ATENOLOL is a β1 receptor antagonist, a drug belonging to the group of beta blockers, a class of drugs used primarily in cardiovascular diseases.
atenolol does not pass through the blood–brain barrier thus avoiding various central nervous system side effects.
Atenolol is one of the most widely used β-blockers in the United Kingdom and was once the first-line treatment for hypertension. The role for β-blockers in hypertension was downgraded in June 2006 in the United Kingdom to fourth-line, as they perform less appropriately or effectively than newer drugs, particularly in the elderly.
use - atenolol is used to treat acute myocardial infraction, angina, hypertension, supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia
It is also used to treat the symptoms of Graves' disease until antithyroid medication can take effect.
Due to its hydrophilic properties, the drug is less suitable in migraine prophylaxis compared to propranolol, because, for this indication, atenolol would have to reach the brain in high concentrations, which is not the case.
Atenolol is also used sometimes to prevent migraine headaches and to treat alcohol withdrawal, heart failure, and irregular heartbeat. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
Atenolol causes significantly fewer central nervous system side effects (depression, nightmares).
It was the main β-blocker identified as carrying a higher risk of provoking type 2 diabetes, leading to its downgrading in the United Kingdom in June 2006 to fourth-line agent in the management of hypertension.
In addition, β-blockers blunt the usual sympathetic nervous system response to hypoglycemia. These drugs therefore have an ability to mask a dangerously low blood sugar, which further decreases their safety and utility in diabetic patients.
Side effects include
indigestion, constipation, dry mouth, dizziness or faintness (especially cases of orthostatic hypotension)
cold extremities, impotence, rhinitis, depression, confusion, insomnia, nightmares
fatigue, weakness or lack of energy.
More serious side effects:
hallucinations, low blood pressure (hypotension), skin reactions, e.g. rash, hives, flaking of skin, worsening of psoriasis
sensation of 'pins and needles' hands or feet, irritated eyes, visual disturbances, difficulty hearing, difficulty speaking
unsteadiness when walking.
Before taking atenolol
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to atenolol or any other medications.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others) and verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan); clonidine (Catapres); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as indomethacin (Indocin); and reserpine (Serpalan, Serpasil, Serpatabs). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma or other lung disease; diabetes; severe allergies; an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism); pheochromocytoma; heart failure; a slow heart rate; circulation problems; or heart or kidney disease.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking atenolol, call your doctor immediately.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking atenolol.
you should know that if you have allergic reactions to different substances, your reactions may be worse while you are using atenolol, and your allergic reactions may not respond to the usual doses of injectable epinephrine.
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