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Atenolol (Tenormin)    

Atenolol is a beta-adrenaceptor antagonist, or a more commonly known as a beta blocker. 

Normally used only in acute stress reactions, generalised anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. It is considered most effective in patients with somatic anxiety, and especially helps in the reduction of tremor and/or palpitations. The patient normally improves within 1-2 hours with relatively low doses.

Benefits Seen:   One to two weeks.

Missed Dose:  Take a missed dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule. Never Take a Double Dose!

If Stop Taking:  Do not stop without consulting your doctor and never abruptly.

Overdose symptoms include:  Many overdose cases concerning beta blockers are uneventful, but some patients do develop severe and occasionally fatal cardiovascular depression. Effects can include bradycardia, cardiac conduction block, hypotension, cardiac failure, and cardiogenic shock. Convulsions, coma, respirtory depression, and bronchoconstriction can also occur, although infrequently.


  • Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor) and other medicines and herbs that slow your actions and reactions. This includes sedatives, tranquilizers, mood stabilizers, or pain medicine. 
  • Use caution if you have lung disease. This includes asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or if you are using an inhaler. Can cause wheezing or spasm in the lung.

Do not use if:

  • If you have an allergy to another beta-blocking agent, atenolol, or any other part of the medicine.
  • If you are more than 12 weeks pregnant.
  • If you have any of the following conditions: Weakened heart (congestive heart failure) whose symptoms are poorly controlled, slow heart rate (bradycardia) without a working pacemaker.
  • If you are diabetic, use caution when low blood sugars are seen. This medicine hides signs of low blood sugar except sweating. 

 Symptoms or Side Effects 

More common side effects may include: Dizziness, fatigue, nausea, slow heartbeat

Less common or rare side effects may include: Depression, diarrheoa, 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, worsening of psoriasis

The most frequent and serious adverse effects of beta blockers is directly related to its ability to block beta receptors. The most serious adverse effects are heart failure, heart block, and bronchspasm. Other more minor side-effects include fatigue and coldness of extremities. Reactions tend to be more severe after intravenous injection as opposed to oral administration.

  • Feeling sleepy or lightheaded. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Dizziness is common. Rise slowly over several minutes from sitting or lying position. Be careful climbing stairs.
  • Change in sexual ability or desire. This can return to normal after medicine is stopped.
  • Slow heart rate (pulse) and/or low blood pressure. This may make you feel lightheaded, dizzy, weak, or tired.

See doctor immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Too tired or sleepy.
  • Passing out, fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness.
  • Chest pains, fast heartbeats, shortness of breath, or decreased ability to walk.
  • Any rash.

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