What is Atenolol?
Atenolol is a beta-blocker drug that affects the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins). It is prescribed primarily for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure), angina (chest pain), heart rhythm disorders, and other heart or circulatory conditions. It is also used after a heart attack to increase the chances of survival and may be used in other conditions not listed here.
Atenolol is sold under various trade names, a couple of which are Tenormin, Aten (made by Intas Pharma) and O Beta (made by Intas Pharma).
Important Information about Atenolol
Do not take Atenolol (Tenormin, O Beta) if you have a known allergy to it, or if you have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, severe liver disease, or a serious heart conditions such as a heart block, sick sinus syndrome, or AV block (unless you have a pacemaker).
If you are scheduled for a surgery, inform your surgeon well in advance that you are using Atenolol. You may be required to suspend taking this medicine for a short time. Also do not stop taking Atenolol without your doctor’s advice. If you stop taking this medicine suddenly, your condition will deteriorate for the worse.
If you are being treated for high blood pressure, continue taking Atenolol even if you don’t have any symptoms. High blood pressure doesn’t have any outwardly signs. You may have to take this medicine for the rest of your life.
Atenolol is a pregnancy category D drug. Do not take this medicine if you are a pregnant woman. If you become pregnant during the treatment with this medicine, stop taking it and contact your doctor immediately. Tenormin can cause injury or death of an unborn baby if taken during pregnancy. Use of an effective birth control is recommended while taking this medicine. Atenolol can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medicine without your doctor’s advice if you are breast feeding.
Before taking Atenolol
Before taking Atenolol (Tenormin, O Beta), take care of all precautions mentioned above. Discuss them with your doctor and clear all doubts which you may have about this drug.
To ensure that this drug is safe for you, inform your doctor before taking Atenolol if you have any of the following conditions: diabetes (taking Atenolol can make it difficult for you to judge when you have low blood sugar), angina, low blood pressure, kidney or liver disease, depression, a thyroid disorder, myasthenia gravis, pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland), circulation problems (such as Raynaud’s syndrome), or a history of allergies.
How should I take Atenolol?
Take Atenolol strictly according to your doctor’s direction or according to the instructions on the medication label. Do not alter the dosage unless your doctor advises you to do so. Also, do not take this medication after the prescribed period is over. All medications come with a patient leaflet. Refer the instructions in them for detailed information on that particular medication. Atenolol works best when taken with food. Always store this medicine in a cool and dry place.
Atenolol is a part of a full line of treatment for blood pressure which includes diet restrictions, exercises, and other medicines. Follow a proper regimen of these things as directed by your doctor to keep your blood pressure in control.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Atenolol, take it as soon as you remember. Don’t take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Taking multiple doses near to each other can lead to excess medication in your body which can be harmful.
What if I overdose?
In case of an overdose of Atenolol, get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor Immediately. Overdose may result in uneven heartbeat, breathlessness, bluish colored fingernails, dizziness, weakness, seizure, or fainting.
Things and Activities to avoid while taking Atenolol
Atenolol may impact your thinking capability and reflexes. Take extra care while driving or other such activities that require a high level of mental awareness and alertness. Avoid or limit alcohol consumption while taking Atenolol. Also, avoid getting up quickly from a lying or sitting position otherwise you may feel dizzy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for any other restrictions while using this medicine.
Atenolol Side Effects
Some common side effects of Atenolol are dizziness, drowsiness, light headedness, diarrhea, or fatigue. However, if any of these side effects persist or deteriorate, or if you get serious side effects or allergic reactions like rash, itching, swelling of face, tongue, or throat, or breathing trouble, unusual fatigue, sudden or unexplained weight gain, severe dizziness, severe stomach or abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing of eyes and skin, persistent nausea or vomiting, seek medical attention immediately.
Atenolol may reduce blood supply to your hand and feet which may make them to feel cold. Smoking may deteriorate this effect. Dress warmly and avoid tobacco use.
The side effects mentioned above are not the only ones that you may experience or witness due to Atenolol. If you get any serious side effects due to this medication, contact your doctor right away.
Atenolol Dosing Information
Atenolol dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Your dosage will be determined by your doctor after examining you properly. Remember to follow your doctor’s advice properly for best results.
Interaction with other drugs
Other drugs can interact with Atenolol. Some of them include allergy drugs, cimetidine, clonidine, digitalis, dobutamine, haloperidol, isoproterenol, blood thinner such as warfarin, doxazosin, prazosin, terazosin, amiadarone, propafenone, quinidine, fluconazole, insulin or oral diabetes medicines, antidepressants, other heart or blood pressure medicine, HIV medicines, MAO inhibitors, anti emetics, or narcotic pain killers. However, these are not the only drugs that can interact with Atenolol. Inform your doctor in advance if you use any other medicines or related products. Never start a new medicine without proper medical advice.