What is this medication?
Antihypertensive/antianginal Agent, Blocks Beta 1 adrenergic receptors with little effect on Beta 2 except at high dosages
Atenolol/Tenormin is officially indicated for hypertension, angina pectoris, and myocardial infarction. It is commonly prescribed off-label for atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, thyrotoxicosis, and ventricular arrhythmia.
“ALERT: US Boxed Warning
Cessation of therapy:
Advise patients with coronary artery disease who are being treated with atenolol against abrupt discontinuation of therapy. Severe exacerbation of angina and the occurrence of myocardial infarction (MI) and ventricular arrhythmias have been reported in patients with angina following the abrupt discontinuation of therapy with beta-blockers. The last 2 complications may occur with or without preceding exacerbation of the angina pectoris. As with other beta-blockers, when discontinuation of atenolol is planned, observe the patient carefully and advise the patient to limit physical activity to a minimum. If the angina worsens or acute coronary insufficiency develops, it is recommended that atenolol be promptly reinstituted, at least temporarily. Because coronary artery disease is common and may be unrecognized, it may be prudent not to discontinue atenolol therapy abruptly, even in patients treated only for hypertension.”
How does this medication work?
Beta 1 receptor is activated by adrenaline and is involved with cardiac output by increasing the volume of each pump as well as increasing the heart rate. Atenolol/Tenormin works by blocking this receptor and has the reverse effect thereby reducing heart rate and stroke volume.
How should I take this medication?
Oral: 25-200 mg divided into one or two daily dosages depending on condition it is used for, tolerance to side effects, and patient response.
How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, take consistently at same times each day unless otherwise directed, store at room temperature
You Need to Avoid: Careful standing up too quickly as you may get dizzy.
Do not stop this medication abruptly to avoid rebound tachycardia, hypertension and in severe cases angina, heart attack, or arrhythmia.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Atenolol/Tenormin make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have a low resting heart rate, asthma or other bronchospastic disease, cardiac conduction abnormalities, heart failure, diabetes, kidney disease, myasthenia gravis, peripheral vascular disease, hyperthyroidism, or if pregnant/breastfeeding
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Hypotension, dizziness, fatigue, bradycardia (low heart rate), ventricular tachycardia, cold extremities
Note this is not a complete list of side effects, only common ones
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