Blood Pressure Home > Toprol and Erectile Dysfunction

While erectile dysfunction was not reported in clinical trials of Toprol-XL, since the medication was approved, it has been reported among men taking it. Because this condition is so common within the general population, it is difficult to say for sure whether this is caused by Toprol-XL, other factors, or both. If you experience erectile dysfunction with Toprol-XL, discuss it with your healthcare provider.

Is Erectile Dysfunction a Side Effect of Toprol-XL?

Toprol-XL® (metoprolol succinate) is a beta blocker that is used to treat several conditions, such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and congestive heart failure. As with all medicines, side effects are associated with Toprol-XL. In clinical studies prior to the drug's approval, no sexual side effects were reported. Since Toprol-XL was approved, however, erectile dysfunction has been reported in rare cases. Sexual side effects, including erectile dysfunction and a decrease in sex drive, have also been reported with other beta blockers.

Understanding Clinical Trials

Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies where thousands of people are given a particular medicine and compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. Side effects are then usually separated into those that occur in more than 1 percent of people (common side effects) and those that occur in less than 1 percent of people (rare side effects). Sexual side effects, such as a decrease in sex drive (libido) or erectile dysfunction, were not reported as either common or rare side effects with Toprol-XL during these studies.
Yet, clinical trials are designed to factor out many possible variables in order to understand whether the medicine works and its possible side effects. This means that once a medicine is approved, it is possible that new side effects may occur, since a wider range of people are now taking the medicine and for longer periods. However, once a medicine is approved, there are usually no more studies conducted on it, so certain side effects that occur only rarely may never be documented (especially if it is not a serious side effect). Thus, in some people, it's possible that a medicine may cause a side effect that hasn't been reported before.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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