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Atenolol, a medication for the treatment of high blood pressure, can be taken alone or taken with other medications as a combination. It is also used to treat heart attacks and to prevent chest pain, or angina. Atenolol acts as a beta blocker, which means that it slows down the heart rate and relaxes the blood vessels; as a result, the heart doesn’t have to pump so hard.
Atenolol comes in the form of a tablet to be taken by mouth. It is normally taken once or twice in the day. It should be taken around the same time everyday, so that you do not forget to take it. Take Atenolol exactly as prescribed by your doctor, and never take more or less, or more often than prescribed.
Although Atenolol is used to treat angina and high blood pressure, it does not cure these ailments. One or two weeks are required for you to feel the full benefit of this medication, and you should not stop taking it even if you feel better. Never stop taking Atenolol before first talking to your doctor, as sudden stoppage may cause irregular heartbeat, chest pain or heart attack. When it is required, your
doctor will tell you how to decrease it gradually.
Atenolol has some other uses as well; it is used to treat alcohol withdrawal, migraine headaches, irregular heartbeat and heart failure. But do not treat yourself for these conditions without first talking to your doctor.
If your doctor has prescribed a low-sodium or low-salt diet for your condition, follow his directions scrupulously. If you ever forget to take Atenolol, take the dose as soon you remember it; if it is close to the time of your next dose, then forget the missed dose and continue taking it according to the regular schedule. Do not take a double dose in place of the missed one.
Atenolol may product side effects like tiredness, dizziness, drowsiness, depression, upset stomach, and diarrhea. If you experience any of these and the symptom does not go away, tell your doctor about it. Some serious side effects like swelling of the hands, ankles, feet or lower legs, shortness of breath, fainting or unusual weight gain are very uncommon, but call your doctor immediately if you experience any of them.
Taking an overdose of Atenolol may cause an emergency condition (patient not breathing or he/she has collapsed) in which case emergency services have to be called. Symptoms of overdose include difficulty in breathing, wheezing, slow heartbeat, rapid heartbeat, fainting, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, headache, excessive tiredness etc.
Keep Atenolol tightly closed in its own container, and out of the reach of children.
It should be stored at room temperature, away from excess moisture or heat.