Atenolol – Oral


Why do I need this medicine?

Atenolol helps to keep your blood pressure under control. It may also be used to treat certain heart diseases such as angina pectoris (chest pain) and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats).


Atenolol is also used to reduce the risk of heart complications after a heart attack.


Atenolol may also be used to treat other conditions, as decided by your doctor.


How do I take this medicine?

Take Atenolol exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.


Atenolol may be taken with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.


This medicine must be taken regularly for it to work well. Continue taking Atenolol even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor, as stopping it suddenly could worsen your condition.


What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.


DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.


If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.


When should I not use this medicine?

Alert your doctor if you have heart disease and lung disease as this medicine may not be suitable for you.


Do not take Atenolol if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Atenolol may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine.


What should I take note of while taking this medicine?

Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:


– kidney disease

– thyroid disease

– diabetes

– phaeochromocytoma (tumour in the adrenal glands)

– psoriasis (a type of skin disease that is caused by itchy patches of thick, red skin and silvery scales)


If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.


Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?


Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. He may also need to do routine blood tests while you are being treated with Atenolol.


What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my blood pressure?


Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Engage in physical activity (e.g. walking) at least 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. If you have not exercised for a long time, start with light exercises such as slow walks. Speak to your doctor about what type of exercise would be suitable for you. Follow a healthy diet plan by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products and reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Cutting down on deep-fried foods and using less salt when cooking can kick-start your healthy diet.


If you smoke, you should try to quit. Smoking is harmful to your blood pressure, heart and overall health. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to kick your smoking habit.


Try to keep stress levels under control as stress will cause your blood pressure to go up.


What side effects could I experience?

Atenolol may cause dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.


This medicine may cause your blood pressure to fall suddenly when you get up from a sitting or lying down position and you may feel giddy. To minimise this problem, stand up slowly.


Other side effects include any of the following: tiredness, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and headache.


Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience chest pain or coldness, numbness or tingling of the fingers and toes.


Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.


Can I take this with other medicines?

Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:


– other medicines for high blood pressure .g. clonidine, verapamil, diltiazem

– medicines for diabetes e.g. glibenclamide, gliclazide

– medicines for pain and inflammation e.g. indomethacin, ibuprofen

– medicines for heart disease e.g. quinidine, disopyramide, amiodarone, digoxin

– medicines to block pain and other sensations e.g. lidocaine

– ampicillin (antibiotic)

– medicines for mood disorders e.g. isocarboxacid, phenelzine


This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Atenolol.


Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.


What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Avoid alcohol.


How should I store this medicine?

Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.


Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.