Can You Cut Toprol XL In Half?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Toprol XL can be cut in half.


Can you cut or split Toprol XL in half?

Asked by Ash On Feb 02, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Feb 02, 2018

In most cases, you should not cut, split or crush extended release medication. Doing so may cause the entire dose of the medication to be released at once, potentially increasing the risk of adverse events. However, Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate) is one of the few exceptions to the rule. Toprol XL may be safety cut in half due to the unique extended release mechanism the drug utilizes. The tablets come from the manufacturer "scored" down the middle to aide in spitting.

Cutting Toprol XL (Metoprolol Succinate) In Half

As stated, Toprol XL is one of the few extended release medications that is safe to cut in half. This is due to the extended release mechanism of the tablets. The actual active ingredient in Toprol XL tablets are encapsulated in "micropellets" that are evenly distributed throughout the tablet, as shown in the below image:

Cutting Toprol XL Tablets

Source: Toprol XL Information

After taking a tablet by mouth, it rapidly dissolves, releasing hundreds of micropellets (<0.5 mm in diameter each) that are filled with medication (i.e. metoprolol succinate). Once these pellets reach the digestive tract, they slowly disintegrate and deliver the medication at a controlled rate for a 24 hour effect.

As the micropellets are evenly distributed in Toprol XL tablets and aren't disrupted when a tablet is cut, Toprol XL is safe to split. In fact, the tablets come scored from the manufacturer to ease splitting.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Office: 716-389-3076

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