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Molecule Description

Atenolol belongs to a class of medicines known as beta-blockers.


Uses of Atenolol

  • Atenolol is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Treats uneven heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Help prevent chest pain characterized by a painful feeling of tightness in the chest (angina pectoris)
  • Protects the heart in the early treatment after a heart attack (myocardial infarction)

Contraindications of Atenolol

When should one not use Atenolol

  • Have severe liver disease
  • Have asthma
  • Have neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Have allergic reactions
  • Have an adrenal tumor (pheochromocytoma) that is not treated
  • Have levels of acid in your blood (metabolic acidosis)

Side effects of Atenolol

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Can cause certain neuropsychological disturbances like unusual dreams, loss of control over body movements, sleeplessness, depression, and vision problem
  • Serious side effects include worsening of heart failure and excessive slowing of heart rate
  • It can even worsen diabetes
  • In a few cases, there are reports about sexual dysfunction

Precautions and Warnings of Atenolol



Can I take Atenolol during pregnancy?
Atenolol is known to have severe effects on the fetus as it crosses the placenta and reaches cord blood. Many complications ranging from growth retardation, malformations to fetal death, are reported. Hence, your doctor will prescribe it only if its benefit outweighs risk during pregnancy.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Atenolol while breastfeeding?
Atenolol excretes into the mother’s milk. Hence, it is not safe during breastfeeding.


Can I drive if I have consumed Atenolol?
Does not affect your ability to drive, but If you feel dizzy or tired when taking Atenolol, do not drive.


Can I consume alcohol with Atenolol?
Alcohol might cause your blood pressure level to drop too low. You should avoid or limit your alcohol intake while taking Atenolol.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • Be cautious if you have diabetes, Atenolol may cause low blood sugar levels and also change the body’s response to low blood sugar. You may experience warning signs of low blood sugar like an increase...
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  • You have asthma or any other similar breathing problems
  • You have a type of chest pain (Prinz Metal’s Angina)
  • You have poor blood circulation
  • Your medication may change how you respond to having low blood sugar
  • Rapid heartbeats
  • You have thyrotoxicosis (a condition caused by an overactive thyroid gland)
  • You have kidney or liver disease

Mode of Action of Atenolol

How Does It Work?

Atenolol is a beta-blocker. It works by decreasing the heart rate, blood pressure and strain on the heart.

Interactions of Atenolol

Interactions with other medicines

  • Many medicines are known to interact with Atenolol. Hence, any medication which patient is taking has to be reported to the physician
  • Digoxin and calcium channel blockers (Verapamil, Diltiazem, and Nifedipine) can further decrease the heart rate
  • Antihypertensive like Prazosin and Clonidine can lead to very low blood pressure when combined with Atenolol

Interactions with food items

Take Atenolol with a meal or right after a meal.

Dosage of Atenolol


You must strictly avoid overdose, as it may lead to fatal consequences. The immediate symptoms of overdose are lethargy, breathing disorders, wheezing (whistle-like sound from the chest), missing hear...
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Missed a Dose

Atenolol excretes into mother’s milk. Hence, it is not safe during lactation. Again, your doctor will prescribe it only if its benefit outweighs risk during the lactation period. The infant needs clos...
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: Can I stop taking Atenolol?

A: Don’t suddenly end taking a beta-blocker without talking to your doctor. If you stop a beta-blocker suddenly, you can suffer from chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or heart attack. Your doctor may tell you to decrease your dose gradually.

Q: What special precautions should I follow?

A: If you experience any symptoms of dizziness, syncope, vision problems, sexual dysfunction, slow heart rate, etc., report it to the doctor immediately. So that the doctor can adjust your dose depending on your blood pressure, heart rate, level of the medicine in our serum, and other essential factors.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
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