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.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.