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Atenolol is a daily tablet that you can take to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It works by slowing down your heart to lower your blood pressure. Atenolol comes in 25mg, 50mg and 100mg strength tablets.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you can request atenolol through ZAVA’s fast and convenient service.
3 x 28 tablet(s) - £19.99
6 x 28 tablet(s) - £24.99
3 x 28 tablet(s) - £19.99
6 x 28 tablet(s) - £24.99
3 x 28 tablet(s) - £18.99
6 x 28 tablet(s) - £24.99
Atenolol is also known as a beta blocker, which means it sticks to the beta receptors on your heart to lower blood pressure. This is why atenolol is useful in helping to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Other uses of atenolol include using it for:
- chest pain (angina)
- uneven heartbeats (arrhythmias)
- prevention of migraines
You might need to take a different amount of atenolol depending on the condition you are being treated for. This is why there are different doses, from as low as 25mg and up to 100mg.
Normally you take one tablet of atenolol a day. The usual dose to treat high blood pressure is 25mg or 50mg. To take atenolol:
- swallow your atenolol tablet whole with a drink of water
- try to take your atenolol at the same time each day
- avoid splitting or breaking an atenolol tablet if possible unless swallowing is difficult
- do not chew or crush atenolol tablets
Any side effects of atenolol, such as feeling confused, dizzy or faint can be worse with alcohol. So avoid drinking alcohol within a few hours of taking your atenolol tablet. You can take atenolol with or without food.
Atenolol belongs to a class of medicines called beta blockers. These work by making your heart beat more slowly and with less force. In doing so, your blood pressure is lowered.
By lowering your blood pressure, you reduce the chances of your blood vessels getting damaged. You should not stop taking atenolol unless your doctor tells you to.
Atenolol is effective from the first tablet that you take. It starts to work quickly in 3 hours to lower your blood pressure. It may take up to 2 weeks for its full effect to be reached.
You may not feel any different while taking it. This does not mean atenolol is not working, and you should continue to take your tablets as instructed by your doctor.
Treatment with atenolol for blood pressure is likely to be long term. Atenolol is safe to use long term, and you’ll have regular blood pressure checks with your doctor to make sure the medication is working effectively.
As with other medicines, atenolol may cause some side effects. Not everyone will have side effects and some side effects are more likely than others.
Common side effects of atenolol include:
- slower pulse
- cold hands and cold feet
Uncommon side effects of atenolol include:
- disturbed sleep
While allergic reactions are less likely, see a doctor straight away if you have:
- raised skin lumps
- swelling of the face or body
- shortness of breath
- difficulty swallowing or speaking
If you feel dizzy or tired when taking atenolol you should avoid driving or operating machines.
If you want to learn more about side effects, please see the patient information leaflet in your pack of atenolol. And if you have any concerns, contact a healthcare professional.
You can take atenolol to lower your blood pressure if a doctor recommends it.
However, do not take atenolol if you have an allergy to atenolol or any other ingredients in atenolol tablets.
If you have any of the following conditions, you might not be able to take atenolol:
- heart failure that is not well controlled - this includes breathlessness and ankle swelling
- second or third degree heart block - this may be treated by a pacemaker
- very slow or very uneven heartbeats
- very low blood pressure
- very poor circulation
- a tumour called a pheochromocytoma
- higher levels of acid in your blood (metabolic acidosis)
Before you can take atenolol, you will need to talk to a doctor or pharmacist if you have the following:
- asthma, wheezing or similar breathing problems or have had these conditions in the past
- if you have allergic reactions for example to insect bites
- a type of chest pain (angina) called Prinzmetal’s angina
- circulation problems or controlled heart failure
- first degree heart block
- diabetes - as your heart may beat faster if blood sugars are low
- thyrotoxicosis - as atenolol may mask symptoms of high thyroid hormones produced by an overactive thyroid
- kidney problems - as your atenolol dose may need to be reduced
If you are going to have an operation, tell the anaesthetist or medical staff, as certain anaesthetics may interact with atenolol.
Tell your doctor if you are planning to have a baby, are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking atenolol.
Atenolol may affect other medications. Other medications may also affect how well atenolol works.
Tell your doctor if you are taking the following medications:
- clonidine (for high blood pressure or migraines)
- verapamil, diltiazem and nifedipine (for high blood pressure or chest pain)
- disopyramide, quinidine or amiodarone (for uneven heartbeats)
- digoxin (for heart problems)
- adrenaline, also known as epinephrine
- ibuprofen or indomethacin (for pain or inflammation)
- insulin and other medications for diabetes
- medicine for nose or sinus congestion
- pharmacy bought over the counter cold and flu remedies
- herbal remedies, like St John’s wort
Regarding food and drink with atenolol, you should avoid:
- excessive amounts of orange juice
- excessive amounts of alcohol
However, you can take atenolol with or without food.
While atenolol is an effective medication there are alternatives available to treat high blood pressure. These may include:
- other beta blockers
- angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi)
- angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
- calcium channel blockers
See our guide on how these different blood pressure medications work.
It is important to keep blood pressure levels optimal to keep your body healthy. This is because:
- Low blood pressure can cause you to feel dizzy, faint or tired.
- High blood pressure can cause visual problems, tiredness or headaches. In the long term, high blood pressure can increase your risk of cardiovascular problems. This includes heart attacks or strokes. Long term hypertension can also affect your kidneys and eyes.
There are several causes of high blood pressure. While some factors such as age, gender or ethnicity are fixed, you can:
- quit smoking
- reduce alcohol
- eat healthily
- reduce stress
All of these will work together to lower your blood pressure. Talk to a doctor to find the right treatment plan for you, or fill out a form with ZAVA today and get help within 24 hours.
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 16 Feb 2022
Atenolol 25 mg Tablets - Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) - (emc) [Oct 2021][accessed Jan 2022]
ATENOLOL | Drug | BNF content published by NICE [accessed Jan 2022]
Atenolol: for high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats and chest pain - NHS [Mar 2019][accessed Jan 2022]
In order to avoid related health risks, your blood pressure needs to be kept within the normal range. Because of this, you shouldn’t miss doses of your blood pressure treatment if possible. You reorder your treatment quickly and conveniently from ZAVA, to avoid running out.