Atenolol - a beta-blocker
Atenolol - a beta-blocker
Atenolol belongs to the group of medicines known as beta-blockers. You arelikely to have been prescribed it because you have high blood pressure, orangina chest pain, or an uneven heartbeat.
Treatment is usual y long-term. Continue to take the tablets regularly.
If you buy any cough or cold remedies, check with a pharmacist that theyare suitable to take alongside atenolol.
The most common side-effects are feeling tired, cold hands and feet, a slowheartbeat, and stomach upset.
Beta-adrenoceptor blocker (often referred to as a beta-blocker)
High blood pressure, arrhythmias, and angina
Tenormin®; Tenoret® and Tenoretic® (atenolol with chlortalidone); Kalten (atenolol with amiloride
and hydrochlorothiazide) and Beta-Adalat® and Tenif® (atenolol with hydrochlorothiazide)
Atenolol slows down the activity of your heart by stopping messages sent by some nerves to your heart. It doesthis by blocking tiny areas (called beta-adrenergic receptors) where the messages are received by your heart. Asa result, your heart beats more slowly and with less force. This allows the pressure of blood within your bloodvessels to be reduced if you have (high blood pressure), and helps to prevent abnormally fast heartrhythms, o Because your heart is using less energy, this also helps to reduce chest pain if youhave.
Atenolol is also available in combination with other medicines used to treat high blood pressure and angina.
Combination brands of atenolol with a diuretic ('water tablet') are Tenoret® and Tenoretic® (with chlortalidone),and Kalten® (with amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide). Combination brands of atenolol with the calcium-channelblocker nifedipine, are Beta-Adalat® and Tenif®.
Atenolol may be prescribed to help prevent migraine. The leaflet does not contain information about this use ofatenolol. If you have been given it for this reason, ask your doctor if you have any questions about your treatment.
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be usedif extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking atenolol it is important that your doctor orpharmacist knows:
If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
If you have problems with the way your kidneys work.
If you have low blood pressure or poor circulation.
If you have asthma or breathing difficulties.
If you have sugar diabetes.
If you have psoriasis
(a skin problem).
If you have myasthenia gravis
(a condition causing muscle weakness).
If you have been told you have a slow heartbeat or heart block
(a slow and irregular heartbeat).
If you have been told you have Prinzmetal's angina
(chest pain caused by spasms of the heart's bloodvessels).
If you have phaeochromocytoma
(a tumour on your adrenal gland).
If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal andcomplementary medicines.
If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine, or if you have ever had any other severeallergic reaction.
Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside thepack. The leaflet will give you more information about atenolol and a full list of side-effects which youmay experience from taking it.
Take atenolol exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is usually taken once daily, in the morning. Somepeople taking it for angina may be prescribed two doses daily. Your doctor will tell you which is right foryou, and your dose will also be on the label of the pack to remind you.
Atenolol tablets are available in three different strengths - 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg. Each time youcollect a fresh supply of tablets, it's a good idea to check the strength on the packet to make sure theyare the strength you are expecting.
Try to take atenolol at the same time of day each day, as this will help you to remember to take it.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until thefollowing day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on yourprogress.
It is very important to follow any dietary and lifestyle advice that you may have been given by yourdoctor, such as eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and taking regular exercise.
If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about taking atenolol and alcohol. Alcohol will add to theblood pressure lowering effect of atenolol and so may not be recommended for you.
If you have diabetes, atenolol may block the symptoms of low blood sugar. Your doctor will be able toadvise you about this.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that youare taking a beta-blocker.
Treatment with atenolol is usually long-term so continue to take these tablets unless your doctor tellsyou to stop. Stopping treatment suddenly can cause problems in some people, so your doctor willprobably want you to reduce your dose gradually if this is necessary.
If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take. Somemedicines (including some cough, cold and flu remedies) may not be.
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyoneexperiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctoror pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
Common atenolol side-effects - these
affect less than 1 in 10 people who
take this medicine
What can I do if I experience this?
Stick to simple foods and drink plenty of water
Getting up and moving more slowly may help. If you begin to feel
dizzy, lie down so that you do not faint, then sit for a few moments
before standing. This often improves after the first week or two,but if it continues, speak with your doctor
Less common side-effects include: coldfingers or toes, disturbed sleep, a slow
Speak with your doctor if any of these become troublesome
heartbeat, impotence, reduced sexualdesire, and abnormal dreams
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor orpharmacist.
Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have takenan overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital atonce. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same asyours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will disposeof them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
; AstraZeneca UK Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. DatedOctober 2007.
64th Edition (Sep 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of GreatBritain, London (links to current BNF)
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