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Description of Atenolol

Brand Name(s): Tenormin

Generic Name Atenolol

What are atenolol tablets?

ATENOLOL (Tenormin®) belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers. Beta-blockers reduce the workload on the heart and help it to beat more regularly. Atenolol controls, but does not cure, high blood pressure (hypertension). Atenolol also relieves chest pain (angina), and can be helpful after a heart attack. Sometimes atenolol is used to help prevent migraine headaches. Generic atenolol tablets are available.

What should my health care professional know before I take atenolol?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • asthma, bronchitis or bronchospasm
  • circulation problems, or blood vessel disease (such as Raynaud's disease)
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • emphysema
  • history of heart attack or heart disease
  • kidney disease
  • muscle weakness or disease
  • pheochromocytoma
  • psoriasis
  • thyroid disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to atenolol, other beta-blockers, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?

Take atenolol tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Atenolol may be taken with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses. There should be at least 8 hours between doses.

What drug(s) may interact with atenolol?

  • antacids
  • calcium salts
  • cocaine
  • hawthorn
  • medicines for colds and breathing difficulties
  • medicines for diabetes
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • medicines to control heart rhythm
  • water pills

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking atenolol?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • changes in vision
  • cold, tingling, or numb hands or feet
  • confusion
  • difficulty breathing, wheezing
  • dizziness or fainting spells
  • increased thirst
  • increase in the amount of urine passed
  • irregular heartbeat
  • skin rash
  • slow heart rate (fewer than recommended by your prescriber or health care professional)
  • sweating
  • swollen legs or ankles
  • tremor, shakes
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • anxiety
  • depression, nightmares
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dry itching skin
  • dry or burning eyes
  • headache
  • nausea
  • sexual difficulties, impotence
  • unusual tiredness

What should I watch for while taking atenolol?

Check your heart rate and blood pressure regularly while you are taking atenolol. Ask your prescriber or health care professional what your heart rate and blood pressure should be, and when you should contact him or her.

Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly. This could lead to serious heart-related effects.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that requires mental alertness until you know how atenolol affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly. Alcohol can make you more drowsy, and increase flushing and rapid heartbeats. Therefore, it is best to avoid alcoholic drinks.

Atenolol can affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your prescriber or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking atenolol.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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