Atenolol Tenormin (the brand version of Atenolol) is a beta blocker medication prescribed to treat hypertension. The tablet relaxes blood vessels and slows the heart rate to help lower blood pressure. Tenormin may also help reduce the risk of stroke, kidney disease and cardiovascular issues. Read more about hypertension.
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How to use this information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of a medical provider. If you have any questions, go to your patient dashboard and request a callback for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
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Warnings to be aware of
  • Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your medical provider. Some conditions may become worse when you suddenly stop this drug. Some people who have suddenly stopped taking similar drugs have experienced chest pain, heart attack and irregular heartbeat.
  • If your medical provider decides you should no longer use this drug, they may direct you to gradually decrease your dose over 1 to 2 weeks.
  • When gradually stopping this medication, it is recommended that you temporarily limit physical activity to decrease strain on the heart. Get medical help right away if you develop:

    • Chest pain, tightness or pressure
    • Chest pain spreading to the jaw, neck or arm
    • Unusual sweating
    • Trouble breathing
    • Fast or irregular heartbeat
What you should know about Atenolol
  • 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 outcomes 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 heart rate, blood pressure and strain on the heart.
How to take Atenolol (see also “Warnings to be aware of” section)
  • Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your medical provider, usually 1 to 2 times daily.
  • Apple juice and orange juice may prevent your body from fully absorbing Atenolol. It is best to avoid drinking apple/orange juice within 4 hours of taking Atenolol, unless your medical provider or pharmacist tells you otherwise.
  • The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
  • If this product is used for chest pain, it must be taken regularly to be effective. It should not be used to treat chest pain when it occurs. Use other medications (such as Nitroglycerin placed under the tongue) to relieve chest pain as directed by your medical provider.
  • It may take 1 to 2 weeks before you get the full benefit of this medication. Tell your medical provider if your condition does not improve or worsens—for example, your blood pressure readings remain high or increase, or your chest pain occurs more often.
Potential side effects (see also “Warnings…” and “Precautions to be aware of” sections)
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness and nausea may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your medical provider or pharmacist right away.
  • 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 this medication has been prescribed because your medical provider has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not experience serious side effects. Tell your medical provider right away if you experience any serious side effects, including:

    • New or worsening symptoms of heart failure such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles or feet, unusual tiredness or unusual/sudden weight gain
    • Very slow heartbeat
    • Severe dizziness
    • Fainting
    • Trouble breathing
    • Blue fingers or toes
    • Mental or mood changes such as confusion, mood swings or 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 or 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, request a callback for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Precautions to be aware of
  • Before taking Atenolol, tell your medical provider or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Go to your patient dashboard and request a callback for more details.
  • Before using this medication, tell your medical provider or pharmacist your medical history—especially of:

    • Pheochromocytoma
    • Angina 
    • Thyroid conditions
    • Certain types of heart rhythm problems, such as slow heartbeat or second- or third-degree atrioventricular block
    • Breathing problems, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema
    • Blood circulation problems, such as Raynaud's disease or peripheral vascular disease
    • Kidney disease
    • Heart failure
    • Serious allergic reactions, including those requiring treatment with Epinephrine
    • The muscle disease myasthenia gravis
  • Although this medication may be used to treat heart failure, some people may (in rare cases) develop new or worsening symptoms of heart failure, especially at the start of Atenolol treatment. Tell your medical provider right away if you develop any of these serious side effects:

    • Shortness of breath
    • Swelling ankles or feet
    • Unusual tiredness
    • Unusual or sudden weight gain
  • This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can exacerbate the effect. Do not drive, use machinery or do anything that requires alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your medical provider if you are using marijuana.
  • 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 medical provider. Tell your medical provider right away if you experience symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst or urination. They may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program or diet.  It is more likely this medication could cause hypoglycemia. If you experience signs of low blood sugar, see your medical provider in person. Signs of hypoglycemia include:

    • Fast heartbeat
    • Shaking
    • Sweating
    • Nervousness or anxiety
    • Irritability or confusion
    • Dizziness
    • Hunger
  • Children may be at greater risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), especially if they are vomiting or not eating regularly. To help prevent low blood sugar, feed children on a regular schedule. If your child cannot eat regularly, is vomiting or has symptoms of low blood sugar (such as sweating or seizures), stop this medication and tell the doctor right away.
  • Tell your medical provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are using Atenolol, as it may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant while using this medication, talk to your medical provider right away about its risks and benefits.
  • This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your medical provider before breastfeeding.
Drug interactions (see also “How to take…” section)
  • Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions.
  • Keep a list of all the products you use—including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products—and share it with your medical provider and pharmacist.
  • Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicines without your medical provider's approval.
  • Fingolimod and other medications used for treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) may interact with this drug.
  • Rivastigmine may interact with this drug.
  • Some products have ingredients that could raise your heart rate or blood pressure or worsen your heart failure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely—especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids or NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and Naproxen.
What to do in the event of an overdose
  • Symptoms of overdose may include very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, severe weakness, fainting or trouble breathing.
  • If someone has overdosed and is experiencing serious symptoms—such as passing out or trouble breathing—call 911. If symptoms from taking this medication are less severe, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 right away.
Additional notes
  • Do not share this medication with others.
  • Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs or exercise and dietary changes may increase the effectiveness of this medicine. Talk to your medical provider or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
  • Check your blood pressure and pulse (heart rate) regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure and pulse at home, and share the results with your medical provider.
What to do if you miss a dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

How to store this medication
  • Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Keep all medications away from children and pets.
  • Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more information.
Treatment for
Generic Name
Drug Class
Beta blocker

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