Can You Crush Metoprolol?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not metoprolol tablets can crushed.

Question

Hi, I have a question. Can you crush metoprolol tablets?

Asked by Daiph On Jun 22, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Jun 22, 2022
Last updated Jun 22, 2022

Key points

  • There are two different forms of metoprolol available, metoprolol succinate and metoprolol tartrate.
  • Metoprolol tartrate can be crushed while metoprolol succinate (an extended-release product) cannot.

Hello and thanks for reaching out!

The answer to this depends on which form of metoprolol you are talking about, as it is available as:

  • Metoprolol tartrate
  • Metoprolol succinate

Metoprolol tartrate is an immediate-release version of the drug while metoprolol succinate is the extended-release version.

Which Can You Crush?

Metoprolol tartrate (generic for Lopressor) can safely be crushed. Doing so will not alter how the medication works

Metoprolol succinate (generic for Toprol XL) on the other hand, cannot be crushed as it is an extended-release product. Doing so will destroy the extended-release mechanism, causing all of the medication to be released at once.

Interesting enough, metoprolol succinate can be split and is scored (i.e. has a break line in the middle of the tablet). This is uncommon among extended-release drugs and metoprolol succinate is one of the few extended-release drugs where splitting is okay.

Metoprolol succinate can be split due to how the extended-release mechanism works. Each tablet contains contains a number of small controlled release pellets, which are evenly dispersed throughout the tablet. This can be seen in the image below.

Metoprolol Succinate Tablet

Each pellet acts as their own delivery device, and splitting the tablets will not destroy them. For this reason, the tablet can be split. However, as mentioned, the tablets cannot be crushed, as doing so will destroy these pellets.

Final Words

Thanks again for your question!

I hope this answer helped.

Please feel free to reach out to us again in the future.

References

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication related questions!

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