Toprol and Depression
Side effects may occur with the use of Toprol-XL, and depression might be one of them. In clinical trials, depression was reported in up to 5 percent of people taking Toprol-XL. However, because depression is so common in the general population, it is unclear whether this medication and other beta blockers actually cause depression or if it is the result of other factors.
Just like any medicine, Toprol-XL® (metoprolol succinate) may cause side effects. Depression does appear to be one of the common side effects reported in clinical studies involving the medication; however, it is difficult to determine whether this depression is actually caused by Toprol-XL, other factors, or a combination of both.
Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies in which 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 taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients).
In these studies, depression was a reported side effect of Toprol-XL, occurring in up to 5 percent of people. However, it is not clear if depression was more common in people taking Toprol-XL, compared to people taking a placebo (this information was not provided in the prescribing information for Toprol-XL).
The title of a research study published by Ried and colleagues sums up what the scientific literature says about depression and Toprol-XL: "Beta-blockers and Depression: the More the Murkier?" Despite a lot of research in this area, healthcare providers cannot say with certainty that beta blockers, including Toprol-XL, cause depression; however, they also cannot say with certainty that beta blockers do not cause it.