Atenolol also called as Tenormin is a beta-blocker drug affecting circulation and heart. Circulation is flow of blood through veins and arteries. Atenolol is used to treat patients of Hypertension (increased blood pressure) and Angina (chest pain).
- However, in cases of "AV block", bradycardia or heart failure, Atenolol should not be used.
- Once started this drug, do not stop using Atenolol on your own, first consult with your doctor because suddenly stopping its use can worsen your condition.
- If you have to go through any sort of surgery, then you may have to stop its use until surgery and a surgeon should know that his patient was using Atenolol.
- Side effects of Atenolol include impairment in thinking or reactions. Be vigilant if you have to do some activity during which you have to be very alert such as driving etc.
- While using this, stop use of alcohol because this will enhance dizziness and drowsiness.
- For treatment of hypertension, Atenolol is just a component of whole program which also involves exercise, diet and weight control. So, for treatment of hypertension, you don't have to wholly rely on this drug but also have to put control on your weight and diet and do proper exercise.
- Being treated for hypertension through this drug, continue taking Atenolol even when you feel good and healthy because high blood pressure often show no symptoms. You may have to use Atenolol for your whole life to keep your blood pressure in or near normal range.
How Does Atenolol Work?
It works by binding to specific receptors located within the heart (termed as Beta-1 receptors) to cause bradycardia (decrease in heart rate) and lower blood pressure. The group of drugs to which it belongs are called Beta Blockers.
Effectiveness of Atenolol in Treating Hypertension and Angina
Atenolol is effective in treating hypertension and angina as it slows the heart rate and lowers blood pressure. It is used to treat angina, hypertension, and after an acute heart attack also called myocardial infarction. Such use decreases the risk of further heart attacks and strokes.
- Atenolol can be taken with or without food.
- It should always be used as component of detailed cardiovascular risk reduction program including diabetes management, exercise, smoking cessation and other drug therapies. Atenolol can also be used in combination with other blood pressure lowering drugs.
- One must seek medical advice immediately if shortness of breath occurs.
- One must also seek medical advice if there occurs any new numbness, skin color changes, pain or reduced sensitivity in fingers or toes etc…
Atenolol has high response and effectiveness. It is moderately effective and peak concentration in blood is achieved between two to four hours after ingestion. Its heart-rate and blood pressure decreasing effects remain for at least 24 hours after a single dose.
What is the Recommended Dosage of Atenolol?
Usual Adult Dose of Atenolol for Hypertension:
- 50 mg given orally once a day
- Maintenance dose. 50 to 100 mg given orally once a day
- Maximum dose. 100 mg per 24 hours
- Use. For the treatment of hypertension, it can be used alone or in combination with other antihypertensive drugs.
Usual Adult Dose of Atenolol for Angina Pectoris Prophylaxis:
- 50 mg given orally once a day. It can be increased to 100 mg given orally once a day after 1 week if max response is not acquired.
- Maintenance dose. 50 to 200 mg given orally once a day.
- Maximum dose. 200 mg per 24 hours.
- Use. It is used for the long-term control of angina pectoris because of coronary atherosclerosis.
Usual Adult Dose of Atenolol for Myocardial Infarction:
- 50 mg is given orally twice a day or 100 mg given orally once a day
- Use. It is used for control of patients having definite or suspected history of acute myocardial infarction to reduce risk of cardiovascular mortality.
Usual Geriatric Dose of Atenolol for Hypertension:
- Loading dose. We can reduce the loading dose to 25 mg given orally once a day.
Safety & Side Effects of Atenolol in Treating Hypertension and Angina?
The use of atenolol is safe but just like any other medicine, it has side effects:
- Atenolol is not recommended for patients of bronchospastic disease; however, it can be used in some situations.
- It can suppress symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypoglycemia, so it should be used with care in patients of diabetes or thyroid disease.
- Atenolol can aggravate peripheral circulatory disorders (conditions causing decreased blood flow to feet or hands).
- It can also cause a number of undesirable heart-related side effects and also impair breathing, so response should be precisely monitored.
- Atenolol can also cause changes in liver enzymes, hallucinations, headache and impotency etc.
Atenolol effectively acts specifically on heart receptors to slow heart rate and lower blood pressure.