How it should be taken
• Take the tablet with water.
• Taking the drug after meal is advisable to reduce chances of stomach upset. However, the drug can be taken empty stomach.
• Never stop taking the drug without consulting your prescribing doctor. Abrupt cessation may cause severe health problems.
Dosage & When it is to be taken
The dosage of the drug varies as per the medical condition.
• In acute heart attack patient: Oral therapy with atenolol must be started once the patient is in a stable condition following the intravenous atenolol for acute heart attack. First oral dose (50 mg) must be given after 10 minutes of the last intravenous dose. Another 50 mg dose should be given after 12 hours. Then a 100 mg must be given once a day or 50 mg twice a day for 6 to 9 days or until discharge from the hospital.
• For hypertension or angina: 50 mg once daily. Dose may be increased to 100 mg once daily after one-two weeks.
When it is not to be taken (Contraindications)
Atenolol is absolutely contraindicated in the patients with the following conditions:
• Clinical depression
• Known allergy to the drug
• Second or third degree heart block
• Persistent low heart rate (bradycardia)
• Poor blood circulation due to heart failure
• Tumour of adrenal gland called pheochromocytoma
• Breast feeding mother
Why it is prescribed (Indications)
Atenolol blocks beta-1 receptors, which are present on the heart. This prevents the action of nerve chemicals adrenaline and noradrenaline on the heart. As a result, heart beats at a slower rate and with lesser force, and thus pumps out lesser blood into blood vessels. This action of atenolol reduces blood pressure in the hypertensive patients. Since the heart treated with atenolol beat slowly and with less force, it uses lesser energy thus relieving pain in angina and also reduces the risk of heart attack.
Missed a Dose?
• Take the drug as soon as you remember.
• Never take two doses together.
• If it is less than 8 hours until the next dose, skip the missed dose.
Warnings and Precautions
• Consult your doctor before any surgery or dental procedure. Atenolol may be required to be stopped before any such treatment.
• The drug may block the symptoms of low blood glucose levels. Diabetic patients must take extra care while using this drug.
• Atenolol interacts with many drugs. Make sure your doctor knows all the drugs you are taking before starting the treatment with atenolol.
• Patient may develop an allergic reaction.
Store the drug in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Keep out of the reach of children.