Are you looking for a new high-blood pressure medication? Our guide on Bystolic vs. Metoprolol will help you determine which drug is best for you.


High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a rising issue in the United States. Caused by anything from genetics and aging to diet and lifestyle habits, increased blood pressure places extra stress on your heart, putting you at risk for heart disease, heart attack, and a myriad of cardiac problems.

Once you hit age 18, your doctor starts administering regular blood pressure tests. If your results are 140/90 mm Hg or higher, you may need to start using beta-blockers. Two of the most common treatment options are Bystolic and Toprol XL. Read through our Bystolic vs. metoprolol guide to learn more about their side effects, recommended dosage amounts, and how ClarityX testing can help you choose between them.

Bystolic vs. Metoprolol: What Are They?

Both Bystolic and metoprolol belong to a class of drugs called beta-blockers. Bystolic is a brand-name version of nebivolol, while Toprol XL is a generic drug available underneath certain brands (such as Lopressor and Toprol XL).

As beta-blockers enter the body, they inhibit the function of your epinephrine hormone (more commonly known as adrenaline). This slows down the heartbeat, widens veins and arteries, and ultimately reduces blood pressure. Beta-blockers can also be effective for the following conditions:

  • Arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm)
  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Heart failure or failure
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Heart attack

The biggest difference between Bystolic and metoprolol is that the former is primarily used to treat hypertension, while the latter is used to lower blood pressure, minimize chest pain and improve health after a heart attack.

Bystolic vs. Metoprolol: Dosage

Because they have different potencies (or strengths), Bystolic and metoprolol each have their own unique dosage requirements. The table below focuses on Bystolic and a major brand of metoprolol: Lopressor. It outlines the differences in recommended starting dosages, duration before the drug hits, and amount of time effects last.

It’s important to note that doses differ depending on what you’re treating. For example, the recommended dosage amount for hypertension is usually higher than the starting dose for congestive heart failure.

The amount of time it takes for effects to hit may also vary from person to person. In general, a 100 mg dose of Lopressor should take about two hours to work. However, in a person with a slow metabolism, it can take several hours for the effects to take effect.

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Bystolic vs. Metoprolol: Side Effects

Both Bystolic and metoprolol affect the hormones present in your body. As you undergo these changes, it’s normal to experience a few side effects, such as:

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Fatigue and lightheadedness
  • Nausea and minor pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irregular heartbeat

Typically, Bystolic causes fewer adverse effects than metoprolol, which is why it’s usually preferred when treating High blood pressure by itself. Side effects linked to Toprol XL include shortness of breath, weight gain, and swelling.

It’s possible for any new user to experience a few of these symptoms. However, if side effects are overwhelming, or if they don’t go away after some time, it may be a sign of poor metabolism. If you break down drugs more slowly than the standard individual, they’ll be left in your system for longer than recommended (leading to negative health effects). Fortunately, there’s a solution available: pharmacogenetic testing.

DNA Testing For Beta Blockers

Every individual has valuable information stored inside their DNA molecules. Pharmacogenetic testing, also known as DNA and genetic testing, takes this information and uses it to help people and their healthcare providers make safer, better decisions about their health. Here’s how it works:

  • The patient provides a DNA sample
  • The test pinpoints genes responsible for making the enzymes that metabolize drugs
  • The test then reveals how rapidly you metabolize certain medications

Inside each DNA molecule are genetic sequences that produce proteins called enzymes. Some of these enzymes — particularly cytochrome P450 (CYP) — are in charge of metabolizing, or breaking down, medications (including Bystolic and Lopressor).

If your CYP450 enzymes respond too quickly or slowly to beta-blockers, it can influence how effective the medication is. For example, say your results show that you metabolize drugs very slowly — to compensate for this, you’ll need a medication that acts quickly (such as Lopressor). On the flip side, say you metabolize quickly — this indicates you should start off with a higher dosage.

Where Can I Find DNA Testing?

Now that you understand the benefits of DNA testing, you might be wondering where you can find a test for yourself. At ClarityX, we offer reliable, high-quality DNA tests that can be completed in your own home. There are two types of tests:

  • Mindwell test: Our Mindwell test focuses on medications designed for mental health conditions (including depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). More specifically, it tests your response to antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, SSNRI’s and SSRI’s.
  • Max Rx test: The Max Rx test is a thorough test that covers medications from 31 different therapeutic areas, such as cardiology, neurology, and oncology. It also includes everything in Mindwell, which includes both nebivolol (Bystolic) and metoprolol (Lopressor).

Simply send in a saliva sample, and we’ll give you a detailed, personalized report that can be shared with your healthcare provider. Click here to learn more.

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