The Importance of Access to Blood Pressure Medications

By Rick R. Suarez, Head of Mature Brands, AstraZeneca 

The health care industry is rapidly evolving including how patients access their medications. I am proud to share that one constant patients can count on in the ever-changing health care marketplace is AstraZeneca’s commitment to high quality manufacturing standards and ensuring access to important medications.

Did you know? •Beta blockers like Toprol-XL are mainstay medications for treating high blood pressure •Our patented microencapsulation technology allows for 24-hour extended release of the active ingredients to maintain consistent plasma levels in a once-daily dose.

Did you know?
• Beta blockers like Toprol-XL are mainstay medications for treating high blood pressure
• Our patented microencapsulation technology allows for 24-hour extended release of the active ingredients to maintain consistent plasma levels in a once-daily dose.

Ongoing access to medicines is extremely important when treating chronic conditions like cardiovascular diseases. Over the years, AstraZeneca has consistently demonstrated a commitment to this disease area. We know that millions of Americans suffer from cardiovascular diseases, and that one in three Americans live with hypertension or high blood pressure. Left untreated or under-treated, this disease can cause fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events such as strokes and myocardial infarctions.

Backed by our promise to patients, we are proud to continue to sell branded  TOPROL-XL® (metoprolol succinate)  and to manufacture the authorized generic version of metoprolol succinate for Par Pharmaceuticals.  With more than 22 years of proven safety and efficacy, TOPROL-XL has been at the forefront and remains an important treatment option for people with hypertension.

We also provide patients with access to resources like access to co-pay cards and patient assistance programs including our signature prescription savings program, AZ & Me, to make medicine more accessible and affordable.

As patients also seek convenient ways to get their medications, we recently announced that TOPROL-XL is available through AstraZeneca Direct,  a direct-to-patient program that will ship TOPROL-XL directly to patients’ homes at a discounted price. People who sign up for TOPROL-XL Direct can get it for as low as $10 a month for a 3-month supply (90 pills).

Pharmacist Packing Toprol XL 2At AstraZeneca, we have a history of delivering medicines that meet the needs of patients with cardiovascular diseases. And during a  time where there may be questions about the quality and availability of once-a-day extended-release hypertension medications,  we are committed to continued  safety and accessibility of these important medicines in multiple channels.

Click here for more information about TOPROL-XL Direct.

Important Safety Information About Toprol-XL® (metoprolol succinate) Extended-Release Tablets

Because of the possibility of serious side effects, such as chest pain or a heart attack, you should not stop taking TOPROL-XL suddenly. If your doctor decides you should stop taking TOPROL-XL, you may be instructed to slowly reduce your dose over a period of time before stopping it completely.

TOPROL-XL may not be right for everyone, especially people who have the following health conditions:

  • Extreme slowing of the heart rate
  • Sudden and severe drop in blood pressure and blood flow through the body because the heart is not pumping normally
  • Uncontrolled heart failure
  • Slowdown of the heart’s electrical signal causing a slower heart rate
  • Damage to the heart’s natural pacemaker that affects the heart’s rhythm unless one has a pacemaker device
  • Any allergies to TOPROL-XL or its ingredients

It is important to take your medications every day as directed by your doctor.

Patients who have asthma or asthma-like lung disease should, in general, not take TOPROL-XL.

Your doctor may not want you to take TOPROL-XL if you are currently taking certain types of high blood pressure medicine, or have adrenal gland tumors, diabetes, low blood sugar, liver damage, overactive thyroid disease, or hardening of the arteries in the arms or legs.

Your doctor may not want you to start taking TOPROL-XL if you are about to have any type of surgery.

If you have a history of serious allergic reactions, the usual dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) may not work as well if you are taking TOPROL-XL.

Until you know how you will react to TOPROL-XL, avoid activities that require alertness.

Contact your doctor if you have any difficulty in breathing.

In patients with high blood pressure, the most common side effects were tiredness, dizziness, depression, diarrhea, itching or rash, shortness of breath, and slow heart rate. If you experience any of these or other side effects, contact your doctor.

Approved Use for TOPROL-XL

TOPROL-XL is approved for the treatment of high blood pressure. It may be used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. It’s good for you to know more about your medical condition and the medicine you are taking for it, so talk to your doctor about high blood pressure and TOPROL-XL.

Click here for full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING about suddenly stopping therapy with TOPROL-XL.

3018903 Last Updated 9/14