Generic Name: atenolol (a-TEN-oh-lol)
Brand Name: Tenormin
Do not suddenly stop taking atenolol. Sharp chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and sometimes heart attack may occur if you suddenly stop atenolol. The risk may be greater if you have certain types of heart disease. Your doctor should slowly lower your dose over several weeks if you need to stop taking it. This should be done even if you only take atenolol for high blood pressure. Heart disease is common and you may not know you have it. Limit physical activity while you are lowering your dose. If new or worsened chest pain or other heart problems occur, contact your doctor right away. You may need to start taking atenolol again.
Atenolol is used for:
Decreasing death due to heart problems after a heart attack. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Atenolol is a beta-blocker. Exactly how atenolol works to decrease heart problems after a heart attack is not known.
Do NOT use atenolol if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in atenolol
- you have a very slow heartbeat, heart block, uncontrolled heart failure, shock caused by serious heart problems, or low blood pressure after a heart attack
- you have an untreated adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma)
- you are taking mibefradil
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using atenolol:
Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of any severe allergic reaction
- if you have a history of lung or breathing problems (eg, asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], emphysema), heart problems (eg, heart failure, conduction problems, left ventricle problems), blood vessel problems, diabetes, kidney problems, an adrenal gland tumor, or an overactive thyroid
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with atenolol. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any of the following medicines.
- Clonidine because the risk of severe high blood pressure may be increased
- Mefloquine because the risk of irregular heartbeat may be increased
- Amiodarone, calcium channel blockers (eg, diltiazem, verapamil), catecholamine-depleting medicines (eg, reserpine), digoxin, disopyramide, flecainide, ketanserin, mibefradil, or quinidine because they may increase the risk of atenolol's side effects
- Indomethacin or phenylpropanolamine because it may decrease atenolol's effectiveness
- Bupivacaine, lidocaine, or quinazolines (eg, alfuzosin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by atenolol
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if atenolol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use atenolol:
Use atenolol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Atenolol is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
- If you miss a dose of atenolol, contact your doctor right away.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use atenolol.
Important safety information:
- Atenolol may cause dizziness or drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use atenolol with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Atenolol may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take atenolol before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Atenolol may reduce the amount of blood that flows to your feet and hands. This may cause them to feel cold and make you more sensitive to the cold. Dress warmly in cold weather. Be careful when you are out in the cold for long periods of time. Ask you doctor for more information.
- If you have a history of any severe allergic reaction, talk with your doctor. You may be at risk for an even more severe allergic reaction if you come into contact with the substance that caused your allergy. Some medicines used to treat severe allergies may also not work as well while you are using atenolol.
- Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal." Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms.
- Diabetes patients- Atenolol may hide signs of low blood sugar such as a rapid heartbeat. Other symptoms, such as sweating, may still occur. Check your blood sugar levels regularly. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Check your blood pressure and pulse regularly, as directed by your doctor. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for help if you are unsure how to properly measure your blood pressure or pulse.
- Lifestyle changes may also help reduce your blood pressure. Talk with your doctor about appropriate diet and exercise programs that may be helpful to you.
- Lab tests, including blood pressure and heart function tests, may be performed while you use atenolol. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use atenolol with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially dizziness.
- Atenolol should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been determined.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Atenolol has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using atenolol while you are pregnant. Atenolol is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use atenolol, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of atenolol:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome: Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Cold fingers and toes; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; nausea; tiredness or weakness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blue fingernails, toenails, or palms; decreased sexual ability; fainting; mental or mood problems; persistent dizziness or lightheadedness; shortness of breath; sudden, unusual weight gain; swelling of hands, ankles, or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusually slow heartbeat.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include breathing problems; chest pain; fainting; pounding in the chest; seizures; severe dizziness; severe weakness; very slow heartbeat; wheezing.Proper storage of atenolol:
Atenolol is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. Keep atenolol, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about atenolol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Atenolol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about atenolol. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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- Drug class: cardioselective beta blockers
Other brands: Tenormin