Atenolol is used with or without other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. This medication is also used to treat chest pain (angina) and to improve survival after a heart attack.
Atenolol belongs to a class of drugs known as beta blockers. It works by blocking the action of certain natural chemicals in your body, such as epinephrine, on the heart and blood vessels. This effect lowers the heart rate, blood pressure, and strain on the heart.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when you suddenly stop this drug. Some people who have suddenly stopped taking similar drugs have had chest pain, heart attack, and irregular heartbeat. If your doctor decides you should no longer use this drug, he or she may direct you to gradually decrease your dose over 1 to 2 weeks.
When gradually stopping this medication, it is recommended that you temporarily limit physical activity to decrease strain on the heart. Get medical help right away if you develop chest pain/tightness/pressure, chest pain spreading to the jaw/neck/arm, unusual sweating, trouble breathing, or fast/irregular heartbeat.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used for irregular heartbeat or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It may also be used to reduce the risk of migraine headaches.
How to Use This Medication
See also Warning section.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 1 to 2 times daily.
Apple juice and orange juice may prevent your body from fully absorbing atenolol. It is best to avoid drinking apple/orange juice within 4 hours of taking atenolol, unless your doctor or pharmacist tells you otherwise.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
If this product is used for chest pain, it must be taken regularly to be effective. It should not be used to treat chest pain when it occurs. Use other medications (such as nitroglycerin placed under the tongue) to relieve chest pain as directed by your doctor.
It may take 1 to 2 weeks before you get the full benefit of this medication. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (for example, if your blood pressure readings remain high or increase, if your chest pain occurs more often).