Toprol Shortage: easiest way to handle it

by Caleb Reading

We’re now completely out of both the brand and the generic for Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate), so we’ve been having to call everyone’s doctor and get a new phoned-in prescription for something different.  The obvious replacement is generic Lopressor (metoprolol tartrate), which is pretty much the same except it’s not an XL (extended release) drug.  The generic Lopressor is taken twice a day, instead of just once, and its cash price is actually cheaper than generic Toprol XL.  You might just decide to stay on it even after the shortage ends.

Most doctors are keeping the patient on the same total dose, meaning if you’re on 50 milligrams of the XL once a day you’ll probably be given 25 milligrams of the non-XL twice a day.  But not all doctors are keeping the dose the same.  And some doctors might want to switch you to something other than metoprolol tartrate (although I don’t know why).  But keep in mind that we can not change this prescription without the doctor’s authorization.  Yelling at us won’t help.  It’s illegal.  We won’t do it.

In other words, do not wait until you are completely out of pills to get it filled.  Try to get it filled a few days ahead of time, and request the refill at a time of day when your doctor’s office is actually open.  We can’t reach the doctor if the clinic is closed.  Seriously.  A doctor is more likely to give you their private phone number than give it to us.  And we can’t change the prescription if the doctor can’t be reached to sign off on it.  That’s illegal.  Yelling at us won’t make it legal.  It’ll just make our job suck more than it already does.


To find the most recent posts about the Toprol recalls and shortage, CLICK HERE.