Atenolol: Uses & Side Effects

Atenolol (Tenormin) is a beta-blocker that
affects the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins). Atenolol
is used to treat angina (chest pain) and hypertension (high blood pressure). Atenolol
is also used to lower the risk of death after a heart attack.

How
should I take atenolol?

Take atenolol exactly as it was prescribed
for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may
occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use
this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked
often.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead
of time that you are using atenolol.

It may take up to 2 weeks before you get
the full effect of atenolol. Keep using the medication as directed and tell
your doctor if you feel any new symptoms.

You should not stop taking atenolol
suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

If you are being treated for high blood
pressure: Keep using this medicine even if you feel well. High blood pressure
often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest
of your life.

Your condition may need to be treated with
a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read
the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do
not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor’s advice.

Store at room temperature away from
moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Precautions

You should not use atenolol if you are
allergic to it, or if you have:

  • a serious heart condition such as “AV block” (second or
    third degree);
  • very slow heartbeats;
  • decompensated heart failure.

To make sure atenolol is safe for you, tell
your doctor if you have:

  • congestive heart failure;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • asthma, bronchitis, emphysema;
  • diabetes;
  • overactive thyroid;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland);
  • peripheral vascular disease such as Raynaud’s syndrome;
  • allergies (or if you are undergoing allergy treatments or
    skin-testing).

Using atenolol during pregnancy could harm
the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant
while using this medicine.

Atenolol can pass into breast milk and may
harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Atenolol is not approved for use by anyone younger
than 18 years old.

Side
Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have
signs of an allergic reaction to atenolol: hives; difficult breathing; swelling
of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • new or worsening chest pain;
  • slow or uneven heartbeats;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid
    weight gain;
  • a cold feeling in your hands and feet.

Common atenolol side effects may include:

  • dizziness;
  • feeling tired;
  • depressed mood.

Interactions

Tell your doctor about all your current
medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • digoxin, digitalis;
  • indomethacin;
  • any other beta-blocker–bisoprolol, carvedilol, labetalol,
    metoprolol, nebivolol, propranolol, sotalol, timolol, and others;
  • heart or blood pressure medication–amiodarone, clonidine,
    diltiazem, disopyramide, nicardipine, nifedipine, reserpine, verapamil, and
    others.

Always consult your healthcare provider to
ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal
circumstances.

Keywords: atenolol; beta-blocker.

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