This medicine contains atenolol as active ingredient. It belongs to the class of medicines known as beta-blockers, known to interrupt the transmission of stimuli through the beta receptors in the body.
By occupying the beta receptors, beta-blockers nullify the stimulating action of noradrenaline, the main “fight or flight” hormone. As a result, they reduce the force and speed of the heart beat and prevent the dilation of the blood vessels surrounding the brain and leading to the extremities.
Used mainly in circulatory conditions (heart and blood vessels) these drugs are occasionally prescribed for other conditions. The medicine does not cure heart disease, it only controls the symptoms, so it may have to be taken continuously over a long period.
The medicine is prescribed for:
• Treatment of high blood pressure
• May be used to relieve angina pectoris
• May be used to treat irregular heartbeat
• May be used to treat anxiety disorders and other conditions as determined by your doctor.
The drug is sometimes given after a heart attack to reduce the likelihood of abnormal heart rhythms or further damage to the heart muscle. These drugs are also prescribed to improve heart function in heart muscle disorders, known as cardiomyopathies.
Cautions and Warnings
The main risk of beta-blockers is that of provoking breathing difficulties as a result of the blocking effect on beta receptors in the lungs.
All beta-blockers should be prescribed with caution for people who have asthma, bronchitis, or other forms of respiratory disease.
Beta-blockers are not commonly prescribed for people who have poor circulation in the limbs because they reduce the flow of blood and may aggravate such conditions.
Diabetics who need to take beta-blockers should be aware that they may notice a change in the warning signs of low blood sugar; in particular, they may find that symptoms such as palpitations and tremor are suppressed.
Beta-blockers should not be stopped suddenly after prolonged use; they may provide a sudden and severe recurrence of symptoms of the original disorder, even a heart attack. The blood pressure may also rise markedly.
When treatment with beta-blockers needs to be stopped it should be withdrawn gradually under medical supervision.
Before using this medicine
Before you use this medicine check with your doctor, or pharmacist:
• if you ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to beta blockers
• if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medicine
• if you have low blood pressure
• if you have diabetes
• if you have a lung disorder such as asthma or bronchitis
• if you have kidney or liver disease
• if you are breast-feeding an infant
This medication is used for treatment of heart conditions (for instance, angina pectoris) and high blood pressure.
The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regime. Adult: 50 mg a day. Some people require doses of 100-200 mg a day.
Tablets, capsules or extended-release tablets should be taken with liquid. Take the medicine with meals or immediately after.
For safe and effective use of medicine:
• Follow your doctor’s instructions if this medicine was prescribed.
• Follow the manufacturer’s package directions if you are treating yourself.
Along with the needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Possible side effects include:
• Shortness of breath
• Changes in heartbeat
• Severe asthma
• Slow pulse
• Numbness in hands and feet
• Tingling in hands and feet
• Difficult urination
The following symptoms may be a sign of overdose:
• Unusually slow or weak pulse
• Blood pressure drop
• Difficulty breathing
• Cold and sweating skin
Call a doctor or hospital emergency room for instructions. If necessary start first aid immediately.
The effect of this medicine may cause a blood pressure drop if taken together with antihypertensives, antidiabetics, antihistamines, anti- inflammatory drugs.
Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are currently taking.
Driving and hazardous work
Do not drive a car until you learn how this medicine affects you. Do not work around dangerous machinery. Do not climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicine affecting alertness and reflexes.
Capsules, tablets, etc. should be stored at in a tightly closed container in a cool, dry place; store away from heat and direct light. Keep out of reach of children, since this medicine may be dangerous in children.