GENERIC NAME: Atenolol

COMMON BRANDS: Tenormin

Atenolol is an oral prescription drug that belongs to a class of drugs called cardioselective beta-blockers. A class of drugs is often used to treat similar conditions.

Beta-blockers work by preventing adrenaline (norepinephrine) from acting on beta receptors that are present in blood vessels and the heart. This causes the relaxation of blood vessels. Beta-blockers lowers the heart rate and reduces the demand of oxygen by heart by relaxing the blood vessels. This, in turn, helps to decrease blood pressure and reduce chest pain.

What is Atenolol uses for?

Atenolol is prescribed as such or in combination with other medications for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure). Lowering high blood pressure prevents the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. This drug is also used for the treatment of angina (chest pain) and increases the chances of survival in case of a sudden heart attack.

How to use Atenolol?

Atenolol is taken orally, with meals or after meals, as directed by the doctor, usually 1-2 times in a day. The dosage of this drug depends on your medical condition and response to the treatment.

Apple juice and orange juice may prevent the complete absorption of atenolol in the body. It is better to avoid drinking these juices before 4 hours of taking this drug.

Use this medication regularly as instructed by your doctor to get the most benefit from it. To remember, take this drug at the same time each day. It is crucial to continue this drug even if you feel better. Most of the people having hypertension (high blood pressure) do not feel ill.

Atenolol must be taken regularly to be effective against the treatment of chest pain. Do not use atenolol for the treatment of chest pain when it occurs. Use other medications (for example nitroglycerin) to relieve chest pain as instructed by your doctor.

You may have to wait for 1 to 2 weeks to observe the full benefit of this medicine. Inform your doctor if your medical condition remains unchanged or if it worsens (for example, if your blood pressure remains high or chest pain occurs more often).

What are the side effects of Atenolol?

Some of the significant side effects that may occur with atenolol include dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, and nausea. If any of these effects remain or worsen, inform your doctor/pharmacist immediately.

Get up slowly from a sitting/lying position, and this may help to reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness.

You may experience coldness in your hands and feet as this drug may decrease the blood flow to these parts of the body. Avoid smoking or chewing of tobacco as this may worsen this effect.

Remember that your doctor/physician has prescribed this medication because he or she has found that the benefits to you are more than the side effects. Most of the people using this medication do not have severe side effects.

Notify your doctor on time if any of these serious side effects occur: very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, blue fingers/toes, trouble in breathing, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, depression, mood swings).

Some people may unusually develop new or worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as shallow breath, swelling of ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain). Notify your doctor instantly if you notice any of these serious side effects.

A severe allergic reaction to this drug is very rare. However, a severe allergic reaction that includes rashes, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing may occur. Get medical assistance immediately if you notice any of the above side effects.

This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Inform your doctor at the earliest, if you notice any of the side effects that are not mentioned in this article.

See also Warning and Precautions sections.

What are the precautions while using Atenolol?

Inform your doctor/pharmacist before taking atenolol, if you are allergic to it; or to any other beta-blockers (for example metoprolol, propranolol, bisoprolol); or if you have other allergies. Drug formulations (products containing atenolol) may also contain some ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your doctor/pharmacist for further information.

Inform your doctor/pharmacist before using atenolol about your medical history, especially if you have any heart problems (such as a slow heartbeat, second- or third-degree atrioventricular block, sick sinus syndrome), blood circulatory problems (such as Raynaud’s disease, peripheral vascular disease), breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema), liver disease, heart failure, myasthenia gravis (muscle disease), including those needing treatment with epinephrine, serious allergic reactions, mental/mood disorders (such as depression).

This drug may cause you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana can make you dizzier. Avoid driving, use of machinery or doing anything that needs sharpness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Speak to your doctor/physician if you are using marijuana.

If you have diabetes, this drug may mask the symptoms of hypoglycemia (sudden fall in blood sugar level) such as fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when you are hypoglycemic. Other symptoms of hypoglycemia such as sweating and dizziness, does not change by this drug. This drug can also make it difficult to control your blood sugar level. Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly share the results with the doctor. Inform your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms of Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar level) such as an increase in thirst or urination. Your doctor may recommend you exercises, diet or may adjust your diabetes medication.

Before having any surgery, notify your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (such as prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal product).

This medication should be used only when needed during pregnancy. It may be harmful to the fetus. This drug can also cross into breast milk. For further information about the risks and benefits discuss with your doctor.

What are the drug interactions of Atenolol?

Drug interactions may alter drug’s action or increase your chance for severe side effects. This section does not contain the full list of all possible drug interactions. Have a list of all the products you use (for example prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and inform it to your doctor/pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or adjust the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s advice.

Some products may contain ingredients that could raise your blood pressure, heart rate, or increase the risk of heart failure. Tell your doctor/pharmacist about products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (particularly cough-and-cold products, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen, diet aids). Products that may interact with atenolol are dolasetron, fingolimod.

WARNINGS:

Do not suddenly stop this medication without informing your doctor. Some conditions may become dangerous when you suddenly discontinue this drug. Some people who have abruptly discontinued taking similar drugs have had chest pain, heart attack, and even irregular heartbeat. If your doctor recommends you to stop this drug, your doctor may ask you to reduce your dose gradually.

When you are gradually reducing the dose of this drug to discontinue this medication slowly, your doctor may recommend you to limit physical activity to reduce strain on your heart. Get medical assistance immediately if you notice symptoms like chest pain/tightness/pressure, unusual sweating, trouble breathing, chest pain spreading to the jaw/neck/arm, or fast/irregular heartbeat.

What are the forms and strengths of Atenolol?

Generic: Atenolol.
Form: Oral tablet.
Strengths: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg.

Brand: Tenormin.
Form: Oral tablet.
Strengths: 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg.

What is the dosage of Atenolol?

For High Blood Pressure:

Adult dosage (18–64 years):

A typical dose is starting at 50 mg once a day. Then gradually adjusting if needed.

Children (0–17 years):

Avoid use in children under the age of 18 years, as the studies have not been established yet.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older):

There is no fixed dose. If you are an older person, your body may process this drug slowly. Your doctor may start the treatment at a lower dosage to prevent drug build up the body. Accumulation of the drug in your body can be deadly.

For Angina (chest pain):

Adult dosage (18–64 years):

The initial dose is starting at 50 mg once a day. Then gradually adjusted if required.

Children (0–17 years):

Avoid use in children under the age of 18 years, as the studies have not established yet.

Senior dosage (65 years and older):

There is no fixed dose. If you are an older person, your body may process this drug slowly. Your doctor may start the treatment at a lower dosage to prevent drug build up the body. Accumulation of the drug in your body can be deadly.

Following A Heart Attack:

Adult dosage (18–64 years):

This drug is often started at the hospital. Dosage varies from person to person. It depends on the cause and severity of the heart attack. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure reading and your heart response to the treatment and may adjust your dosage.

Typical dose starts at 100 mg per day, given once or twice per day in divided doses. The dosage is gradually adjusted if required.

Children (0–17 years):

Avoid use in children under the age of 18 years, as the studies have not established yet.

Senior dosage (65 years and older):

There is no fixed dose. If you are an older person, your body may process this drug slowly. Your doctor may start the treatment at a lower dosage to prevent drug build up the body. Accumulation of the drug in your body can be deadly.

Special Dosage Considerations:

Seniors:

Seniors are more susceptible to the side effects of this medicine. Your doctor may start the treatment at a lower dosage to prevent drug build up in the body. As the accumulation of the drug in your body can be deadly.

Kidney disease:

People suffering from kidney disease can make it more difficult to eliminate this drug from the body. Having kidney disease may affect your dosage. Inform your doctor about your condition, and your doctor may alter the dose of this drug.

Most common questions asked about Atenolol / Q&A’s:

What are the symptoms of Atenolol overdose?

Symptoms of Atenolol overdose may include lack of energy, difficulty breathing, wheezing, slow heartbeat, fainting, swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, unusual weight gain, shakiness, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, sweating or confusion, blurred vision, headache, numbness or tingling of the mouth, weakness, excessive tiredness, pale discolouration of skin, sudden hunger. Seek a medical emergency as soon as possible if you experience any of these effects.

Disclaimer

TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.