Atenolol: what it is for, how to use it and side effects


Atenolol is an antihypertensive drug indicated for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in adults, such as high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias or angina, as it helps the heart to beat slower and with less force, which lowers blood pressure. In addition, atenolol helps to open up the veins and arteries to improve blood flow.

This drug can be found in pharmacies or drugstores, in the form of 25, 50 or 100 mg tablets, under the trade name Ablok, or as a generic under the designation “atenolol”. In addition, this drug can be found in association with another substance, chlorthalidone, a diuretic that increases urine output, enhancing the effect of atenolol.

Atenolol should only be used with medical indication, in doses and for the duration of treatment directed by the doctor.

what is it for

Atenolol is indicated for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases such as:

  • chest pain (angina)
  • High pressure;
  • Cardiac arrhythmias;
  • Myocardial infarction.

Atenolol should always be used with medical indication and guidance according to the condition to be treated, in doses and for the duration of treatment established by the doctor.

How to use

Atenolol should be taken orally, with a glass of water, at the same time each day. The 25 mg atenolol tablet should be swallowed whole, without breaking or chewing. The 50 mg and 100 mg tablets can be broken.

Typically recommended doses of atenolol for adults vary depending on the condition being treated and include:

  • High pressure: the normally recommended dose is 50 to 100 mg of atenolol per day, in a single dose, or according to medical advice;
  • Angina: the normally recommended dose is 100 mg of atenolol per day, in a single dose, or 50 mg twice a day, as directed by the physician;
  • Cardiac arrhythmia: the normally recommended dose is 50 to 100 mg of atenolol per day, in a single dose, for cases of controlled cardiac arrhythmia;
  • Myocardial infarction: the dose normally recommended after an acute infarction is 100 mg of atenolol per day, in a single dose, in order to prevent the occurrence of another infarction.

The onset of action of atenolol is about 1 hour after taking it orally, with maximum effect within 2 to 4 hours, but lasting for at least 24 hours.

This remedy may take up to 1 to 2 weeks of treatment to have the maximum effect, so it is important to take atenolol as directed by your doctor. In addition, one should not stop the treatment on their own, as it can worsen the disease.

Possible side effects

Some of the most common side effects that can occur during treatment with atenolol are dizziness, tiredness, cold hands and feet, mental depression, heart failure or pulmonary embolism.

It is important to immediately seek medical help at the nearest emergency department if symptoms such as the appearance or worsening of chest pain, decreased or irregular heartbeats, dizziness as if you were going to faint, shortness of breath even with light exertion, gain of rapid weight or feeling cold in the feet or hands.

In addition, atenolol can cause severe allergic reactions that need immediate medical attention. Therefore, you should stop treatment and seek the nearest emergency room if you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, feeling of a closed throat, swelling in the mouth, tongue or face. Know how to identify the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.

who shouldn’t use

Atenolol should not be used by children, nursing mothers or women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.

This medicine should also not be used by people who have a slow heart beat, low blood pressure, asthma, difficulty in the heart pumping blood, circulation problems, uncontrolled heart failure, diseases that affect the electrical impulses of the heart, benign tumor of the gland adrenal or adrenal, or metabolic acidosis.

Also, atenolol should not be used by people who are allergic to any component of the tablet.

Atenolol should be used with caution by diabetics, as it may mask symptoms of a hypoglycemic crisis, such as an increased heart rate.

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