Atenolol is a prescription drug used to treat high blood pressure and reduce heart strain. It belongs to a class of drugs called beta-blockers. Further, it may be administered alone or in combination with other medicines. Atenolol can be taken orally or injected intravenously. It is available in tablet and liquid suspension forms. Further, it is sold under the name Tenormin and Atenolol as a generic. Atenolol has been widely used to reduce the risk of mortality in patients with hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
While primarily indicated for lowering blood pressure, Atenolol has also been used to treat heart-associated chest pain (angina) and improve survival after myocardial infarctions. It works by blocking the action of naturally occurring chemicals such as epinephrine on the cardiovascular system. Some other uses of Atenolol include long QT syndrome (a type of arrhythmia), atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, and supraventricular tachycardia. Off-label uses of Atenolol encompass treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, thyrotoxicosis, and migraine headaches.
Common side effects of Atenolol include dizziness, tiredness, leg pain, nausea, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath. Atenolol is a beta-blocker that reduces the blood flow to the limbs, which may cause your hand and feet to feel colder. Some other side effects observed are hypotension or low blood pressure, vertigo, and atrioventricular block. Adverse reactions reported include severe congestive heart failure, sick sinus syndrome, hallucinations, psychosis, elevated liver activity, and early-onset diabetes. Your physician will guide you with the precautions you need to take while taking Atenolol.
1. Is Atenolol a Beta-blocker?
Atenolol is a cardioselective beta-blocker; it exerts its effects mainly on the heart. Unlike common beta-blockers, it does not work by dilation of the blood vessels. Instead, it acts on the central nervous system (CNS). Further, it prevents an increase in the heart rate by negating the effects of chemicals released by the CNS, reducing strain on the heart.
2. How to Stop Taking Atenolol Safely?
Do not stop taking Atenolol without consulting a physician. Abrupt discontinuation can worsen the condition you are dealing with and can lead to adverse effects. Approaching your physician can help you decide the safest way to stop taking Atenolol, mainly by reducing the dosage strength over time. Newer beta-blockers can replace Atenolol.
3. How Long Does It Take Atenolol to Lower the Heart Rate?
After consumption of Atenolol, it is metabolized by the body and found in peak concentrations in the plasma at around three hours. Therefore, it can take anywhere between 2 to 4 hours to show a noticeable decrease in heart rate. However, the consumption of Atenolol with apple or orange juice may interfere with its absorption and increase the time range.
4. Is Atenolol a Blood Thinner?
Atenolol is a cardioselective beta-blocker and does not work by dilating the blood vessels. It is not a blood thinner. Instead, it reduces blood pressure by contradicting the effects of certain chemicals that bind to the heart receptors. Thus, it makes it easier for the heart to pump blood, reducing your blood pressure.
5. Does Atenolol Cause Weight Gain?
As Atenolol is a beta-blocker, it tends to cause weight gain. While the mechanisms are yet unclear, it is assumed that beta-blockers tend to slow down your metabolism due to their effects on chemicals such as adrenaline. With older beta-blockers like Atenolol and Metoprolol, the average weight gain reported is around 1.2 kgs.
6. Is Atenolol an ACE Inhibitor?
Atenolol is not an ACE inhibitor; it is a beta-blocker. While both these drugs are used to treat or prevent the same conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, stroke, and migraines, they possess different mechanisms of action. Unlike ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers also help relieve angina or chest pain.
7. How Long Does Atenolol Stay in Your System?
Atenolol peaks in concentration at around three hours in the plasma and has a half-life of six to seven hours. If you stop taking Atenolol, it will take around 32 hours to completely clear out of your system. However, doctors do not recommend stopping it abruptly as it can worsen your heart condition.
8. Is Atenolol a Diuretic?
Atenolol is not a diuretic; it is a beta-blocker. For treatment of hypertension, Atenolol is often combined with diuretic medicines such as Chlorthalidone, a thiazide diuretic. The combination is supposed to improve the symptoms of hypertension by causing your body to get rid of extra fluid.
9. Does Atenolol Cause Hair Loss?
Beta-blockers have a myriad of side effects, including hair loss. Patients have reported hair loss and hair thinning with beta-blocker administration. As beta-blockers contradict the activity of hormones like adrenaline, they can reduce blood flow to the hair follicles. However, new hair follicle growth is not affected.
10. What Pain Reliever Can I Take With Atenolol?
Certain pain relievers such as ibuprofen, a Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID), have been reported to affect the activity of Atenolol and worsen heart conditions. While consensus states that paracetamol (Acetaminophen) is an acceptable pain reliever to take with Atenolol, the best option is to consult your physician, who can better gauge the pain reliever safe for your consumption.
Consult our team of expert doctors at Yashoda Hospitals to get your detailed regimen of Atenolol and the dosages and precautions you will need to abide by.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.