability than the regular release drug. Pharmacists note that this tends to catch up within 24 hours, and the two drug types are thought equally effective.

Another difference in metoprolol tablets is patient access. Sometimes metoprolol succinate is less available or it might only be purchasable under a brand name. This may occasionally require patients to use the tartrate form, instead. When the succinate version of the drug is unavailable to a patient, doctors might also recommend a different medication, especially for congestive heart failure.

Different types of metoprolol tablets share some things in common, in addition to similar treatment recommendations. They’re both likely to contain some similar inactive ingredients, including cellulose compounds, polyethylene glycol, and titanium dioxide. Different manufacturers may change the inactive ingredients, and people sensitive to certain substances may want to get a list of them before taking any form of the medication.

Other forms of metoprolol exist. It is available for intravenous use or injection in hospital settings. Some pharmacies can prepare an elixir version of the drug for use by young children who are in congestive heart failure.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By ZipLine — On Dec 10, 2014

The lowest dose of metoprolol tartrate is 25mg correct? And is the highest dose 100mg?

I'm on 75mg right now. So I use 50mg tablets. I take one 50mg tablet and then I take half of another one to complete it to 75mg. It's easy because the tablets have a line across them to break them into half easily.

By stoneMason — On Dec 10, 2014

@ddljohn-- You really ought to use what your doctor has prescribed. I don't believe that any doctor would not be aware of metoprolol extended release. If you do have issue with what you're on right now, tell your doctor about it and ask him if metoprolol extended release would be better.

I'm on extended release and the main advantage is that I have to take it less often because the drug is released slowly, staying in my system longer. Regular metoprolol takes effect right away but also leaves the system more quickly. So it has to be taken more frequently. If your doctor doesn't have a specific preference for regular metoprolol, you could ask to be switched to extended release, especially if you're forgetting your doses.

By ddljohn — On Dec 09, 2014

So which type of metoprolol tablet is best for high blood pressure --regular or extended release? And what about for patients who also have anxiety?

My doctor prescribed regular metoprolol but I'm not sure if that's because it's better for me or if my doctor is not aware of the extended release version. I have both high blood pressure and minor anxiety.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
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