Atenolol is used with or without other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. This medication is also used to treat chest pain (angina) and to improve survival after a heart attack.
Atenolol belongs to a class of drugs known as beta blockers. It works by blocking the action of certain natural chemicals in your body, such as epinephrine, on the heart and blood vessels. This effect lowers the heart rate, blood pressure, and strain on the heart.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, and nausea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
This drug may reduce blood flow to your hands and feet, causing them to feel cold. Smoking may worsen this effect. Dress warmly and avoid tobacco use.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: new or worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain), very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, trouble breathing, blue fingers/toes, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, mood swings, depression).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Before taking atenolol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain types of heart rhythm problems (such as slow heartbeat, second- or third-degree atrioventricular block), breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema), blood circulation problems (such as Raynauds disease, peripheral vascular disease), kidney disease, heart failure, serious allergic reactions including those needing treatment with epinephrine, a certain muscle disease (myasthenia gravis).
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
If you have diabetes, this product may mask the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness and sweating, are unaffected by this drug. This product may also make it harder to control your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are using this medication. Atenolol may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant while using this medication, talk to your doctor right away about its risks and benefits.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.