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 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 the heart rate, blood pressure, and strain on the heart.
See also Warning section. Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, 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 doctor 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. It is important to continue 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 doctor. It may take 1 to 2 weeks before you get the full benefit of this medication. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (for example, if your blood pressure readings remain high or increase, if your chest pain occurs more often).
See also Warning and Precautions sections. Dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, and nausea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. 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 your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: new or worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain), very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, trouble breathing, blue fingers/toes, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, mood swings, 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/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, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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.
See also How To Use 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 doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: dolasetron, fingolimod. 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 such as ibuprofen/naproxen).
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, severe weakness, fainting, trouble breathing.