Atenolol Side Effects

by on July 4, 2011


Atenolol is sold under the brand name Tenormin and is used treat high blood pressure.  It is a beta blocker that works by widening blood vessels and slowing the heart rate, increasing the flow of blood and lowering blood pressure. There are many side effects of atenolol that patients should be aware of before beginning the medication. These may include and are not limited to stomach pain, nausea, depression, chest pain and dizziness.

Common Atenolol Side Effects

  • Atenolol Side EffectsAn uneven or slow heart beat
  • A feeling of being faint
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in the ankles and feet
  • A feeling of cold in the extremities
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • A mild fever
  • A loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Clay colored stool
  • Depression

Serious Side Effects of Atenolol

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • A worsening of asthma
  • A worsening of heart failure
  • Confusion
  • Unexplained swelling

These serious side effects should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately.  In addition, any sign of an allergic reaction including hives, rashes, itching, swelling or difficulty breathing should also be reported.

Other Possible Side Effects

Atenolol side effects also include the possibility of a decreased sex drive, impotence in men and difficulty in achieving orgasm in women.  Children have reported the same effects of dizziness, tiredness, trouble breathing, an irregular heartbeat and sleep problems that adults have reported.  There have also been reports of people gaining weight rapidly when taking atenolol, although this side effect has only been reported by a small percentage of atenolol takers.

There are many medications that may affect the side effects of taking atenolol; such drugs include amiodarone, clonidine, digoxin, MAO inhibitors, diabetes medications, asthma medications, cold medicines, diet pills and stimulants.  Consult with a doctor before beginning any drug regime to ascertain if there are any possible drug interactions. Many vitamins, minerals and herbal products can also cause problems.  Side effects may also include impaired thinking or reaction times.  It should not be used with alcohol, which could increase drowsiness or dizziness.

While high blood pressure is often a silent disease, it is very important to control it even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting a doctor. Due to the risks of suddenly stopping the medication, most doctors will taper patients off the drug. In addition, remember that diet, exercise and medication are all necessary components of a healthy cardiovascular system.