What are Common Atenolol Side Effects?

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  • Written By: Jessica Reed
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2019
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Atenolol, a drug used to treat chest pain and high blood pressure, may cause some common atenolol side effects in certain patients. Often these include dizziness, fatigue, low blood pressure or slower heart rate, and cold or numb hands and feet. Rare but serious side effects include an allergic reaction, chest pain, fainting, irregular heartbeat, and difficulty breathing. If alarming symptoms — such as chest pain or irregular heartbeat — present themselves, the patient should contact her doctor immediately or visit the emergency room for assistance.

Common atenolol side effects that are persistent or troublesome should also be reported to a doctor. Tingling and numbness can occur in the hands and feet, but if it worsens the patient should seek medical attention. Depression, increased tiredness, and dizziness can all manifest together with other symptoms or separately. If the symptoms are severe or do no go away after taking the medicine for two to three weeks, the patient should ask her doctor for an exam to ensure it is safe to continue taking atenolol.

Due to its intended use for treating chest pain and high blood pressure, atenolol side effects can include low blood pressure and a slower heart beat. Depending on how low these rates drop, these side effect may require medical attention. Even when side effects are not present, the patient's doctor should schedule a follow-up exam to see how her body is reacting to the medicine.


In rare cases, serious symptoms that require immediate medical care may appear. These include difficulty breathing, occasionally as the result of an allergic reaction. Other problematic atenolol side effects include sudden swelling in the arms and legs, a light-headed feeling, or fainting. Changes in the patient's mental state, such as sudden confusion or anxiety, should be reported to the doctor as well.

If atenolol side effects prove too serious or troublesome for the patient to keep taking atenolol, the doctor may prescribe a different treatment or medication option instead. If the doctor feels atenolol is the best solution for the patient's problem, he may ask her to remain on the medicine and see if the side effects go away. It is important for the patient to keep her doctor informed of any changes, even minor, in the side effects she experiences.

After a period of two to three weeks, or a length of time determined by the doctor, the patient should contact the doctor if side effects continue. Less invasive side effects include drowsiness, more vivid or more frequent dreams, and slightly lowered blood pressure, and these may fade with time. Other common but more frustrating side effects such as depression, nausea, or leg and arm pain that do not go away may indicate atenolol is simply not the best fit for the patient.


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Post 2

Uncomfortable symptoms do stop when meds are stopped. It may take a few days.

Because this is a cardiac drug, you must inform your doctor when you stop taking it and of any unusual symptoms. There are other meds that can be used and your doctor will advise you.

Post 1

Do these symptoms usually last after you have stopped using the medication and how long do those side effects last?

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