Toprol XL(Metoprolol Succinate ER)
Marketed as Betaloc CR 23.75mg in New Zealand
Marketed as Betaloc CR 47.5mg in New Zealand
Marketed as Betaloc CR 95mg in New Zealand
Marketed as Betaloc CR 190mg in New Zealand
What is a generic medication?
Generic medications are significantly discounted copies of brand name medication that have the same active ingredients, intended use, dosage, side effects, effects, and route of administration as the original brand name medication. In other words, generic medications have the same pharmacological effects as their brand-name counterparts. Over half of all prescribed medications are for generic medications.
Toprol XL General Drug Information
Marketed Internationally as Betaloc CR
In some parts of the world you can buy Toprol XL under the brand name Betaloc CR.
Toprol XL belongs to a class of drugs called beta-blockers and is prescribed to patients with high blood pressure or angina (chest pain caused by the improper functioning of the heart).
Like other beta-blockers, Toprol XL helps to block the effect of adrenaline in the body, causing blood vessels to open up and the heart to beat more slowly. This reduces blood pressure and helps protect patients from heart attack, stroke or kidney problems.
Internationally Toprol XL is also sold under the brand name Betaloc.
How to Use Toprol XL
A treating physician will prescribe a medication course depending on the condition and the patient’s response. Most patients take Toprol XL once a day by mouth, with or without food.
Extended-release tablets should not be crushed or chewed as this can release all of the active substance at once, increasing the risk of adverse side effects. Patients should only split tablets with a score line, following the advice of their doctor or pharmacist.
To ensure a patient’s body adjusts well to treatment, doctors usually prescribe a small dose at the start and increase it gradually. Patients should follow the prescription carefully and, in some cases, should wait for the complete alleviation of symptoms.
Once this happens, it is important to continue taking Toprol XL as prescribed. This medication should not be stopped abruptly or without consultation with a doctor.
This drug is prescribed for routine use and should not be used to deal with sudden attacks of chest or migraine pain. Instead, drugs such as nitroglycerin or sumatriptan can help to alleviate attacks.
Before starting Toprol XL, patients need to discuss the possibility of allergic reactions to beta-blockers or any of the inactive ingredients in this medication with their physician. Patients should also mention any pre-existing conditions such as kidney and liver disease, severe dehydration or aortic stenosis, a serious condition of the heart valve.
Heart rhythm problems such as sinus dysfunction, slow heartbeat, and atrioventricular block should also be discussed. The treating physician should also be alerted if there is a history of serious allergic reactions, blood circulation problems, or breathing problems such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.
Patients should also mention conditions such as depression and other mood disorders, as well as myasthenia gravis, a muscle disease.
Diabetic patients should know that Toprol XL may make it harder to control blood sugar levels. It is important to monitor for symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst and urination. In some cases, patients may need to make changes in their diabetes management routine.
In addition, Toprol XL may also make it harder to feel one of the symptoms of low blood sugar levels, which is characterized by fast or pounding heartbeat. Other symptoms such as sweating and dizziness should remain unaffected.
Patients taking Toprol XL should limit their alcohol consumption and should also avoid operating machinery and doing activities that require high levels of concentration. There is a risk this medication can make people drowsy.
Toprol XL may harm an unborn baby. Women who are pregnant – or planning on becoming pregnant – need to have a discussion about the risks of taking this medicine with their doctor. This drug passes into breast milk.
Patients who miss a dose should take it as soon as they remember. If this happens near the time for the next dose, patients should skip the missed dose and proceed as usual. Patients should not double up the dose in order to catch up.
Toprol can interact with a number of other substances and– before starting treatment – patients must review all other prescription drugs and herbal supplements they are taking with their doctor. Starting, changing or stopping any medications should only happen with physician approval.
One product that may interact with Toprol XL is Gilenya, which is used to treat multiple sclerosis. Other products affect how metoprolol succinate, the active substance in Toprol XL, is removed from the body. These include the antimalarial drug Coartem, as well as drugs used to prevent irregular heartbeats like Rythmol.
Antidepressants such as fluoxetine and paroxetine can also interact negatively, along with the herb, St John’s wort.
Patients need to be careful with some cough medicines, diet supplements or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, as they may increase blood pressure
Toprol XL Side Effects
One of the most frequently reported side effects of taking Toprol XL is decreased sexual ability. Dizziness, drowsiness, slow heartbeat and diarrhea are other possible side effects. Patients need to inform their doctor if these side effects persist.
Some patients may experience cold hands and feet as Toprol XL may restrict blood flow to these areas. Smoking may exacerbate this effect.
Depending on the brand and form of medication, people may notice empty shell tablets appearing in their stool. This is a normal side effect and carries no risk.
Serious side effects are rare, yet it is important to monitor for very slow heartbeats and severe dizziness, trouble breathing or worsening symptoms of heart failure such as swelling ankles or feet, severe tiredness, shortness of breath and sudden weight gain.
Blue toes and fingers may indicate serious restriction of blood flow to the extremities and should be a sign for alarm. Patients should also monitor for confusion, mood swings, depression or fainting.
Signs of serious allergic reactions include rash, itching, swelling, dizziness and trouble breathing.
Toprol XL should be stored away from light or moisture and kept away from children and pets.
Unwanted medication should be disposed of properly and should not be poured into drains or flushed down the toilet. Patients should consult a pharmacist or their local waste disposal company to find out more about safe disposal methods.
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