Lopressor vs. Tenormin: Which Should I Take?


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Finding the right treatment for your anxiety symptoms can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve tried multiple medications that haven’t worked. It can be a struggle when anxiety impacts you every day, and you shouldn’t face long wait times or inconvenient commutes to get the treatment you need. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how beta-blockers Lopressor and Tenormin can treat physical symptoms of anxiety so that you can have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider about the right anxiety treatment for you.

Klarity connects you with an anxiety-trained healthcare provider within 48 hours. Schedule your appointment today, and we’ll put you in contact with a provider who will evaluate your symptoms and prescribe any necessary treatment. 

Drug ClassBeta blockerBeta blocker
Brand / Generic StatusBrand name for atenololBrand name for metoprolol

Form(s) of the Drug• Immediate-release tablet• Extended-release capsules
• Immediate-release
• Injectable solution
Standard DosageImmediate-release tablet:
• 25 mg
• 50 mg
• 100 mg
Extended-release capsules:
• 25mg
• 50mg
• 100mg
• 200mg

Immediate-release tablets:
• 25mg
• 50mg
• 100mg

Injectable solution:
• 1mg per mL
Conditions TreatedFDA-approved uses:
• High blood pressure
• Chest pain (angina)
• Post-heart attack

Off-label uses:
• Anxiety disorder
• Atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter
• Ventricular arrhythmias
• Supraventricular tachycardia
• Thyrotoxicosis
• Marfan syndrome with aortic aneurysm
• Migraine headache prevention

• Hypertension

• Supraventricular tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
• Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
• Thyrotoxic crisis (thyroid storm)
• Managing the physical symptoms of anxiety
CostBrand name:
• $392 to $432 for a 30-day supply

Generic (atenolol):
• $1 to $10 for a 30-day supply

Brand name:
• $153 to $171 for a 30-day supply

Generic (metoprolol):
• $3.50 to $15 for a 30-day supply
Side-EffectsCommon side effects:
• Fatigue or increased drowsiness
• Vertigo
• Dizziness or lightheadedness upon standing
• GI upset
• Dry mouth
• Difficulty sleeping
• Dry mouth
• Weakness
• Runny nose
• Tinnitus
• Increased anxiety
• Muscle or joint pain
• Sexual dysfunction

Serious side effects:
• Chest pain
• Severe shortness of breath
• Irregular heartbeat
• Drops in blood pressure or heart rate
Common side effects:
• Shortness of breath
• Tiredness
• Skin Rash
• Depression
• Shortness of Breath/Wheezing
• Slowed Heart Rate
• Tiredness
• Dizziness
• Diarrhea
• Itchiness
Warnings For UseContraindicated conditions:
• AV block
• Any heart condition
• Liver or kidney disease
• Diabetes
• Overactive thyroid
• Raynaud’s syndrome

Drug interactions:
• Other hypertensive medications
• Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors
• Stimulants
• Certain diabetic medications
• Antipsychotics
• Some antibiotics
• Duloxetine or Cymbalta

Contraindicated conditions:
• Asthma
• Hypoglycemia
• Hypothyroidism

Drug interactions:
• Other blood pressure medications
• Other heart medications
• Other beta blockers
• Calcium channel blockers
• Certain antidepressants

Tenormin and Lopressor are the Same Class of Drugs (Beta-Blockers)

Tenormin and Lopressor belong to the same class of drugs: beta-blockers. While beta-blockers are primarily used for blood pressure issues, they can also be prescribed to treat certain anxiety symptoms.

What Are Beta-Blockers?

Beta-blockers are also called beta-adrenergic blocking agents and are used to reduce blood pressure levels if other medications like diuretics haven’t worked. These medications can also treat people with the following conditions:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Heart failure
  • Chest pain
  • Heart attacks
  • Migraines
  • Certain types of tremors

How Do Beta-Blockers Work?

Beta-blockers stop the release of epinephrine or adrenaline in your body when you’re stressed. These medications result in a slower heart rate and expanding blood vessels, allowing your blood pressure to stabilize and your blow flow to increase.  

Tenormin and Lopressor Can Treat Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

Even though Tenormin and Lopressor aren’t primarily prescribed to treat the psychological effects of anxiety, they have been used to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety. 

What Else Does Tenormin Treat?

Tenormin, also known as atenolol, is a beta blocker used to treat issues like angina and hypertension. Additionally, this medication is used to reduce the possibility of death after a heart attack. Because of its cardiovascular effects, Tenormin is also prescribed to treat certain anxiety symptoms on an off-label basis. 

Off-label use occurs when your healthcare provider prescribes a medication that has proven effective in treating your symptoms, even though it’s not approved by the FDA to do so. FDA approval requires extensive testing and resources that aren’t always available for every medication’s use, which is why off-label prescriptions exist. 

Off-label Uses for Tenormin  

When you’re stressed or nervous about an upcoming social event or performance, your adrenaline kicks in, which results in physical symptoms of anxiety like a racing heartbeat, sweaty palms, nausea, or shaking. Tenormin has been used off-label because it blocks the activity of epinephrine, slows your heart rate, and encourages blood flow to help you relax. 

What Else Does Lopressor Treat?

Lopressor is a beta blocker known as metoprolol that’s typically used to treat cardiovascular issues like chest pain, hypertension, acute myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure. However, like Tenormin, Lopressor is used off-label to treat anxiety symptoms. 

Off-label Uses for Lopressor 

If you experience social or performance anxiety, Lopressor is used off-label to treat symptoms like sweating, nausea, increased heart rate, and dizziness. Lopressor reduces the speed and force of your heartbeat, relaxing your body and mind.

Doses, Dosage Form, and Side Effects of Lopressor 

While there are common dosages and forms of Lopressor, you must take this medication exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes. 

Common Lopressor Doses and Forms

Lopressor comes as a tablet or injection and should always be taken with food or directly after a meal. Because Lopressor treats a wide range of conditions, the common dosage varies from 100 mg to 450 mg a day. Your healthcare provider may recommend starting you on a lower dose and working your way up depending on how your body responds. Lopressor  is usually taken twice a day.

Common Lopressor Side Effects

Lopressor does have several possible side effects. If any of the following are ongoing or get worse, contact your healthcare provider to discuss switching your medication or dose.

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heartburn and gas
  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Tiredness or drowsiness 
  • Depression
  • Impotence 
  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Rash
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue

If you experience one of these more serious side effects, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling
  • Abnormal or rapid heartbeats
  • Slow heartbeats
  • Lightheadedness
  • Weight gain
  • Coldness in your hands and feet

Common Lopressor Drug Interactions

Always speak to your healthcare provider about any medications you’re currently taking before going on beta-blockers. Lopressor interacts with 492 drugs, and of the most frequently checked medications, it has moderate interactions with Lasix, Norvasc, Prednisone, and Xanax. Alcohol also interacts with Lopressor, increasing the risk for negative side effects.

How Much Does Lopressor Cost?

The cost of your Lopressor depends on the dosage your healthcare provider prescribes, the pharmacy you use, and whether or not you have insurance. You can get a 30-day supply of 100 mg for between $0.67 to $10 a month. 

Licensed providers on Klarity provide personalized treatment. Find a provider that matches your needs and preferences.

Doses, Dosage Form, and Side Effects of Tenormin   

Like other beta-blockers, Tenormin must be taken exactly as your care provider instructs to avoid adverse side effects. Additionally, Tenormin is typically preferred over Lopressor with regard to side effect profile and dosing.

Common Tenormin Doses and Forms

Tenormin is a tablet that can be taken with or without food and is typically prescribed in doses of 50 to 100 mg, depending on your symptoms. Your healthcare provider may recommend a higher dose, but it’s unlikely to surpass 200 mg. Atenolol has a longer half-life and is typically only taken once a day. For elderly patients, your care provider may recommend a lower dose beginning with 25 mg. 

Common Tenormin Side Effects

Like Lopressor, Tenormin also has the following side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Impotence
  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness

Tenormin may also include mild shortness of breath, but if you notice any of the following side effects, you should seek emergency medical care.

  • Chest pain
  • Hypotension
  • Bronchospasm
  • Pulmonary emboli 
  • Heart arrhythmias 

Common Tenormin Drug Interactions

Tenormin interacts with 449 drugs and has moderate interactions with Hydrochlorothiazide, Lasix, Norvasc, and Xanax. Using Tenormin with alcohol or multivitamins can increase the possibility of negative side effects and reduce the effectiveness of the medications. Always talk with your healthcare provider about your current medications before starting a new one. 

How Much Does Tenormin Cost?

Depending on your prescribed dosage and your pharmacy, Tenormin costs may vary. You could pay anywhere from $3.72 to $10 for 30 tablets of 50 mg. Prices may also vary based on your insurance coverage. 

Do I Need A Prescription for Tenormin or Lopressor?

Yes, you do need a prescription for Tenormin and Lopressor. It’s important to source your medications from trusted pharmacies. Selling prescription medication without requiring a prescription is illegal and can put your safety at risk. 

Beta Blocker Drug Warnings

Beta-blockers aren’t right for everyone, and it’s essential that you discuss your options thoroughly with your care provider before taking one. 

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding on Beta-Blockers

While beta-blockers like Lopressor (metoprolol) don’t have negative effects if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, Tenormin (atenolol) may not be the right choice for you. Tenormin has been found in higher amounts in breast milk and in cord blood, which can result in smaller birth weight and height or lethargic infants. 

Get Access to Anxiety Treatment Through Providers on Klarity

Accessing anxiety treatment shouldn’t involve taking off work, exhaustive commutes, or long wait times. At Klarity, we connect you with licensed care providers who will investigate your symptoms to determine the best treatment plan. 

The best part? You can access treatment from the comfort of your own home, and you don’t need insurance. If your provider prescribes medication as part of your treatment, we’ll send your medications to the pharmacy of your choice or have them delivered to your door. 

Schedule your appointment today, and Klarity will connect you with the right provider within 48 hours so that you can be on your way to living symptom-free. 

Lopressor and Tenormin Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lopressor?

Lopressor is a beta blocker typically used to treat cardiovascular issues like hypertension, chest pain, acute myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure. This medication is also used off-label to treat the physical symptoms of anxiety. 

What is Tenormin?

Tenormin is a beta blocker primarily prescribed to treat high blood pressure and chest pain. Like Lopressor, it’s also used off-label to reduce the physical effects of anxiety. 

Are Lopressor, Tenormin, and other Beta-Blockers the same drug?

While Lopressor and Tenormin belong to the same drug class of beta-blockers, they’re not the same drug. Each one has different side effects and dosage recommendations and should only be taken at the suggestion of your healthcare provider. 

What’s better for anxiety? Lopressor or Tenormin?

You and your healthcare provider must determine which beta blocker is the best to treat your anxiety symptoms. While Lopressor has been around for a long time, Tenormin is typically preferred over Lopressor with regard to side effect profile and dosing.

Can I drink alcohol on Lopressor or Tenormin?

Alcohol interacts with both Lopressor and Tenormin, which can reduce the effectiveness of the medications and increase your risk for negative side effects. If you’re drinking, speak with your healthcare provider about whether or not you should take beta-blockers. 

Does it matter what time of day I take Lopressor or Tenormin?

Lopressor and Tenormin can make you drowsy, so it’s important to understand how your body responds to each medication before operating heavy machinery or driving. Tenormin has a longer half-life and is typically only taken once a day, while Lopressor is usually taken twice a day. Your healthcare provider may recommend you take your initial dose before bedtime to learn how you react before taking it during the day. 


Mayo Clinic Staff. “Beta Blockers” Mayo Clinic


Philip Thornton. “Tenormin” Drugs.com


“Atenolol For Anxiety – What You Need to Know” PerformanceAnxiety.com 


John P. Cunha. “Lopressor” RxList


Femi Aremu. “Atenolol, Oral Tablet” Healthline


“Lopressor Dosage” Drugs.com


Charles Patrick Davis. “Lopressor Side Effects” RxList


“Lopressor Interactions” Drugs.com


“Lopressor” GoodRx


John P. Cunha. “Atenolol Side Effects” RxList


“Tenormin Interactions” Drugs.com


“Tenormin” GoodRx


“Atenolol” National Library of Medicine


“Atenolol Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings” Drugs.com


Medically Reviewed By Dr. Zoe Russell

Dr. Zoe Russell received a dual bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, pursued a master’s degree in public health from Michigan State University, and received her doctorate in osteopathic medicine from Michigan State’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2021. Currently, Dr. Russell is completing her residency training in family medicine and hopes to specialize in female reproductive and mental health.

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