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Generic Name: atenolol

Beta-blockers reduce the workload on the heart and help it to beat more regularly
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What is this medicine?

ATENOLOL (a TEN oh lole) is a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers reduce the workload on the heart and help it to beat more regularly. This medicine is used to treat high blood pressure and to prevent chest pain. It is also used to protect the heart during a heart attack and to prevent an additional heart attack from occurring.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • diabetes
  • heart or vessel disease like slow heart rate, worsening heart failure, heart block, sick sinus syndrome or Raynaud's disease
  • kidney disease
  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma or emphysema
  • pheochromocytoma
  • thyroid disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to atenolol, other beta-blockers, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

The medicine is for injection into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • sotalol

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • clonidine
  • digoxin
  • diuretics
  • dobutamine
  • epinephrine
  • isoproterenol
  • medicine for high blood pressure like calcium channel blockers
  • medicine for inflammation like indomethacin
  • reserpine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

This medicine can affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • changes in vision
  • chest pain
  • cold or numb hands or feet
  • depression
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • fever with sore throat
  • rapid weight gain
  • swollen ankles, legs

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • anxiety, nervous
  • diarrhea
  • dry skin
  • change in sex drive or performance
  • headache
  • nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • short term memory loss
  • stomach upset
  • unusually tired

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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