What is Atenolol and why is it prescribed?
Atenolol is a type of medication known as a beta blocker used in the treatment of high blood pressure, angina pectoris, and heart attack. When used for high blood pressure it is effective alone or combined with other high blood pressure medications, particularly with a thiazide-type water pill. Beta blockers decrease the force and rate of heart contractions. Occasionally doctors prescribe Atenolol for treatment of alcohol withdrawal, prevention of migraine headache, and bouts of anxiety. If you have high blood pressure, you must take Atenolol regularly for it to be effective. Atenolol does not cure high blood pressure but it keeps it under control.

How should you take Atenolol?
Follow your doctors directions for taking Atenolol. Atenolol can be taken with or without food. Take it exactly as prescribed, even if your symptoms have disappeared. Try not to miss any doses, especially if you are taking Atenolol once a day. If this medication is not taken regularly, your condition may worsen. If you miss a dose take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it's within 8 hours of your next scheduled dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take two doses at the same time. Store Atenolol at room temperature. Protect it from light.

Are there any Atenolol side effects?
Atenolol side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. More common Atenolol side effects may include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and slow heartbeat. Less common or rare Atenolol side effects may include depression, diarrhea, difficult or labored breathing, dizziness upon standing up, drowsiness, headache, heart failure, impotence, light-headedness, low blood pressure, penile deformity, periods of poor circulation in the fingers, psoriasis-like rash, red or purple spots on the skin, rapid heartbeat, slow heartbeat, sluggishness, temporary hair loss, tiredness, vertigo, wheezing, and worsening of psoriasis.

What are the possible food and drug interactions when taking Atenolol?
If Atenolol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Be sure to inform your doctor of all the prescription and over the counter medications you are taking. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Atenolol with Ampicillin (Omnipen, others), Calcium-containing antacids (such as Tums), Calcium-blocking blood pressure drugs (such as Calan and Cardizem), Certain other blood pressure drugs (such as reserpine/Diupres), Clonidine (Catapres), Epinephrine (EpiPen), Indomethacin (Indocin), Insulin, Oral diabetes drugs (such as Micronase), or Quinidine (Quinidex).

Are there any special warnings about Atenolol?
If you have a history of severe congestive heart failure, Atenolol should be used with caution. Atenolol should not be stopped suddenly. It can cause increased chest pain and heart attack. Dosage should be gradually reduced. If you suffer from asthma, seasonal allergies, or other bronchial conditions, coronary artery disease or kidney disease, this medication should be used with caution. Ask your doctor if you should check your pulse while taking Atenolol. This medication can cause your heartbeat to become too slow. Atenolol may mask the symptoms of low blood sugar or alter blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic, discuss this with your doctor. Notify your doctor or dentist that you are taking Atenolol if you have a medical emergency, and before you have surgery or dental surgery. Atenolol may cause harm to a developing baby when taken during pregnancy. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking this medication, inform your doctor immediately.

Information on this website is provided for educational purposes and should not replace discussions with your doctor.


Copyright 2009 All rights reserved.