(a TEN oh lole)
Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product
Tenormin: 25 mg, 50 mg
Tenormin: 50 mg [DSC] [scored]
Tenormin: 100 mg
Generic: 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg
Brand Names: U.S.
- Antianginal Agent
- Beta-Blocker, Beta-1 Selective
Competitively blocks response to beta-adrenergic stimulation, selectively blocks beta1-receptors with little or no effect on beta2-receptors except at high doses
Oral: Rapid, incomplete (~50%)
Low lipophilicity; does not cross blood-brain barrier
Feces (50%); urine (40% as unchanged drug)
Onset of Action
Oral: ≤1 hour; Peak effect: Oral: 2 to 4 hours
Time to Peak
Plasma: Oral: 2 to 4 hours
Duration of Action
Normal renal function: Beta-blocking effect: 12 to 24 hours; Antihypertensive effect: Oral: 24 hours
Newborns (<24 hours of age) born to mothers receiving atenolol: Mean: 16 hours; up to 35 hours (Rubin 1983)
Children and Adolescents 5 to 16 years of age: Mean: 4.6 hours; range: 3.5 to 7 hours; Patients >10 years of age may have longer half-life (>5 hours) compared to children 5 to 10 years of age (<5 hours) (Buck 1989)
Adults: Normal renal function: 6 to 7 hours, prolonged with renal impairment; End-stage renal disease (ESRD): 15 to 35 hours
6% to 16%
Special Populations: Renal Function Impairment
Elimination is closely related to glomerular filtration rate. Significant accumulation occurs when CrCl falls below 35 mL/minute per 1.73 m2.
Special Populations: Elderly
Total clearance is about 50% lower than in younger subjects. Half-life is markedly longer in elderly patients.
Use: Labeled Indications
Hypertension: Treatment of hypertension, alone or in combination with other agents; management of angina pectoris; secondary prevention postmyocardial infarction
Hypertension: The 2014 guideline for the management of high blood pressure in adults (Eighth Joint National Committee [JNC 8]) recommends initiation of pharmacologic treatment to lower blood pressure for the following patients (JNC8 [James, 2013]):
• Patients ≥60 years of age with systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥150 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥90 mm Hg. Goal of therapy is SBP <150 mm Hg and DBP <90 mm Hg.
• Patients <60 years of age with SBP ≥140 mm Hg or DBP is ≥90 mm Hg. Goal of therapy is SBP <140 mm Hg and DBP <90 mm Hg.
• Patients ≥18 years of age with diabetes and SBP ≥140 mm Hg or DBP ≥90 mm Hg. Goal of therapy is SBP <140 mm Hg and DBP <90 mm Hg.
• Patients ≥18 years of age with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and SBP ≥140 mm Hg or DBP ≥90 mm Hg. Goal of therapy is SBP <140 mm Hg and DBP <90 mm Hg.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and hypertension: Regardless of race or diabetes status, the use of an ACE inhibitor (ACEI) or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) as initial therapy is recommended to improve kidney outcomes. In the general nonblack population (without CKD) including those with diabetes, initial antihypertensive treatment should consist of a thiazide-type diuretic, calcium channel blocker, ACEI, or ARB. In the general black population (without CKD) including those with diabetes, initial antihypertensive treatment should consist of a thiazide-type diuretic or a calcium channel blocker instead of an ACEI or ARB.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) and hypertension: The American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and American Society of Hypertension (AHA/ACC/ASH) 2015 scientific statement for the treatment of hypertension in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) recommends the use of a beta blocker as part of a regimen in patients with hypertension and chronic stable angina with a history of prior MI. A BP target of <140/90 mm Hg is reasonable for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events. A lower target BP (<130/80 mm Hg) may be appropriate in some individuals with CAD, previous MI, stroke or transient ischemic attack, or CAD risk equivalents (AHA/ACC/ASH [Rosendorff 2015]).
Acute ethanol withdrawal (in combination with a benzodiazepine), supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation (rate control), migraine headache prophylaxis
Hypersensitivity to atenolol or any component of the formulation; sinus bradycardia; sinus node dysfunction; heart block greater than first-degree (except in patients with a functioning artificial pacemaker); cardiogenic shock; uncompensated cardiac failure; pulmonary edema; pregnancy
Hypertension: Oral: Initial: 25 to 50 mg once daily, after 1 to 2 weeks, may increase to 100 mg once daily; usual dose (ASH/ISH [Weber, 2014]): 100 mg once daily; target dose (JNC 8 [James, 2013]): 100 mg once daily. Doses >100 mg are unlikely to produce any further benefit.
Angina pectoris: Oral: 50 mg once daily; may increase to 100 mg daily. Some patients may require 200 mg daily.
Postmyocardial infarction: Oral: 100 mg/day or 50 mg twice daily for 6 to 9 days postmyocardial infarction
Atrial fibrillation (rate control) (off-label use): Usual maintenance dose: 25 to 100 mg once daily (AHA/ACC/HRS [January, 2014])
Thyrotoxicosis (off-label use): Oral: 25 to 100 mg once or twice daily (Bahn, 2011)
Refer to adult dosing. In the management of hypertension, consider lower initial doses and titrate to response (Aronow, 2011).
Hypertension: Oral: Children: 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/dose given daily; range of 0.5 to 1.5 mg/kg/day; maximum dose: 2 mg/kg/day up to 100 mg/day
Dosing: Renal Impairment
CrCl >35 mL/minute/1.73 m2: No dosage adjustment necessary.
CrCl 15 to 35 mL/minute/1.73 m2: Maximum dose: 50 mg daily
CrCl <15 mL/minute/1.73 m2: Maximum dose: 25 mg daily
Hemodialysis: Moderately dialyzable (20% to 50%) via hemodialysis; administer dose postdialysis or administer 25 to 50 mg supplemental dose.
Peritoneal dialysis: Elimination is not enhanced; supplemental dose is not necessary.
Dosing: Hepatic Impairment
There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling; however, atenolol undergoes minimal hepatic metabolism.
A 2 mg/mL oral suspension may be made with tablets. Crush four 50 mg tablets in a mortar and reduce to a fine powder. Add a small amount of glycerin and mix to a uniform paste. Mix while adding Ora-Sweet® SF vehicle in incremental proportions to almost 100 mL; transfer to a calibrated bottle, rinse mortar with vehicle, and add quantity of vehicle sufficient to make 100 mL. Label “shake well” and “refrigerate”. Stable for 90 days.Nahata MC, Pai VB, and Hipple TF, Pediatric Drug Formulations, 5th ed, Cincinnati, OH: Harvey Whitney Books Co, 2004.
When administered acutely for cardiac treatment, monitor ECG and blood pressure. May be administered without regard to meals.
May be taken without regard to meals.
Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F).
Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Alfuzosin: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Alpha-/Beta-Agonists (Direct-Acting): Beta-Blockers may enhance the vasopressor effect of Alpha-/Beta-Agonists (Direct-Acting). Epinephrine used as a local anesthetic for dental procedures will not likely cause clinically relevant problems. Some beta-adrenoceptor mediated effects of Alpha-/Beta-Agonists (Direct-Acting), including anti-anaphylactic effects of epinephrine, may be diminished by Beta-Blockers. Management: Cardioselective beta-blockers and lower doses of epinephrine may confer a more limited risk. Patients who may require acute subcutaneous epinephrine (e.g., bee sting kits) should probably avoid beta blockers. Exceptions: Dipivefrin. Consider therapy modification
Alpha1-Blockers: Beta-Blockers may enhance the orthostatic hypotensive effect of Alpha1-Blockers. The risk associated with ophthalmic products is probably less than systemic products. Monitor therapy
Alpha2-Agonists: May enhance the AV-blocking effect of Beta-Blockers. Sinus node dysfunction may also be enhanced. Beta-Blockers may enhance the rebound hypertensive effect of Alpha2-Agonists. This effect can occur when the Alpha2-Agonist is abruptly withdrawn. Management: Closely monitor heart rate during treatment with a beta blocker and clonidine. Withdraw beta blockers several days before clonidine withdrawal when possible, and monitor blood pressure closely. Recommendations for other alpha2-agonists are unavailable. Exceptions: Apraclonidine. Consider therapy modification
Amifostine: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Amifostine. Management: When amifostine is used at chemotherapy doses, blood pressure lowering medications should be withheld for 24 hours prior to amifostine administration. If blood pressure lowering therapy cannot be withheld, amifostine should not be administered. Consider therapy modification
Amiodarone: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Possibly to the point of cardiac arrest. Amiodarone may increase the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Amphetamines: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy
Ampicillin: May decrease the bioavailability of Atenolol. Monitor therapy
Anilidopiperidine Opioids: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Anilidopiperidine Opioids may enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Antipsychotic Agents (Second Generation [Atypical]): Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Antipsychotic Agents (Second Generation [Atypical]). Monitor therapy
Barbiturates: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Beta2-Agonists: Beta-Blockers (Beta1 Selective) may diminish the bronchodilatory effect of Beta2-Agonists. Of particular concern with nonselective beta-blockers or higher doses of the beta1 selective beta-blockers. Monitor therapy
Bradycardia-Causing Agents: May enhance the bradycardic effect of other Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Monitor therapy
Bretylium: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Bretylium may also enhance atrioventricular (AV) blockade in patients receiving AV blocking agents. Monitor therapy
Brimonidine (Topical): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Bupivacaine: Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Bupivacaine. Monitor therapy
Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Bradycardia and signs of heart failure have also been reported. Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine) may increase the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. Exceptions: Bepridil. Monitor therapy
Cardiac Glycosides: Beta-Blockers may enhance the bradycardic effect of Cardiac Glycosides. Monitor therapy
Ceritinib: Bradycardia-Causing Agents may enhance the bradycardic effect of Ceritinib. Management: If this combination cannot be avoided, monitor patients for evidence of symptomatic bradycardia, and closely monitor blood pressure and heart rate during therapy. Avoid combination
Cholinergic Agonists: Beta-Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Cholinergic Agonists. Of particular concern are the potential for cardiac conduction abnormalities and bronchoconstriction. Management: Administer these agents in combination with caution, and monitor for conduction disturbances. Avoid methacholine with any beta blocker due to the potential for additive bronchoconstriction. Monitor therapy
Diazoxide: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Dipyridamole: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Disopyramide: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Beta-Blockers may enhance the negative inotropic effect of Disopyramide. Monitor therapy
Dronedarone: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Dronedarone may increase the serum concentration of Beta-Blockers. This likely applies only to those agents that are metabolized by CYP2D6. Management: Use lower initial beta-blocker doses; adequate tolerance of the combination, based on ECG findings, should be confirmed prior to any increase in beta-blocker dose. Consider therapy modification
DULoxetine: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of DULoxetine. Monitor therapy
Ergot Derivatives: Beta-Blockers may enhance the vasoconstricting effect of Ergot Derivatives. Consider therapy modification
Fingolimod: Beta-Blockers may enhance the bradycardic effect of Fingolimod. Monitor therapy
Floctafenine: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Beta-Blockers. Avoid combination
Glycopyrrolate (Systemic): May increase the serum concentration of Atenolol. Monitor therapy
Grass Pollen Allergen Extract (5 Grass Extract): Beta-Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Grass Pollen Allergen Extract (5 Grass Extract). More specifically, Beta-Blockers may inhibit the ability to effectively treat severe allergic reactions to Grass Pollen Allergen Extract (5 Grass Extract) with epinephrine. Some other effects of epinephrine may be unaffected or even enhanced (e.g., vasoconstriction) during treatment with Beta-Blockers. Consider therapy modification
Herbs (Hypertensive Properties): May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy
Herbs (Hypotensive Properties): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Hypotension-Associated Agents: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Hypotension-Associated Agents. Monitor therapy
Insulin: Beta-Blockers may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Insulin. Monitor therapy
Ivabradine: Bradycardia-Causing Agents may enhance the bradycardic effect of Ivabradine. Monitor therapy
Lacosamide: Bradycardia-Causing Agents may enhance the AV-blocking effect of Lacosamide. Monitor therapy
Levodopa: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Levodopa. Monitor therapy
Lidocaine (Systemic): Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Lidocaine (Systemic). Monitor therapy
Lidocaine (Topical): Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Lidocaine (Topical). Monitor therapy
Mepivacaine: Beta-Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Mepivacaine. Monitor therapy
Methacholine: Beta-Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methacholine. Avoid combination
Methylphenidate: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy
Midodrine: Beta-Blockers may enhance the bradycardic effect of Midodrine. Monitor therapy
Molsidomine: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Nicorandil: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
NIFEdipine: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. NIFEdipine may enhance the negative inotropic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Obinutuzumab: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Management: Consider temporarily withholding blood pressure lowering medications beginning 12 hours prior to obinutuzumab infusion and continuing until 1 hour after the end of the infusion. Consider therapy modification
Pentoxifylline: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Prostacyclin Analogues: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Regorafenib: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Reserpine: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Monitor therapy
Rivastigmine: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Beta-Blockers. Avoid combination
Ruxolitinib: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Management: Ruxolitinib Canadian product labeling recommends avoiding use with bradycardia-causing agents to the extent possible. Monitor therapy
Sulfonylureas: Beta-Blockers may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Cardioselective beta-blockers (eg, acebutolol, atenolol, metoprolol, and penbutolol) may be safer than nonselective beta-blockers. All beta-blockers appear to mask tachycardia as an initial symptom of hypoglycemia. Ophthalmic beta-blockers are probably associated with lower risk than systemic agents. Monitor therapy
Theophylline Derivatives: Beta-Blockers (Beta1 Selective) may diminish the bronchodilatory effect of Theophylline Derivatives. Management: Monitor for reduced theophylline efficacy during concomitant use with any beta-blocker. Beta-1 selective agents are less likely to antagonize theophylline than nonselective agents, but selectivity may be lost at higher doses. Monitor therapy
Tofacitinib: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Bradycardia-Causing Agents. Monitor therapy
Yohimbine: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy
Increased glucose; decreased HDL
1% to 10%:
Cardiovascular: Bradycardia (persistent), cardiac failure, chest pain, cold extremities, complete atrioventricular block, edema, hypotension, Raynaud's phenomenon, second degree atrioventricular block
Central nervous system: Confusion, decreased mental acuity, depression, dizziness, fatigue, headache, insomnia, lethargy, nightmares
Gastrointestinal: Constipation, diarrhea, nausea
<1% (Limited to important or life-threatening): Alopecia, dyspnea (especially with large doses), hallucination, increased liver enzymes, lupus-like syndrome, Peyronie's disease, positive ANA titer, psoriasiform eruption, psychosis, thrombocytopenia, wheezing
Concerns related to adverse events:
• Anaphylactic reactions: Use caution with history of severe anaphylaxis to allergens; patients taking beta-blockers may become more sensitive to repeated challenges. Treatment of anaphylaxis (eg, epinephrine) in patients taking beta-blockers may be ineffective or promote undesirable effects.
• Bronchospastic disease: In general, patients with bronchospastic disease should not receive beta-blockers; however, atenolol, with B1 selectivity, has been used cautiously with close monitoring.
• Conduction abnormality: Consider preexisting conditions such as sick sinus syndrome before initiating.
• Diabetes: Use with caution in patients with diabetes mellitus; may potentiate hypoglycemia and/or mask signs and symptoms.
• Heart failure (HF): Use with caution in patients with compensated heart failure and monitor for a worsening of the condition (efficacy of atenolol in HF has not been demonstrated).
• Myasthenia gravis: Use with caution in patients with myasthenia gravis.
• Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and Raynaud's disease: May precipitate or aggravate symptoms of arterial insufficiency in patients with PVD and Raynaud's disease. Use with caution and monitor for progression of arterial obstruction.
• Pheochromocytoma (untreated): Adequate alpha-blockade is required prior to use of any beta-blocker.
• Prinzmetal variant angina: Beta-blockers without alpha1-adrenergic receptor blocking activity should be avoided in patients with Prinzmetal variant angina since unopposed alpha1-adrenergic receptors mediate coronary vasoconstriction and can worsen anginal symptoms (Mayer, 1998).
• Psoriasis: Beta-blocker use has been associated with induction or exacerbation of psoriasis, but cause and effect have not been firmly established.
• Psychiatric disease: Use with caution in patients with a history of psychiatric illness; may cause or exacerbate CNS depression.
• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment; dosage adjustment required.
• Thyroid disease: May mask signs of hyperthyroidism (eg, tachycardia). If hyperthyroidism is suspected, carefully manage and monitor; abrupt withdrawal may precipitate thyroid storm. Alterations in thyroid function tests may be observed.
Concurrent drug therapy issues:
• Calcium channel blockers: Use with caution in patients on concurrent verapamil or diltiazem; bradycardia or heart block can occur.
• Cardiac glycosides: Use with caution in patients receiving digoxin; bradycardia or heart block can occur.
• Inhaled anesthetic agents: Use with caution in patients receiving inhaled anesthetic agents known to depress myocardial contractility.
• Elderly: Bradycardia may be observed more frequently in elderly patients (>65 years of age); dosage reductions may be necessary.
• Abrupt withdrawal: [US Boxed Warning]: Beta-blocker therapy should not be withdrawn abruptly (particularly in patients with CAD), but gradually tapered to avoid acute tachycardia, hypertension, and/or ischemia. Severe exacerbation of angina, ventricular arrhythmias, and myocardial infarction (MI) have been reported following abrupt withdrawal of beta-blocker therapy. Temporary but prompt resumption of beta-blocker therapy may be indicated with worsening of angina or acute coronary insufficiency.
• Major surgery: Chronic beta-blocker therapy should not be routinely withdrawn prior to major surgery.
Acute cardiac treatment: Monitor ECG and blood pressure
Pregnancy Risk Factor
Atenolol crosses the placenta and is found in cord blood. Maternal use of atenolol may cause harm to the fetus. Adverse events, such as bradycardia, hypoglycemia and reduced birth weight, have been observed following in utero exposure to atenolol. Adequate facilities for monitoring infants at birth is generally recommended. The maternal pharmacokinetic parameters of atenolol during the second and third trimesters are within the ranges reported in nonpregnant patients (Hebert 2005).
Untreated chronic maternal hypertension and preeclampsia are associated with adverse events in the fetus, infant, and mother (ACOG 2015; Magee 2014). Although beta-blockers may be used when treatment of hypertension in pregnancy is indicated, agents other than atenolol are preferred (ACOG 2013; Magee 2014; Regitz-Zagrosek 2011).
• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)
• Patient may experience loss of strength and energy. Have patient report immediately to prescriber severe dizziness, passing out, sensation of cold, depression, shortness of breath, excessive weight gain, swelling of arm or leg, or bradycardia (HCAHPS).
• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.
Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for healthcare professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience and judgment in diagnosing, treating and advising patients.
More about atenolol
- Other brands: Tenormin