What is the most important information I should know about atenolol?
Use only as directed. Tell your doctor if you use other medicines or have other medical conditions or allergies.
What is atenolol?
Atenolol is used to treat angina (chest pain) and hypertension (high blood pressure). Atenolol is also used to lower the risk of death after a heart attack.
Atenolol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking atenolol?
You should not use atenolol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- a serious heart condition such as "AV block" (second or third degree);
- slow heartbeats;
- heart failure; or
- if your heart cannot pump blood properly.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- congestive heart failure;
- coronary artery disease (hardened arteries);
- asthma, bronchitis, emphysema;
- overactive thyroid;
- liver or kidney disease;
- pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland);
- peripheral vascular disease such as Raynaud's syndrome; or
- allergies (or if you are undergoing allergy treatments or skin-testing).
May harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you become pregnant while using this medicine.
Atenolol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.
Atenolol is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take atenolol?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using atenolol. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
You should not stop taking atenolol suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.
If you are being treated for high blood pressure: Keep using this medicine even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
Your condition may need to be treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme weakness or lack of energy, very slow heart rate, shortness of breath, or fainting.
What should I avoid while taking atenolol?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
What are the possible side effects of atenolol?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- new or worsening chest pain;
- slow or uneven heartbeats;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain; or
- a cold feeling in your hands and feet.
Common side effects may include:
- cold hands or feet;
- tiredness; or
- depressed mood.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect atenolol?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
- digoxin, digitalis;
any other beta-blocker --bisoprolol, carvedilol, labetalol, metoprolol, nebivolol, propranolol, sotalol, timolol, and others; or
heart or blood pressure medication --amiodarone, clonidine, diltiazem, disopyramide, nicardipine, nifedipine, reserpine, verapamil, and others.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect atenolol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Where can I get more information?
Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about atenolol.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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