Atenolol is a medicine that belongs to a group called beta-blockers, used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems such as uneven heartbeat and angina.
Atenolol works by blocking the effects of the hormone, adrenaline. When you take beta blockers, your heart beats more slowly and with less force, which in turn brings your blood pressure down.
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) or heart problems can be linked to a number of factors, such as a family history, a diet high in salt or being overweight or inactive.
In addition to some lifestyle changes (such as smoking and/or drinking less and exercising more), it’s often advised to take medication, such as Atenolol, to manage the conditions in order to prevent more serious ailments such as stroke, heart attack or blood clots.
Atenolol is a prescription-only medication. Always follow the advice of your doctor and read the patient information leaflet provided in the medication packet.
Take the tablets by swallowing whole with a drink of water, with or without food. You should take it at the same time of day, in order to help you remember.
Atenolol contains the active ingredient atenolol, in strengths of either 25mg, 50mg or 100mg per tablet.
For high blood pressure, the usual dose is 100mg taken once a day, however your doctor may prescribe a lower amount in the case of elderly people or those with severe kidney problems. If you’re taking Atenolol for angina or heart rhythm disorders then the amount will differ, so you should always follow the advice of your doctor.
If you forget to take your Atenolol tablet then you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s nearly time for your next dose. In this case, skip the forgotten dose and move straight onto the next one. Don’t worry but don’t double up on your dose to make up for a missed one.
If you take more Atenolol than you should, then go to your nearest doctor or emergency department immediately. Symptoms of an overdose include reduced heart rate, blood pressure, and a feeling of tightness in chest.
Before taking Atenolol, you should always first consult your doctor. You should not take Atenolol if any of the following apply to you:
Your prescription of Atenolol may also be affected by a number of other factors, so you should make your doctor aware if any of the following apply:
Like many medications with active ingredients, Atenolol can affect or be affected by other medicines. Particular medications that you may experience this with include the following:
If you are taking any of the above medications, then you should make your doctor aware so that they can advise whether or not Atenolol will be the best course of action for you.
Like with all sufferers of high blood pressure or heart problems, you should pair your medication with some lifestyle changes such as eating healthily, exercising regularly and avoiding excessive smoking or drinking.
You should largely avoid alcohol while taking this medication (or at least limit your consumption), as it can cause your blood pressure to drop too low.
The most common side effects of using Atenolol include:
If you do experience one or more of these side effects and they persist or worsen, then inform your doctor right away. You should also contact your doctor if you notice any serious side effects such as abnormal heartbeat, shortness of breath or allergic reaction.
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