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.
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