Atenlol is a medication belonging to the classification of drugs called beta blockers. Most commonly used to treat patients with high blood pressure (hypertension), angina, or an abnormally rapid heartbeat (tachycardias), Atenolol is sometimes also used in the treatment and prevention of migraine headaches. Atenolol targets the sympathetic nervous system which controls the rate at which the heart beats while relaxing the heart muscle so it does not have to beat as hard. As a result, Atenolol slows the heartbeat to normal levels while lowering blood pressure and decreasing the heart’s demand for oxygen.
Atenolol comes in tablet form and is commonly directed to be taken by mouth once or twice daily and should be taken at around the same time each day. The medication has what is called a “half life” and may need to build to a certain level in the body before proving maximum relief, this can take up to 1 to 2 weeks to occur at optimal level.
Some mild side effects of Atenolol such as stomach cramps, fatigue and nausea are not thought to be serious and may eventually diminish over time in some individuals. However, pregnant woman should not take Atenolol as it has been linked to fetal defects and mental retardation in babies. Additionally, individuals with asthma, chronic bronchitis or other breathing conditions may be at a higher risk for aggravating these pre-existing conditions while taking Atenolol. And although not proven to be habit forming, Atenolol should be discontinued gradually and under a doctor’s supervision with slow dosage reductions.
While undergoing a treatment of Atenolol , a patient may have to keep regular appointments with their doctor so their overall progress may be monitored. Heart rate and blood pressure will also be checked on an ongoing basis to make sure the treatment is following a trajectory satisfactory to the physician. As with many heart related conditions, there may be precautions and measures taken on the part of the patient such as special diets or moderate exercise to act in conjunction with a medication such as Atenolol.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.