Atenolol is a blocking agent with selective receptor of β1-adrenergic receptors (also called "beta-adrenergic blocker" or simply " beta-blocker ") that is used for treating hypertension. The function of beta-blockers is to inhibit the beta receptors of the adrenergic system in the heart, reducing cardiac stress. It is classified as a cardioselective drug (that acts mainly on the heart than on other tissues), it has no intrinsic sympathomimetic activity and does not possess properties of membrane stabilizers.


What is Atenolol?


The Atenolol is used to treat high blood pressure, as well as pressure of renal origin, and angina pectoris and arrhythmias. It may also be administered prior to an intervention for acute myocardial infarction.


How should Atenolol be taken?


Atenolol is commercially available in the form of tablets to be taken orally or in the form of solutions for injections.


Side effects associated with Atenolol


There are several known side effects due to the use of atenolol, which may vary depending on the sensitivity of the patient, the prescribed dosage and duration of therapy. Among the most common side effects are included:


  • Gastrointestinal disorders: nausea, diarrhea, constipation, dyspepsia, dry mouth
  • Hepato-biliary disorders
  • Cardiovascular disturbances: bradycardia, orthostatic hypotension, syncope, worsening of pre-existing problems to the peripheral circulation, worsening of previous issues related to the cardiovascular system
  • Disorders of the nervous system: insomnia, dizziness, lethargy, confusion, depression, headache, hallucinations


In rare cases, complications of the blood may occur that are manifested by thrombocytopenia, purpura, granulocytopenia.


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Atenolol


Particular care should be taken when administering Atenolol to patients with asthma and bronchospasm. Moreover, caution is necessary when administering this medication to patients suffering from diabetes mellitus.

Furthermore, drug toxicology studies have shown no teratogenic effects attributable to atenolol in terms of treatment during pregnancy; however, it is recommended to perform a careful risk and benefit evaluation regarding the mother and unborn child (in fact the drug may cross the placenta and enter the blood levels in the umbilical cord). Since this drug accumulates in breast milk in concentrations equal to three times the average blood concentration and its intake can cause bradycardia in breastfed infants, the risk of side effects should not be overlooked.