Atenolol vs Metoprolol – Which Is Better For Hypertension?


It is the generic name of a brand medication called Tenormin – a beta-blocker that affects circulation (blood flow through veins and arteries) and the heart. This medicine was originally approved by the FDA in 1981.


It is typically used to treat hypertension as well as chest pain and angina (chest discomfort caused by the fact that the heart muscle doesn’t get sufficient oxygen-rich blood).


To treat high blood pressure, the usual initial dose is 50 mg orally once per day. The maintenance dosage is 50 to 100 mg orally once per day.

Note – doses higher than 100 mg once per day did not result in considerable additional antihypertensive effects only an increase in side effects.

Side Effects And Precaution Of Tenormin

Common side effects may include:

  • feeling tired;
  • dizziness;
  • depressed mood.

Rare side effects may include:

  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • worsening chest pain;
  • a cold feeling in your feet and hands;
  • rapid weight gain;
  • swelling;
  • shortness of breath;
  • slow or uneven heartbeats.

To make sure that this medicine is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • coronary artery disease (occurs when the arteries which supply blood to heart muscle become narrowed and hardened);
  • congestive heart failure (happens when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the body’s requirements);
  • type 2 diabetes;
  • emphysema;
  • overactive thyroid;
  • bronchitis;
  • kidney disease;
  • asthma;
  • liver disease;
  • allergies to any type of medication;
  • peripheral vascular disease, like – Raynaud’s syndrome;
  • tumor of the adrenal gland (pheochromocytoma);
  • kidney disease.


Because it may harm an unborn child, this medication is not recommended during pregnancy. In addition, according to studies, it passes into breast milk and negatively affects the infant, hence, if you are breastfeeding a baby, do not use this medicine.


Alcohol intake while taking this medication can substantially increase the risk of adverse effects.


It is the generic name of a brand drug called Lopressor or Toprol-XL. This medicine is a beta-blocker, meaning that it affects the heart and circulation.

This medicine was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1978.

Mechanism of Action

Beta-blockers prevent norepinephrine from acting on beta receptors in the heart and in blood vessels. This causes blood vessels to relax and leads to a lower blood pressure that reduces chest pain.

In addition, when used in combination with amiodarone, Lopressor could effectively prevent atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) after heart surgery.


It is typically used to reduce chest pain and to lower high blood pressure. Furthermore, after a heart attack, it reduces the amount of work the heart muscle has to do to push blood through the body.


To treat hypertension, the usual initial recommended dose is 100 mg orally in 1 or 2 divided doses. The maintenance dosage is 100 to 450 mg per day.

Side Effects And Precaution Of Lopressor 

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea;
  • stomach pain;
  • dizziness;
  • depression;
  • a runny nose;
  • tiredness;
  • cold hands and feet;
  • dry mouth;
  • itching;
  • constipation;
  • heartburn;
  • bloating;
  • vomiting.

Rare side effects may include:

  • fainting;
  • shortness of breath;
  • irregular heartbeat;
  • wheezing;
  • pounding heartbeat;
  • unusual weight gain;
  • swelling of the feet, hands, ankles, or lower legs.

Drugs Interactions

It may negatively interact with other drugs, therefore, tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you are using, including:

  • terbinafine (an antifungal medication which is used to treat ringworm);
  • prazosin (a sympatholytic drug that is used to treat high blood pressure);
  • an ergot medicine – ergonovine, dihydroergotamine, methylergonovine, ergotamine;
  • medicines used to treat mental illness, such as – fluphenazine haloperidol, chlorpromazine, thioridazine;
  • an MAO inhibitor – linezolid, isocarboxazid,  phenelzine, selegiline, rasagiline,  tranylcypromine;
  • heart or blood pressure drugs, including – amlodipine, digoxin, clonidine, diltiazem, dipyridamole, methyldopa, hydralazine, nifedipine, verapamil, quinidine, reserpine, and others;
  • an antidepressant – bupropion, desipramine, clomipramine, paroxetine, duloxetine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline.


There are no conclusive clinical studies to say that this medication is safe during pregnancy, thus, avoid using it if you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant.

In addition, it passes into breast milk and may negatively affect the infant, so avoid taking this medication if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Atenolol vs Metoprolol – Which Is Better For Hypertension? 

Blood pressure is a combination of diastolic and systolic pressure. Diastolic pressure represents the blood pressure shown when the heart is at rest and systolic pressure is the blood force while the heart is beating.

Blood pressure types:

  • stage 2 high blood pressure – systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg;
  • stage 1 high blood pressure – systolic between 130–139 mm Hg or diastolic between 80–89;
  • prehypertension – systolic between 120–129 mm Hg and diastolic less than 80;
  • normal – less than 120/80 mm Hg.

Although these medicines have similar effects on blood pressure reduction, they have different effects on vascular function. In addition, neither has an effect on vascular endothelial (regulates the passage of macromolecules and circulating cells from blood to tissues) function.

Therefore, one medication is not better than the other, however, one may treat your specific condition better depending on numerous factors. Let your doctor decide which is best for you.

On the other hand, both have plenty of side effects and don’t really treat the real cause of hypertension – an unhealthy lifestyle.

6 Home Remedies for High Blood Pressure

#1 Reduce Your Sodium Intake

Sodium (40 percent of table salt) intake is high around the world most likely due to prepared and processed foods. It is recommended to limit your sodium intake to under 2,300 mg a day. This is little over half a tsp of table salt.

#2 Vitamin-D

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, may reduce blood pressure, according to a study issued in “The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.” However, since people are spending less time outdoors, they are becoming vitamin D deficient.

#3 Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus naturally manages blood pressure as well as it acts as a diuretic, that draws unnecessary sodium from the bloodstream, hence, decreasing the pressure on the arterial walls.

#4 Garlic

A few studies have established the blood pressure lowering effects of garlic. It also reduces LDL and total cholesterol levels.

#5 Lose Weight

Being overweight or obese can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep, which further raises your blood pressure.

#6 Physical Exercise

Along with helping lower blood pressure, any type of physical activity benefits your strength, mood, and it decreases your risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and depression.

The best types of physical exercises for lowering blood pressure include jogging, walking, cycling, dancing, or swimming.

Image credit – Shutterstock

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