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Atenolol

Brand names of atenolol

  • Apo-Atenolol
  • Gen-Atenolol
  • Novo-Atenolol
  • Nu-Atenolol
  • PMS-Atenolol
  • Rhoxal-atenolol
  • Scheinpharm Atenolol
  • Tenolin
  • Tenormin

Atenolol belongs to the class of drugs known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents that interferes with the consequences of using adrenergic medications, for instance, epinephrine or adrenaline, on the nerves related to the sympathetic nervous system. One of the vital utilities of beta-adrenergic stimulation is to encourage the heart to beat faster. As atenolol obstructs the nerves from being stimulated, this medication lessens the heart rate and is effective for treating unusually fast heart rhythms. In addition, use of atenolol also lowers blood pressure as well as the force with which the heart muscles contract. By lessening the heart rate, blood pressure and also the power of contraction of the heart muscle, this medication lessens the burden on the heart muscles to pump blood as well as the requirement for oxygen supply. As angina develops owing to the rise in the demand for oxygen by the heart muscles surpasses its supply, atenolol is also effective for treating angina. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the sale and use of atenolol in August 1981.

Things you need to tell your physician before taking atenolol

Prior to beginning treatment with atenolol, it is important to tell your physician or pharmacist whether you have allergies to this medication, any of its ingredients or any additional type of allergy. This medication may possibly enclose some inactive elements that may lead to allergies or additional problems. Therefore, if you are not certain about the constituents of atenolol, ask your pharmacist for a list of the same.

Before you take atenolol for the first time, inform your physician or pharmacist regarding your entire medical history, particularly if you had or still have specific problems related to the heart rhythm (for instance, slow heartbeat, atrioventricular block of the second or third degree); problems related to blood circulation (for instance, peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud's disease); breathing troubles (for instance, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis); any specific muscle disease (myasthenia gravis); kidney ailments; and/ or severe allergies, counting those requiring treatment using epinephrine.

People intending to use atenolol for their condition ought to know that this medication may make you feel dizzy. Therefore, it is advisable that while undergoing treatment with this drug you should not undertake activities that may require alertness till such a time when you are certain about the medication's effect on your body and that you are able to carry them out safely. In addition, people taking atenolol should restrict their alcohol consumption.

In case you require undergoing any surgery, including a dental operation, tell your surgeon/ dentist beforehand about all the prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies and dietary supplements you are taking. Especially tell them that you are already taking atenolol.

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In case you have diabetes, use of this medication is likely to put off the rapid heartbeat that you would generally experience when the levels of blood sugar drop extremely low (a condition known as hypoglycemia). However, this drug does not have any effect on the other symptoms associated with low levels of blood sugar, such as sweating and light-headedness. You should know that using atenolol may possibly make it more difficult for you to regulate the levels of blood sugar.

Ensure that you test your blood sugar levels at regular intervals according to the instructions of your physician. Contact your physician at once if you notice any symptom of high blood sugar, for instance enhanced thirst or an increase in flow of urine. In such cases, your physician might be required to alter the dosage of your diabetes medicine, diet or exercise routine.

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Pregnant women are not advised to use atenolol, as it may cause harm to the fetus. Pregnant women should consult their physician for further information regarding the risks associated with using this medication during pregnancy. It has been found that atenolol passes onto breast milk and may result in unwanted consequences in a nursing baby. Hence, new mothers should talk to their physician prior to breast feeding.

Usage

A beta-adrenergic blocking agent, atenolol is used for treating mild to moderate hypertension (high blood pressure) and also to treat angina.

How to use atenolol

Atenolol is taken orally with a full glass (8 oz) of water. Always take this medication strictly as per your physician's prescription. Never take it in excessive doses or for a longer period than what has been prescribed by your physician. In addition, you need to follow the instructions on your prescription label. In addition, take this medication at the same time every day as it will help you to remember that you have to take atenolol.

Try never to miss any dose of atenolol or stop taking this medication without consulting your physician. Discontinuing atenolol all of a sudden may possibly worsen your condition further. In order to ensure that the use of atenolol is helping to improve your condition, it is essential to check your blood pressure at regular intervals. Therefore, it is important that you do not miss any appointment with your physician.

In case you require undergoing any kind of surgery, including a dental operation, tell your surgeon/ dentist beforehand that you are taking atenolol. It is possible that you may have to stop taking this medication for a brief period before undergoing a surgery.

It is important to note that atenolol is just a part of a total plan for treating hypertension, which may also incorporate exercise, diet as well as weight control. Therefore, provided you are taking atenolol to treat high blood pressure, it is essential that you should strictly follow the dosage schedule of your medication, diet as well as exercise routine very strictly.

If you are taking atenolol for treating hypertension, you ought to keep on using this medication even if you start feeling better after a few weeks of treatment with this medication. It is essential for you to continue taking atenolol for the remaining part of your life. It is worth mentioning here that usually patients having high blood pressure do not have any symptoms.

How atenolol works

Atenolol works by inhibiting the pace as well as the strength of the heart muscles' contraction by obstructing specific impulses of the nervous system, thereby, lessening the blood pressure. These activities of the medication also work to safeguard the heart from undertaking too much workload. This, in turn, lessens the risks of having angina.

Side effects

Serious:
  • depression
  • shortness of breath
  • slow heartbeat
  • swelling of the lower legs, feet, and ankles
  • tightness or chest pain
  • wheezing
Common:
  • decreased sexual ability
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • light-headedness, especially when suddenly rising from a lying or sitting position
  • weakness
Less common:

Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
Specific herbal remedies and mineral supplements may interact with atenolol and, therefore, it is advisable that you should never use them in conjunction. For instance, when used in combination with atenolol, ginseng is not only likely to raise the blood pressure, but also make this medication less effective. Other herbs like goldenseal, licorice, saw palmetto, hawthorn, yohimbe and ma huang are also likely to increase the blood pressure when used in combination with atenolol. Although the herb Indian snakeroot possesses a German Commission E monograph indication for high blood pressure, you should consult your physician before using it. People having high blood pressure (hypertension) should stay away from herbs like ma huang and Siberian ginseng root.
Foods:
Specific foods have the aptitude to reduce the total amount of atenolol absorbed by the body by about 20 per cent. People taking atenolol should preferably avoid taking too much salt.
Alcohol:
If you are taking atenolol, you ought to exercise additional caution while consuming alcohol, as it may inflate this medication's ability to lower blood pressure. At the same time, alcohol may enhance its mild tranquilizing results.
Tobacco smoking:
Smoking tobacco has the aptitude to diminish the effectiveness of atenolol, because nicotine is harmful for people having hypertension.
Exposure to heat:
People undergoing treatment with atenolol should be careful while exposing them to heat, because exposure to hot environments will not only lower the blood pressure, but may also inflate the actions of this medicine.
Exposure to cold:
You should also take precautions when exposed to cold. When people taking atenolol are exposed to cold, it may possibly augment the circulatory deficit, which is a potential side effect of this drug. Older adults taking atenolol should exercise additional caution to put off development of hypothermia.
Occurrence of unrelated illness:
Some unrelated ailments, for instance, fever, may possibly, lower blood pressure and in such cases, you may require an additional dose of atenolol. In addition, vomiting and nausea may also disrupt the dosing program of this medication. It is advisable that you talk over to your physician for advice and assistance.
Heavy exercise or exertion:
People undergoing treatment with atenolol should take care to keep away from hard work as it may result in extreme weariness, light-headedness or camping of the muscles. Atenolol may also make the blood pressure reaction to isometric exercise worse.

Discontinuation

People taking atenolol should never discontinue it all of a sudden. Preferably, reduce the dosage of the medication gradually over a period of two to three weeks. It is advisable that you undertake minimum physical activity during this period. Consult your physician for advice if you experience any problems.

Storage instructions

Atenolol should always be stored at room temperature and in a dark and dry place. Never store this medication in your bathroom. In addition, keep all medicines in a place that is beyond the reach of children and pets.

Unless you have been instructed otherwise, when any medication becomes outdated or is needed no longer do not dispose it off by flushing it down the toilet or pouring it into the drain. Always discard such medications in a proper and safe manner. If necessary, talk to your pharmacist or any neighbourhood waste disposal firm regarding further information.

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