Generic Anti-Hypertensive Differs from Original and May Raise Blood Pressure
An investigation by ConsumerLab.com of generic versions of the popular anti-hypertensive Toprol XL reveals that generics sold by two companies appear to differ from the original drug in how they dissolve and in their inactive ingredients. These differences may help explain complaints by consumers who have been switched to a generic version. Prior to generic competition, which began in late 2006, annual sales of Toprol XL were $1.7 billion according to IMS Health, placing it among the top-selling anti-hypertensive medications.
Dramatic increases in blood pressure and increased heart rate are among the complaints reported by people switched to generic versions of Toprol XL. Other reported side effects include nausea, dizziness, hives and headaches, including migraines – most of which do not typically occur with Toprol XL. The reported symptoms generally subside when returned to the original drug. ConsumerLab.com has received complaints through its report form at http://www.consumerlab.com/GenericReport.asp. Complaints received by The People’s Pharmacy appear at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.
ConsumerLab.com’s report compares Toprol XL to generics sold by Eon Labs (a division of Sandoz), Ethex (a division of KV Pharmaceutical), and Par Pharmaceutical. Some of the generics contain multiple inactive ingredients not present in Toprol XL, a potential issue for people with chemical sensitivities. ConsumerLab.com also found that some generics sold as “Metoprolol Succinate Extended-release Tablets USP” may not comply with the official USP dissolution test. This is of concern because the rate at which a generic dissolves may affect the rate at which it enters the blood. If blood levels for a generic differ from that of its counterpart original, it may not perform the same way. Use of “USP” in the name of a generic may also lead pharmacists and physicians to believe that it behaves like the original Toprol XL, when that may not be the case.
The new report is found at www.consumerlab.com/results/Toprol_XL_metoprolol_succinate. In addition to product comparisons, the report provides useful strategies for obtaining a desired brand at low cost.
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