Heart Rhythm Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Switch TO Generic Metoprolol FROM Toprol XL

I just discovered this after 3 months of total misery, 7 different doctors, multiple tests, 1 hospitalization, 16 pound weight loss, almost lost my job, etc., etc., etc..  I want to know if this will have permanent effects on my body and heart and will I ever be the same again.  I still don't feel 100% and have been back on the brand TOPROL XL for 9 days now.  Keep in mind I didn't know what was happening to me, I never thought twice about the switch to generic, it was cheaper and I also had a lot of stress going on in my life at the time.  

My pharmacacy switched my "Toprol XL 50 mg" to a Generic one called "Metoprolol Succinate ER 50 mg" (manufactured by Sandoz) in December 2007.  I have been on some form of Beta Blockers for years due to PVC's, AVNRT, Bigeminy, Trigeminy and Couplets.  I've had EP studies and attempted ablations in the past, but they were unsuccessful.  For the last 2 years I had been under control on this med.  Within a week of starting the new generic, I was at my eye doctor because my left eye went from 20/20 to 20/60 and was so blurry that I felt like I had suntan lotion or something in it.  Since then I have been to a Neurologist, Neuro-Ophthalmologist, Endocrinologist, Gastrointerologist, Ear Nose and Throat Doctor, Cardiologist, and many more.  My arrhythmias came back with a vengance, I got depression, I couldn't sleep, my chest hurt, my BP was like 85/45, I lost 16 pounds and couldn't eat.  I was almost passing out, seeing stars, I had bigeminy/trigeminy day and night for days on end, I was crying for nothing, very moody, I was coughing and wheezing, I had tingling in my arms and hands, loud ringing in my ears, I couldn't concentrate let alone think.  I had tons of blood work that the doctors said,  "just didn't look right".  Upper GI test discovered a hiatal hernia, MRI discovered brain lesions, I had a high red blood cell count (but not enemic), my ferritin was high, my blood sugar was high, I was tested for MS, Lupus, thyroid, everything was borderline for these diseases!  I thought I was going to die, I had never been depressed in my life and this was the worst.  I was beginning to think I was a hypocondriac.  But, it was all there on paper, all the tests showed something wrong, but they didn't know what.  

I googled toprol brand versus generic and found out that it wasn't just me, thousands of people have had these same reactions since they started taking making Generic Toprol.   Please read up on it, everyone who writes their story can't be wrong (there is at least one from every state complaining of the same thing).  I've been taking the old TOPROL XL BRAND for the last 9 days and my arrhythmias have completely stopped, I have an appetite again and the depression has lifted.  I hope it didn't cause any permanent damage.

I know this is probably happening to people everywhere who don't have access to the internet or maybe don't get out much.  If you ask the pharmacist, they will tell you that they are exactly the same and they are NOT.  The generic may work perfectly for you, but it doesn't work for all.  I just wish I would have discovered it about 3 months ago. They thought for sure I had either MS or Lupus and were trying to rule out all the mimics of these very serious diseases.  I'm going back to my doctors and have them repeat all the blood tests, etc. to make sure everything is back to normal.  

13 Responses
230125 tn?1193365857
I haven't heard of this before.  I am sorry but I didn't see any questions -- I assume the question is have I seen this before and I have not.

Thanks for posting.
Avatar universal
Sorry, my question was will this have any lasting effects on my heart or body and when can I expect that I will be back to normal?  For instance, how long does it take to get out of my system?  I'll be going back to the Doctors that treated me and have them re-run the blood work, etc.  

I'm really surprised you have not heard of this before, could you perhaps look it up?  I think people could be really suffering out there like I was and they really need to be put back on the TOPROL XL brand.  My medical bills just since Dec 07 are 6 inches thick and I'm sure my insurance company won't be happy to hear that it was all because they tried to save money and make me take the generic.  

Interestingly, I looked for any connection in breast fibroadenomas (they recently discovered 6 in each breast) and in clinical studies when they gave rats 750 times more Toprol than normal, they developed mammary fibroadenomas...
230125 tn?1193365857
The problem is that if you do a google search for just about anything, you can find.  Almost all my patients are on generic medications including generic toprol xl. There are some medications that have a recognized difference between brand name and generic, and there are some brand name drugs that do not have generics because they were too difficult to produce.  

The medication will be out of your system in less than 5 days.  As far as lasting effects, it is difficult to say.  Like I mentioned, I have not heard of this happening before and have no personal experience with it.  If it is caused by the medication, it would depend on the mechanism for the side effects and whether it was a direct effect of the drug (easy to reverese) or another cause (allergic, autoimmune, etc).

I wish you a speedy recovery.
Avatar universal
HI I just read your post.  I was taking Toprol xl for over a year for sinus tach.  My pharmacy switched me to the generic brand.  2 weeks later I started getting skipped beats (PVC I presume).  I had never had them before.  Went to the cardio and he didn't think it could be the generic brand, but switched me back to Toprol. It has been almost a month and I am still getting pvc's.   I do believe it was the generic.  If we don't complain, then no one will know.
Avatar universal
I was at my doctors today and he prescribed Toprol XL 25mg's this is a first for me and I havent been taking it before BUT he told me to NOT get the generic brand of this, he said MAKE SURE the pharmecy gets you the TOPROL XL and not generic because it doesnt work as well and there has been some big complaints. SO there is something behind it all......
Avatar universal
I was prescribed Toprol XL 25mg in early 2005 for frequent benign PVC's and after approximately a year of taking them my pvc's were essentially stopped! Well then around the summer of 2007 the pharmacy.. well insurance of my company, switched me to the generic brand that you mentioned... WITHIN ONE DAY the pvc's were back. So i switched back immediately ( generic price 4 dollars and toprol 26 per scrip) and AFTER 2 DAYS!!! they were back under control... Interestingly, a couple of times i ran out of the toprol and had quite a few of the generic... so i took one to "get by" and i noticed pvc on the increase... SO i DO KNOW that there is something to your situation too and i think this should be LOOKED INTO!! Thanks for sharing because hopefully this will bring something to light!
Avatar universal
Well, It's been almost a month since I got back on the brand TOPROL XL and I feel like I have my life back.  Everyone who has ever experienced PVC's or arrhythmias will tell you that once they start, they ruin your day/week/month.  I had a horrible 3 months on the generic Metoprolol Succinate ER.  In summary, these were the symptoms that I had, while on the generic.  They are documented in my medical records:

-Flashing lights and Aura's like a migraine but with no headache to speak of
-Eyeballs ached
-Very blurry vision
-Loud ringing in ears (Tinnitus)
-Tingling and numbness in feet, arms and legs
-Food and pills felt like they were getting stuck in my throat (now I have a hiatal hernia)
-Depression, mood swings, crying
-Memory/word recall was terrible, couldn't think straight
-PVC's 24/7 which made my Blood pressure 85/45
-16 pound weight loss
-blood sugar was high
-red blood cell count was low
-Developed 12 fibroadenomas in breasts (didn't have any on my prior mammogram)

I'm happy to report that these symptoms all went away within a month of switching back to "Brand" Toprol XL.  I hope anyone out there (that this might be happening to) recognizes the symptoms.  All generics are NOT THE SAME.  

I was speaking to a friend of a friend who has had arrhythmias since she was 20 years old (she's my age 45) and this exact same thing happened to her.  I couldn't believe my ears....since starting the generic back in Dec 2007, she has had...15 pound weight loss, PVC's returned, low blood pressure, Hiatal hernia, confusion, depression, blurry vision, tingling in hands, basically all of the above.  Interestingly we are both allergic to pennicillin.  After we spoke, she called her doctor and he denied that it could be the generic!!!  When are they going to admit this?  It's very scary and uncalled for.  These drug companies should have to walk around with PVC's and any one of these symptoms for a day or two and see how they feel.  This is unbelievable.  
Avatar universal
Add On:  One other symptom that has thankfully gone away - I had MAJOR leg cramps (charlie horse type) in my lower legs and feet at night.  They have stopped since I got off the Metoprolol.
Avatar universal
Years ago I worked as an analytical chemist in a pharmaceutical co. doing quality control. That co. produced generics. It was a small company. That being said, I always ask my Dr. the brand name. For some things it's not as important, antibiotics or topicals. Any thing with a lower dosage(mg) or time released I would go with the brand name. Although Sandoz is a very good co. I take inderal, immediate dose, that is not brand name,because the brand name co. doesn't make a 10mg pill anymore. I haven't had any problems with this manufacturer. You can ask your pharmacist which co. made the pill and any info he has about them.
Avatar universal
I am so sorry to hear about all the problems you had with metoprolol.  I am a 44 yr old female.  About a month ago I was diagnosed with runs of SVT and PVCs.  I was placed on Metoprolol 25mgs a day and I feel like a new person.  I am using a generic made by Caraco.  I am happy to say that I feel better than I have felt in years.  I had the SVT and PVCs for years but none of my other cardiologists thought they were frequent enough to treat.  Is that because they were males?  I went to a female cardiologist and finally I am SVT free. I just hope that I don't develop any of the problems that you had to endure.
Avatar universal

I'm happy to hear that Metoprolol works for you.  It's awesome to wake up and not have those little devils wake up with you!!  I dont' think you'll have any problems.  It sounds like you are taking the NON extended release form once a day and it's working and that's awesome.  Beta Blockers as a whole are a wonder drug.  They make things flow smoother.  They have always worked for me...I just can't take the generics I guess.
My problem is, my heart gets used to the medication and it needs a constant dose of it 24/7 or it goes nuts.  With the GENERIC METOPROLOL BY SANDOZ, I wasn't getting the constant dose like I did with the brand name one.  Something about the binding capacity.  It wouldn't stay in my system for the 24 hours like the other one and the ingredients weren't the same.  I was told to send a sample of the generic to an independent lab for testing.  I just might do that.  I had some crazy, scary side effects as you can see from my post.

Take care and enjoy being PVC free, it's wonderful isn't it!  

Avatar universal

The subject of Generic Metoprolol Succinate ER not working as well as the brand was recently in the news.  Consumer Labs (an independent testing lab) and People's Pharmacy had so many complaints about the generic Toprol XL (as in the above posts) that both companies made formal complaints to the FDA.  There is merit to our complaints.  If you do a search, you can read the recent articles....apparently this happened with some brands of generic Wellbutrin also.

To anyone who has suffered serious side effects of Metoprolol Succinate ER (Generic form of Toprol XL), please take 5 minutes and fill out an FDA medwatch form.  The web site is:  https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/

They need to hear this from the patients, most of the doctors I've dealt with claim that generics are all the same and I can't imagine them taking the time to fill out a complaint form when they don't believe it is the generic medication causing the problem in the first place.

Avatar universal
I take Metoprolol and have a pacemaker.   I also have terrible thunderous noise in my right ear.   No Doctor gives me an answer to my problem.  The noise started 3months after placement of my pacemaker..
Who has an answer???  
Popular Resources
Are there grounds to recommend coffee consumption? Recent studies perk interest.
Salt in food can hurt your heart.
Get answers to your top questions about this common — but scary — symptom
How to know when chest pain may be a sign of something else
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.