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Beta Blocker

Brand names:


Often used for:

Treatment of high blood pressure

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What is atenolol?

Atenolol is an antihypertensive medicine known as a beta-blocker. It is used to lower blood pressure. It works by making it easier for the heart to pump. Atenolol is also used to relieve some types of chest pain and prevent migraine headaches.

Do not stop taking this medicine without talking to your care team or pharmacist. Stopping suddenly can lead to serious heart-related problems.


May be given as a liquid by mouth


May be given as a tablet by mouth

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Possible side effects

  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Changes in heart rhythm (slow or irregular heart beat)
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure

These side effects may lessen with longer use.

  • Allergic reaction – Call your care team right away if your child has symptoms of an allergic reaction. These may include:
    • Rash, hives, or itching
    • Flu-like symptoms such as chills, aches, headache, or fever 
    • Dizziness
    • Shortness of breath, coughing, or tightness in the throat
    • Swelling of the face or neck

Not all patients who take atenolol will have these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Report any symptoms or side effects to your care provider or pharmacist. 

Find more information on side effects.

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Tips for patients and families

Be sure to discuss all questions and instructions with your health care team or pharmacist. 

  • Certain medicines can interact with atenolol or change the way it works. These medicines include other blood pressure medicines, medicines for colds and cough, medicines for breathing problems, diuretics, alcohol, and others. Tell your care provider and pharmacist about all medicines, vitamins, and supplements your child takes.
  • This medicine may make your child dizzy or drowsy. Do not let your child do anything that could be dangerous until you see how this medicine affects them.
  • To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, have your child get up slowly if they have been sitting or lying down. Have your child be careful going up and down stairs.
  • If your child has high blood sugar or diabetes, watch your child's blood sugar closely as this medicine may hide the symptoms of low blood sugar.
  • Check your child’s blood pressure and heart rate as instructed.
  • It is important that patients tell the care team if they are sexually active, pregnant, or breastfeeding.
Atenolol at home
  • This medicine can be taken with or without food. Take with food if stomach upset occurs. Taking the medicine with meals may lessen stomach problems.
  • Tablets: Swallow the tablet whole.
  • Liquid: Shake the medicine well before giving. Use the measuring device that comes with the medicine.
  • In case of a missed dose, give the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not give 2 doses at the same time.
  • Store tablets at room temperature in a dry place.
  • Store liquid medicine in the refrigerator.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Finish all doses of the medicine as instructed by your care team or pharmacist. Do not give more often or in greater amounts than suggested.
  • Follow instructions for safe handling, storage, and disposal.