Atenolol - Indications | Side Effects

This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.

Atenolol belongs to the family of medicines called beta blockers. It selectively blocks beta 1 receptors and thus slows the heart rate and reduces the heart's need for oxygen.


Atenolol is used in the treatment of following conditions:

  • High blood pressure;
  • Arrhythmia
  • Angina pectoris;
  • Heart attack (early stages)


It should be avoided in following conditions:

  • If you are allergic to atenolol or other beta blockers, such as:
    • metoprolol,
    • bisoprolol,
    • carvedilol,
    • propranolol and others.
  • If you have a heart block
  • If you have metabolic acidosis
  • If you have low blood pressure
  • If you have diabetes
  • If you have asthma
  • If you have bronchitis
  • If you have a pheochromocytoma
  • If you have hepatic impairment
  • If you have renal impairment
  • If you have thyroid problem

Use with other medicines (Interactions)

Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • Clonidine (used to treat high blood pressure or migraine);
  • Verapamil, diltiazem and nifedipine (used to treat high blood pressure or angina pectoris);
  • Disopyramide, quinidine or amiodarone (used to treat irregular heartbeat);
  • Digoxin (used to treat heart failure);
  • Adrenaline also known as epinephrine (a medicine that stimulates the heart);
  • Ibuprofen or indomethacin (used to treat pain);
  • Insulin or oral antidiabetic medicines (used to treat diabetes);
  • Medications used to treat cold and flu.

This medicine can be taken regardless of meals.

Use of Atenolol during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Consult your doctor before you start taking any medication. Use of Atenolol during pregnancy is not recommended.

How to use

Take this medication exactly as your doctor tells you to.

If you are not sure how to use this medication, call your doctor.

Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Take the tablet every day at the same time.



  • High blood pressure (hypertension): The usual dose is 50 - 100 mg once a day;
  • Chest pain (angina): The usual dose is 100 mg once a day or 50 mg twice a day;
  • Irregular heart beat (arrhythmia): The usual dose is 50 - 100 mg once a day;
  • Early stages of heart attack: The usual dose is 50 mg - 100 mg once a day.

Elderly patients and children

This medicine should not be used in children.

Dose should be reduced in elderly patients and patients with renal impairment.

Side effects

  • Bradycardia (slow heart beat);
  • Cold hands and feet;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Nausea;
  • Fatigue;
  • Heart block;
  • Mood swings;
  • Nightmares;
  • Confusion;
  • Hallucinations;
  • Headache;
  • Dizziness;
  • Impotence;
  • Skin rash.

Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly because you may experience so-called withdrawal syndrome.

Brand names: Tenormin.

Information on this website are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

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