Atenolol Side Effects
Atenolol is the generic name for a a beta blocker prescription drug
that is also known by its brand name - Tenormin. It is typically used in the
treatment of high blood pressure, angina pectoris (chest pain, typically caused
by lack of oxygen in the heart muscle as a result of clogged arteries), and
heart attack. When used for high blood pressure it may be combined with other
high blood pressure medications, particularly with a thiazide-type water pill
(diuretic). Beta blockers work by decreasing the force and rate of heart contractions.
Occasionally doctors may prescribe Atenolol for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal,
prevention of migraine headache, and bouts of anxiety.
Atenolol Side Effects
Atenolol is generally said to be "well tolerated", with mild and
transient side effects. Rare side effects may include depression, dreaming,
memory loss, fever, impotence, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, lightheadedness,
slow heart rate, constipation, fatigue, insomnia, low blood pressure, numbness,
tingling, cold extremities, sore throat, and shortness of breath or wheezing.
It is quite possible for side effects other than those listed here to occur.
If this happens and/or if any seem particularly strange or bothersome, contact
a doctor immediately.
Special Atenolol Precautions
Atenolol may cause harm and growth retardation in the fetus if taken by a
woman who is pregnant.
If you have high blood pressure, you should take Atenolol regularly for it
to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may actually
be several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug; and you must
continue taking it even if you start to feel. Atenolol does not cure high
blood pressure, it simply helps to keep it under control.
If you have suffered from heart failure, heart block (conduction disorder),
inadequate blood supply to the circulatory system (cardiogenic shock), or
a severely slow heartbeat, you should not take Atenolol. You avoid it also
if it gives you an allergic reaction. Similarly, if you have a history of
severe congestive heart failure, Atenolol should be used with caution.
Atenolol should not be stopped suddenly. This could lead to increased chest
pain and heart attack, thus dosage should be gradually reduced. If you suffer
from asthma, seasonal allergies (or other bronchial conditions), coronary
artery disease or kidney disease, Atenolol should be used with caution. It
is important to note as well that this medication may cause your heartbeat
to become too slow. Ask your doctor if you need to check your pulse while
Atenolol may mask the symptoms of low blood sugar or alter blood sugar levels.
If you are diabetic, discuss all this with your doctor. Notify your doctor
or dentist that you are taking Atenolol if you happen to have a medical emergency,
and before you have surgery or dental surgery.
If Atenolol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could
be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with
your doctor before combining Atenolol with any of the following drugs - Quinidine
(Quinidex); Ampicillin (Omnipen, others); Epinephrine (EpiPen); Certain other
blood pressure drugs such as reserpine (Diupres); Clonidine (Catapres); Calcium-containing
antacids such as Tums; Calcium-blocking blood pressure drugs such as Calan
and Cardizem; Indomethacin (Indocin); Insulin; Oral diabetes drugs such as
Warning: This information is intended to
supplement, not be a substitute for the expertise and judgment of
a doctor. Please consult a doctor for final and more detailed information
about the possible side effects of this prescription medication.