Shortage of Metoprolol Can Lead to Errors

 

Metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets have been in short supply lately. This is a generic heart and blood pressure medicine used by many consumers. The companies that make this medicine had stopped producing it because of problems with the quality of the tablets. Although the problem is beginning to resolve, the medicine may not be available when consumers try to fill or refill their prescriptions.

One option is to purchase the brand version of this medicine, Toprol XL, which is still widely available. How-ever, consumers may have to pay more for this brand name medicine. If the brand name medicine is too expensive, another option is to switch to a generic immediate-release medicine called metoprolol tartrate. However, switching from the extended-release tablets to the immediate-release tablets has caused confusion. Here 's the problem: the extended-release tablets are taken just once a day, while the immediate-release tablets are typically taken twice a day. Although a doctor might have approved the switch, consumers might take the immediate-release tablets only once a day, just like they took their extended-release tablets. Taking the immediate-release tablets just once a day may not control your blood pressure or treat your heart condition.

Here 's what you can do: Be on the lookout for this problem if you are taking metoprolol extended-release tablets. Some of the less expensive generic medicine is becoming available again, but it is still in short supply. If you have any questions about which form of the drug you are taking or how often to take it, please ask your pharmacist. Also, be sure to follow the directions on the label when you refill your prescription. They may be different than what you expect.

Created on June 1, 2009

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