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What are the Common Side Effects of Tenormin®?

By J. Beam
Updated May 17, 2024
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Tenormin® is a brand name beta blocker drug sold under the generic name of Atenolol. Like other beta blockers, Tenormin® may be prescribed to treat chest pain, high blood pressure, or prevent heart attacks. Effective because it relaxes the blood vessels, making the heart work less hard, Tenormin® can control high blood pressure. As with most drugs, there are several side effects of Tenormin® that are commonly reported ranging from dizziness and lightheadedness to nausea and diarrhea.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, the most common side effects of Tenormin® are dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, drowsiness, depression, nausea and diarrhea. If occurring, these side effects may be mild, but if they become bothersome patients should talk to their doctor. Other side effects that have been reported are less common, but more serious. They include shortness of breath, fainting, unusual weight gain and swelling of the hands and feet. Patients experiencing these side effects should call their doctor immediately.

When taking Tenormin® or another beta blocker for high blood pressure or angina, patients should not stop taking the medication until they’ve talked to their doctor. Side effects that are bothersome or worrisome should be discussed with the prescribing physician as soon as possible. Potentially life-threatening symptoms, whether believed to be side effects of Tenormin® or not, should be reported to 911 or an emergency room attending physician immediately.

Emergency symptoms include confusion, blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the mouth, wheezing or difficulty breathing, extreme weakness or fatigue, unusual swelling in the extremities, and faintness or unconsciousness. These symptoms can also be signs of an overdose. Patients who are prescribed Tenormin® should never alter their own dose or take more than is prescribed.

Before accepting a prescription for Tenormin®, patients should tell their doctor about any other medication they are taking or any allergic reactions or previous side effects of Tenormin® or other beta blockers. Don’t forget to mention over the counter medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, vitamins and dietary supplements. A doctor should also be informed of past medical history, including asthma and allergies.

In many cases, a beta blocker to treat high blood pressure is prescribed in conjunction with a restricted or special diet. Typical dietary recommendations for high blood pressure include a diet low in salt or sodium. While diet is unlikely to increase or decrease potential side effects of Tenormin®, it is important to follow prescribed dietary guidelines for continued health. Patients with questions about this or other medications should talk to their doctor or pharmacist.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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