Learn about many of the available medications in our database.
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Atenolol belongs to a class of medications called beta-blockers. It is used to lower high blood pressure and to prevent the symptoms of angina (chest pain). It works by reducing the demands put on the heart.
Atenolol is often used in combination with other high blood pressure medications such as diuretics (water pills) when the use of one medication by itself is not enough to control blood pressure.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each white, biconvex, film-coated tablet, embossed with "50" on one side and scored on the other side, contains 50 mg of atenolol. Nonmedicinal ingredients: gelatin, glycerol, heavy magnesium carbonate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, maize starch, sodium lauryl sulfate, and titanium dioxide.
Each white, biconvex, film-coated tablet, embossed with "100" on one side and scored on the other side, contains 100 mg of atenolol. Nonmedicinal ingredients: gelatin, glycerol, heavy magnesium carbonate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, maize starch, sodium lauryl sulfate, and titanium dioxide.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of atenolol ranges from 50 mg to 200 mg daily depending on circumstances.
To treat high blood pressure, the usual adult starting dose is 50 mg taken by mouth, once a day. The full effect of the medication is usually reached within 1 to 2 weeks. If blood pressure is not low enough after this time, your doctor may increase the dose of the medication to 100 mg once daily or add another blood pressure-lowering medication.
The usual starting dose to treat angina pain is 50 mg taken once a day. If, after 1 to 2 weeks symptoms are not reduced enough, your doctor may increase the dose to 100 mg once daily or 50 mg taken twice a day. The maximum dose for treating angina is 200 mg daily.
If you have reduced kidney function you may need much lower doses.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to atenolol or any ingredients of the medication
- are scheduled to have anesthesia with an agent that causes myocardial depression (e.g., ether)
- have a condition known as pheochromocytoma (in the absence of alpha-blockade)
- have a condition known as right ventricular failure caused by pulmonary hypertension
- have a condition known as "sick sinus syndrome"
- have a very slow heart rate caused by heart rhythm problems
- have congestive heart failure
- have metabolic acidosis
- have cardiogenic shock
- have serious heart block (second- or third-degree AV block)
- have severe peripheral arterial disorders (blockage of blood flow to limbs of body)
- have very low blood pressure
What side effects are possible with this medication?
- back or joint pain
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- dry mouth
- slow heart rate
- spinning sensation
- trouble sleeping
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- breathing difficulty or wheezing
- cold hands and feet
- confusion (especially for seniors) or memory problems
- dizziness or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
- irregular heartbeat or palpitations
- skin rash
- vision problems
- worsening heart failure (e.g., swelling of ankles, feet, or lower legs; difficulty breathing)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- chest pain
- severe shortness of breath
- severely slow heartbeat (especially less than 50 beats per minute)
- symptoms of a serious allergic reaction (such as swelling of the face or throat, hives, or difficulty breathing)
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Breathing conditions: In general, people who have asthma and certain other breathing problems or chronic lung disease should avoid taking a beta-blocker such as atenolol, as it can cause breathing difficulty. Low doses of atenolol may be taken with caution by people with asthma who do not respond to or cannot tolerate alternative treatment. If you have breathing problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: The use of atenolol is unlikely to impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. However, it should be taken into account that dizziness, fatigue, or a slower reaction time may occur.
History of heart failure: Beta-blockers, such as atenolol, can worsen existing heart failure. It is important to take atenolol exactly as prescribed by your doctor to decrease the chance of this happening. If you have a history of heart disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Hyperthyroidism: If you have hyperthyroidism (high levels of thyroid hormones) you should use caution while taking atenolol, as it may reduce the symptoms of this condition, giving a false impression of improvement. Stopping the medication suddenly could worsen this condition.
Kidney disease: The kidneys are partially responsible for removing this medication from your body. Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Low blood sugar: The signs of low blood sugar may not be as noticeable when taking atenolol. If you have diabetes and take insulin or other medications that affect insulin levels in the blood, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor will monitor you while you are taking this medication and may need to adjust the doses of diabetes medications.
Prinzmetal’s angina: Atenolol may increase the number and duration of angina attacks for patients with Prinzmetal’s angina. If you have this condition, be cautious while taking atenolol. Report unusual chest pain to your doctor as soon as possible.
Severe allergies: If you have allergies severe enough to cause anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction where swelling of the face, lips, and throat make it difficult to breathe), you should talk to your doctor about what to do if you have an allergic reaction. Atenolol may make it more difficult to treat your allergic reaction with epinephrine.
Slow heart rate: In general, people with an abnormally slow pulse should not take a beta-blocker such as atenolol.
Stopping usage: Atenolol should not be stopped suddenly. There have been reports of severe worsening of angina and of heart attack or abnormal heart rhythms occurring when people with angina pectoris have done this. If this medication needs to be stopped, it should be done gradually under supervision of your doctor.
Surgery: If you are scheduled for surgery, inform all doctors involved in your care that you are taking atenolol.
Pregnancy: Studies have shown that atenolol does cross the placenta and there have been reports of harm to the developing baby if atenolol is taken by the mother during pregnancy. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding and are taking atenolol, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between atenolol and any of the following:
- alpha-agonists (e.g., clonidine, methyldopa)
- alpha-blockers (e.g., alfuzosin, doxazosin, tamsulosin)
- amphetamines (e.g., dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine)
- anesthetic agents
- angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs; captopril, ramipril)
- angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs; e.g., candesartan, irbesartan, losartan)
- antipsychotics (e.g., clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
- barbiturates (e.g., butalbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital)
- beta-2 agonists (e.g., salbutamol, formoterol, terbutaline)
- beta-adrenergic blockers (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol, sotalol)
- calcium channel blockers (e.g., amlodipine, diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil)
- diabetes medications (e.g., acarbose, canagliflozin, exenatide, glyburide, insulin, lixisenatide, metformin, rosiglitazone, sitagliptin)
- diuretics (water pills; e.g., furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, triamterene)
- ergot alkaloids (e.g., dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine)
- grass pollen allergen extract
- nitrates (e.g., nitroglycerin, isosorbide dinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate)
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., ibuprofen, diclofenac, ketorolac)
- phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (e.g., sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil)
- sulfonylureas (e.g., gliclazide, glyburide, tolbutamide)
- theophyllines (e.g., aminophylline, oxtriphylline, theophylline)
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Tenormin