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What is atenolol?

Atenolol (also called Tenormin®) is an antihypertensive (drug for lowering blood pressure) known as a beta-blocker. It reduces the workload of the heart and helps it to beat more regularly. It lowers blood pressure in many different ways. High blood pressure levels can damage kidneys, and may lead to a stroke or heart failure. It is also used to relieve some types of chest pain and to prevent migraine headaches. Atenolol is available as 25-mg, 50-mg, and 100-mg tablets, all of which are taken by mouth.

Possible side effects of atenolol

  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed or having fainting spells
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Swelling of legs or ankles
  • Irregular heartbeat, chest pain, palpitations
  • Cold, tingling, or numb hands or feet
  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness
  • Headache
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Dry itching skin
  • Dry or burning eyes
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sexual difficulties, impotence

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

In case of a severe side effect or reaction, call 595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

Special instructions for atenolol

  • This medicine may cause dizziness and lightheadedness. Do not operate heavy equipment or drive a motor vehicle until you see how this medicine will affect you. To avoid feeling dizzy or having fainting spells do not sit up or stand up too quickly.
  • You or your nurse should check your blood pressure and heart rate regularly while you are taking atenolol. Your doctor will tell you what to do if your blood pressure level is low or high. Your dose of atenolol may change based on your blood pressure level. If your blood pressure is above _____________ or below__________ call your doctor right away. If your heart rate is _____________ call your doctor right away.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking atenolol. This can lead to serious heart-related problems. Ask your doctor how you should gradually reduce the dose before you stop taking this medicine.
  • If you experience any of the following symptoms or side effects, call your doctor right away:
    • Difficulty breathing, wheezing
    • Dizziness or fainting spells
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Changes in vision
    • Tremor, shakes
    • Vomiting
    • Slow heart rate
    • Swollen legs or ankles
    • Increased thirst
    • Increase in the amount of urine passed
    • Skin rash
    • Cold, tingling, or numb hands or feet
    • Confusion
  • Atenolol may affect the way some medicines work. Some medicines may also affect the way atenolol works. These medicines include other blood pressure medicines, medicines for colds and coughs, medicines for breathing problems, diuretics, alcohol, and others. Always tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medicines, or if you start taking any new medicine while you are taking atenolol.
  • If you experience a sudden onset of severe diarrhea or vomiting or if you sweat a lot, tell your doctor right away. This loss of body fluid may decrease your blood pressure.
  • Atenolol may affect your blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes. Your blood sugar level should be checked while you are taking atenolol.
  • If an oral liquid suspension of atenolol is made by the pharmacy, you should shake the suspension well before you take the medicine. The oral liquid should be refrigerated. Discard the medicine after the expiration date that is on the label.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).