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Can I switch from Metoprolol to Atenolol?

Answered by: Dr. O.P. Yadava
CEO & Chief Cardiac Surgeon,
National Heart Institute,
New Delhi

Q. I am a 38 years old woman having adult atrial septal defect (ASD). I had a surgery 3 years back but still have irregular heartbeats. The doctor prescribed Metoprolol (Toprol XL 25mg) 3 months back. Today he suggested Atenolol 25 mg. Is it alright to switch drugs like that because I took Metoprolol this morning and now I am supposed to start taking Atenolol from tomorrow morning. Don't they react with one another?

A.  When ever ASD surgery is performed in the third or fourth decade of life, irregular rhythms of the heart, specially from upper chambers are fairly frequent. Both the drugs, that is Metoprolol and Atenolol, belong to the same group called beta blockers and changing from one to another is not an issue and they do not react with one another. So if your cardiologist has advised you to change to Atenolol, I think you can change safely and not worry about any interactions.

A.  When ever ASD surgery is performed in the third or fourth decade of life, irregular rhythms of the heart, specially from upper chambers are fairly frequent. Both the drugs, that is Metoprolol and Atenolol, belong to the same group called beta blockers and changing from one to another is not an issue and they do not react with one another. So if your cardiologist has advised you to change to Atenolol, I think you can change safely and not worry about any interactions.

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