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Atenolol (“ah TEN oh lol”)

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Atenolol (Tenormin) is known as a beta-blocker. That means the drug works in part by blunting the action of adrenaline, the body's natural fight-or-flight chemical. People normally respond to stressful situations with a rapid pulse, a pounding heart and an increase in blood pressure. Atenolol (Tenormin) helps block such reactions. This medicine is normally prescribed for high blood pressure, chest pain, or heart attacks.

Although the FDA has not specifically approved its use for other purposes, doctors sometimes prescribe atenolol (Tenormin) to treat irregular heart rhythms, performance anxiety such as stage fright, and to prevent migraine headaches.

People’s Pharmacy Perspective
We suspect that one of the reasons beta-blockers are so popular with insurance companies and HMOs is that they are inexpensive. These drugs have been around a long time and generally have low cost generics available. Current research (1,2) however, suggest that due to their lack of efficacy, beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin) should rarely be the first line of treatment for high blood pressure.

Experts also cast serious doubts about their effectiveness in the prevention of initial heart attacks and strokes for hypertensive patients and have concerns about the multiple side effects beta-blockers could cause (3,4). Beta-blockers are valuable for managing chest pain and especially preventing another heart attack after someone has already had one. Finally, they may also be valuable when adequate control is not achieved with other classes of drugs, but you and your physician will need to decide if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Be certain to consult a physician about your health, especially with regard to any signs or symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Information provided is not a substitute for the medical advice or care of a physician or other health care professional.

Special Precautions
Do not stop taking atenolol (Tenormin) suddenly without first talking to your doctor. Stopping abruptly may trigger serious and potentially fatal heart problems.

Atenolol (Tenormin) is not recommended for some people: People who have had an allergic reaction to beta-blockers, atenolol (Tenormin), or its components; people with certain heart problems, abnormal heart rhythms or heart failure, since the medicine could occasionally lead to serious cardiac complications.

Some people must be very carefully monitored if they take beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin): Asthmatics and patients with other respiratory problems are especially vulnerable as these drugs can make breathing worse. Atenolol (Tenormin) is a little better than other beta-blockers in this regard, but monitor your breathing carefully.

Diabetics should inform their physicians if being prescribed atenolol (Tenormin) as the medication may mask the signs of low blood sugar levels. People with a history of depression should inform their doctors to ensure both their depression and beta-blocker therapy is well managed.

While atenolol (Tenormin) is less likely to affect the nervous system than others in its class, beta-blockers have been known to contribute to depression. People with a thyroid disorder should also be carefully monitored as atenolol (Tenormin) may mask signs of an overly active thyroid. People with kidney impairments or who are elderly may need their atenolol (Tenormin) dose adjusted.

Special Precautions
More people who must also be very carefully monitored if they take beta-blockers: Women who plan to become pregnant or breastfeed should not take this medication unless their doctors determine it is appropriate. Atenolol may cause harm to an unborn baby.

Be certain to inform your doctor of any other condition you have, as it may affect whether you should take atenolol (Tenormin), your dose, or require you to take special tests during treatment.

Taking the Medicine
Atenolol (Tenormin) should be taken with a full glass of water and can be taken at meal time or on an empty stomach. If you find this medicine causes digestive tract upset, it may be better tolerated when taken with food.

Atenolol (Tenormin) should not be taken together with orange juice as it may reduce the medication’s effect. (5) Avoid drinking alcohol, which could increase your symptoms of drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking atenolol (Tenormin). Don't take calcium supplements or antacids at the same time as atenolol (Tenormin), as they may reduce its absorption.

You may need to temporarily stop taking atenolol (Tenormin) if you will be undergoing surgery since anesthesia may interact with atenolol (Tenormin) and affect how your heart functions. Be sure to let the surgeon and/or anesthesiologist know well in advance of surgery that you are taking atenolol (Tenormin). Never stop taking atenolol (Tenormin) suddenly. Your doctor must reduce your dose gradually to prevent serious heart problems.

Common Side Effects
Atenolol (Tenormin) can cause a number of side effects. They include a slower heart rate, sexual difficulties, sleep problems, tiredness, anxiety, and nervousness.

This medicine may also have a negative effect on cholesterol and other blood fats, so a lipid test before treatment and periodically thereafter would be prudent.

Although Atenolol (Tenormin) is a little less likely to affect the nervous system than certain other drugs in this class, be alert for the beta-blocker blahs. Symptoms of psychological depression, fatigue, decreased concentration, memory loss and mood swings may come on slowly and insidiously.

Serious Side Effects
Obtain emergency medical care if you experience these signs of a potential allergic reaction: breathing difficulties, hives, or swelling in your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor promptly if you experience any of these serious side effects:

  • wheezing, worsening asthma;
  • slow or uneven heartbeats;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
  • swelling of your ankles or feet;
  • nausea, stomach pain, fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, pale stools, yellowing of the skin or eyes;
  • depression; or
  • cold feeling in your hands and feet.

There may be other side effects not listed here. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

Drug Interactions
Atenolol (Tenormin) can interact with a number of other compounds, including the blood pressure medicine Catapres (clonidine). This drug should never be suddenly discontinued by a person on atenolol (Tenormin) or any other beta-blocker, as the sudden increase in blood pressure could be life-threatening.

Calcium channel blockers (verapamil, diltiazem), which are also heart/blood pressure medications, would have increased effects if given together with atenolol (Tenormin).

Taking atenolol (Tenormin) with calcium channel blockers is generally not advised as the combined effects might lead to serious heart problems. If they must be taken together, the dose for both or one medication may need to be reduced and cardiac function should be carefully monitored.

A potentially fatal increase in blood pressure could occur when epinephrine is injected into someone taking a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin). Epinephrine is often included with a local anesthetic injected for dental work or minor surgery, or may be given if someone has a serious allergic reaction that closes airways.

Many other drugs interact with atenolol (Tenormin), including ampicillin and medicines used to treat anxiety, asthma, blood pressure and heart problems. Arthritis medicine and aspirin may reduce the effectiveness of some beta-blockers. Drugs used to treat migraines, tuberculosis and high cholesterol do not mix well with beta-blockers.

There may be other drugs that interact with atenolol (Tenormin) not listed here. Do not start any new medications or make changes to your treatment without first consulting your doctor.

1. Lindholm, L. H., et al. “Should Beta-Blockers Remain First Choice in the Treatment of Primary Hypertension? A Meta-Analysis.” Lancet 2005;366:1545-1553.

2. Kaplan, N.M., and Opie, L.H. “Controversies in Hypertension.” Lancet 2006;367:168-176.

3. Beevers, D.G. “the End of Beta-Blockers for Uncomplicated Hypertension?” Lancet 2005;366:1510-1512.

4. Carlberg, B., et al. “Atenolol in Hypertension: Is It a Wise Choice?” Lancet 2004;364:1684-1689.

5. Lilja JJ, et al. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2005;61:337.

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Hi Patty. I'm sorry you're suffering the side effects of Atenolol... so many of us do. Have you talked to your doctor about the breathing problems? Are you on Atenolol for high BP?

I have been taking Atenolol (50 mgs per day) for approx 1 1/2 years. I didn't really feel any side effects the first year but then started feeling tired which increased slightly over time. Many nights I do not sleep well. My ankles sometimes swell. I also feel I'm sometimes in a a light mental fog. And I too get diarrhea.

None of my side effects are severe but they are annoying. It's important for me to add that I am in perimenopause so some of my symptoms may be attributed to that. On the upside the Atenolol has reduced my BP and helped tremendously with my Tachycardia. So I take the good with the bad.

It concerns me if I ever do need to back off the Atenolol... all the warnings... sheesh! :) But for now I put up with the side effects. If the fatigue gets any worse I'll be letting my doctor know.

I have been taking atenolol since 2000. I am losing my hair to where it's so thin now that I can see my scalp easily. I read on one of my prescription materials that it could cause hair loss, so I assume this is what is causing it. Thank you.

I have been on Atenolol for six weeks with Cardizam. I had pneumonia which caused Peri-card-itis. I am having side effects with loss of appitite, anxiety, numbness in my left leg and chills all the time. I had afib from the results of the peri-card-itis and that's why I am on these drugs. I am hoping to get off of the drugs. Depression is setting in and I am unable to function. It's time for me to seek other avenues.

My mum a week ago had angioplasty, and they put a stent in, and she feels a lot better. She has been taking atenolol tablets 50mg (half a tablet of this is required, so really she is taking 25mg per time). The problem is she is feeling so weak, sometimes dizzy, but cannot exerscise or do anything. The angioplasty was only one week ago, so it is fresh. But her weakness has been for two months now, and she still feels weak. She lies on the couch and normally she is an active lady who likes to organise and cook, clean and do everything. A Greek lady likes to be on her tippy toes.

Do you have any idea as to why she may be feeling very weak, as she hasn't got the energy or drive to do anything. I am looking after her, and I have been with her for two months caring for her.

Does atenolol 25mg give you side effects of light-headed, weak etc.? Thanks for your time.


I have been on Atenolol for 6 months for migraine headaches. I take 1/2 of a 25 m.g. tablet in the a.m. & the other half at night. I had to work through the extreme fatigue for the first 3 months. The doctor had to add HTCZ 12.5 mg for fluid retention. I was also having leg cramps.

This medication has helped with the migraines but side effects I have noticed are still fluid retention in my face & hands and weight gain. I am going to ask to be weaned off of this at my next doctor's visit and possibly try something else. My doctor would like for me to be able to work up to 50 mg. a day, but, I cannot tolerate that high of a dose because of the extreme fatigue.


Hi all!
I posted about a month ago. I wish I could control my BP and Tachycardia with natural remedies, but I'm afraid that option is not open to me. The genes I inherited require a pretty aggressive approach to treatment which included prescription medications. As I stated before, I do suffer from mild to moderate side effects from Atenolol, but so far feel it's nothing I can't live with. I do worry about backing off of it if I ever have to. Anyone have any comments about backing off this medication? Was it bothersome? Bad side effects? I also worry about having surgery if that need ever arises, and I'm getting ready to have dental work done. Any comments? Thank you!

I have been taking Tenormin for about 7 years and I have been well. I am planning on getting pregnant, but I take tenormin 25mg 1 a day for my mitral valve prolapse. My heart beats really fast at times, that is why I take it. Now I have been reading not to take the medicine if I become pregnant. Is there something else that I would be able to maybe take that would help me that won't harm the baby?

I am taking atenolol for high blood pressure and i have noticed that my ankles are swelling for an unknown reason .Does Antenolol have a diuretic it? basically does it have anything for fluid retention in it???? any information would be greatly appreciated !

I take 25mg Atenolol for my fast heart rate. My blood pressure is normal but my heart rate is extremely high for a 41 year old. My doctor said it is like I am exercising while sitting still. I don't drink, smoke or drink caffeine - only water but it appears that I am gaining weight in my hands, feet and my body. I am going to ask about this when I go to the doctor because I cannot continue to exercise and eat right AND gain weight, that's just a no no. Any suggestions?

I've been on atenolol for `15 yrs or so. I'm just now feeling lightheaded, dizzy cold sensation in feet, swelling in ankles and numbness in feet. Could this be as a result of maybe taking this too long and it's not helping any more?

I have been on Atenolol for 10 years. I too experienced a slight weight gain. My main concern is that when I exercise for a one hour period on an elliptical at a moderate to high level I can not get my heart rate over 115. This is below the fat burn range and well below the cardio range I need. Is this medication keeping me from strengthening my heart or burning fat? I need to add that my pressure is 115 over 70 and my resting pulse is 61. I am 49 yo male and in general excellent health. I started this medication for borderline hypertension when I was not exercising. Do I need to stay on it and how do I come off of it without disrupting my system?

I had been on antenelol for high blood pressure and kept complaining to my doctor about fatigue, tiredness, light-headedness, swelling feet and ankles. I couldn't breathe or walk up a flight of stairs without stopping to catch my breath every two steps. I finally suggested that he change the medication. This medication was prescribed by another physician. I am a military dependent so its common to see many physicians. Anyway I am now on inderal which is suppose to help with high blood pressure and irregular heart beat.

It is ok but I am now noticing that my feet and ankles are beginning to swell with this medication also. I have develop asthma as well. Also there are days when I can't do anything but sleep. I would encourage anyone to try a natural approach to your health problems. I am convinced that these medications have caused me more harm than good!

I've been taking Atenolol for 6 yrs. for high bp. My insurance company changed to the generic Tenormin. My bp is much higher taking the generic. It's not as effective as the real thing. Anyone else had a similar reaction?

I took atenelol for high blood pressure for several years with no side effects. However, when I belatedly reported my problems with Reynaud syndrome, my doctor switched my medicine to amlodipine/besylate since he said that atenelol can exacerbate Reynaud's. Voila! No more numb fingers.

I've taken Atenolol for about 10 years starting with 50 mg daily for an arrhymia. Then increased to 75 mg and now 100 mg for high blood pressure and arrhymia showing up again. I have had some hair thinning, trouble sleeping and memory loss. I'm 66 years old, female. I exercise for an hour at a time on bike and elliptical trainer but don't try to get heart rate over 100-105. I would like to try an alternative drug.

I've been taking Atenolo for 2 years with some mild effects. My doctor has changed my dose to twice a day and I'm worried about the effects on my daily routine.

I started taking atenolol about 12 days ago. I went to the emergency room for tachycardia. They started me on 25 mg, but my pulse went down to the 40s, so I cut to a half (12.5 mg) then I had to to take two 50 mg.) last night due to bad tachycardia. It eventually helped, but then I was up with bad leg cramps all night. I wish there was something natural for an occasional tachycardia.

I have been taking atenonal for 12 years for BP. I recently began an exercise program 9 months ago and lost over 45 pounds my BP 120/70 HR 40. I asked my doctor if I could stop taking atenenol and he advised me that I would probably experience a rise in BP over the next two weeks and then we should watch for it to settle back down.

I then went on to do a presentation for a group of people 10 days after stopping atenonal, I began uncontrollable trembling, voice shaking and inability to breath, I was forced to end the presentation within 3 minutes of starting. Thinking that it was a panic attack, I went to a local doctor, who then informed me of the bad timing for stopping a beta blocker and then doing a stressfull presentation. I immediately resumed the medication and am wondering how I can now get off of it without adverse consequenses

My Doctor prescribed in error a dosage of 400mg of Atenol for my high blood pressure. After taking this for 6 months, I developed type II diabetes. I had no family history or previous indications of possible diabetes in my blood tests. After taking this dosage for 3yrs I discovered the overdose by accident. The doctor wants me to slowly reduce my dosage, but as of yet i've been unable to reduce my dosage below 200mg per day. Anything below that and my heartbeat will go over 100beats per minute. have retained an attorney and I'm hoping to sue the doctor and the participating pharmacy for malpractice.

I am a 48 y/o male on Atenolol for 11 years. Initially I had a run of A-Fib at the final stage of a 30 minute stress test with the treadmill at full elevation and full speed for 5 minutes.I realized I had been getting the same sensation at rest for several months, periodically, lasting several seconds. The 20+ lb. weight gain is my major complaint. Although my dog is in GREAT shape I cannot seem to lose the weight by walking briskly 3+ miles six days a week. I take 25mg once a day at bedtime, where it has the least effect for me. (drowsy is good at bedtime) Is there anything new that might be as effective?

I have taken a 50 mg atenolol for 8 years and I really like it. My MD added a diuretic about 5 years ago. It drastically reduced my pulse to 55, and brought down my BP. Retiring, and exercising every day, now has brought it down to 115/70. Nonetheless, I will continue taking it. Sure, it makes me lethargic and a little spacey, but I don't mind that at all.

I have been taking atenolol for the last 8 months since I experienced a minor stroke & migraines. I seem to have gained a lot of weight, about 7 lbs, just what I don't need, as the extra weight will cause increased risk of stroke or heart attack! I have been healthy until the TIA and will be asking my doctor for an alternative drug for blood pressure. I also get pins & needles & numbness in extremities & diarrhea each morning! I am not taking the statins!

My doctor put me on atenolol for tachycardia. It helped a lot for 6 years. I was weened off the medication and recently I had a massive heart attack! I'm 36 years old and my left artery was 100 percent blocked. I had a widow maker heart attack and they stented the artery and I have minimal heart damage thank god! I think the atenolol caused the heart attack. I just wonder what I can do about it?


I want to thank People's Pharmacy and the people who took the time despite no doubt having to struggle with the website to get their message sent, because reading their comments gave me my life back.

I had been on atenolol for a year and gained 22 pounds despite a low cal mostly vegetarian diet. I had nightly insomnia and debilitating fatigue. I had some problems remembering a word or name. My hair seemed to be thinning. Exercise became difficult and I would get short of breath. My heart felt as through there was a weight on it.

Then when I had two spells of dizziness that felt as though my brain was "frozen" and I was disoriented, I went to a neurologist. She had no diagnosis but gave me a prescription for neurontin, an anti-seizure drug.

When I got home, with no diagnosis, I threw the prescription in the trash. Then I went to my internal medicine doctor and told him the symptoms. At the end of the list, I mentioned I was getting depressed from the symptoms. He perked right up and ripped off a prescription for welbutrin, an anti-depressant. I didn't even wait to get home to throw that prescription away. Then I went to my cardiologist, she had put me on the atenolol, and she had no diagnosis either but she ripped off a prescription to DOUBLE the atenolol. When I got home I searched the internet and found People's Pharmacy and the comments from people who had the same side effects I had. On my own, over a period of about ten days, I went off the atenolol. That was nearly three months ago. I have lost nine pounds despite increasing my food intake because on atenolol I had been on a very restrictive diet to try (unsuccessfully) to prevent weight gain. I no longer have insomnia. I no longer have exhaustion and I can exercise again. There is no heavy feeling on my chest and that my heart is struggling to beat.

I am so grateful to People's Pharmacy and to those who commented.

Barbara in Houston

Dear Barbara, I got really interested in your comment. I've been taking Atenolol for 3 years, and I have almost all the symptoms mentioned above. My cardiologist prescribed me 25mg of Atenolol daily because I was suffering of a cardiac arrythmia. I want to, as you did, get my life back. I was a very active basketball player, and now, I can't even climb stairs without feeling like dying. You said you went off Atenolol in a period of about ten days.

Can you please explain to me, like I was a 6 year old kid, how did you do it? Step by step. What did you feel? How many of your initial dose did you reduce every how many days? I would appreciate your help very much. I've tried a couple of times to stop taking it gradually, but when I start feeling complications, like anxiety, chest pressure, mild tachychardia, I get scared. I don't wanna end up having a heart attack or something like that.

Thanks in advance.

Giovanni in Guatemala.

I was taking atenolol for almost 2 years,together with Teveten. At first,my BP was well under control, until recently, my BP was fluctuating over the last 6 months. But since I started taking atenolol, I was feeling these side effects like most of the people has described on this site, feeling lethargic, lazy, depressed, difficulty in breathing, sleeping too much, anxious, dizziness and light headedness. It is affecting my work and daily activities, even exercising is affected. Very devastating side effects! Gained some weight too!! I know some are OK without any of these.

The SPECIAL PRECAUTION written in bold letter above really means something. I had a bad experience when I decided to STOP it by my own. I started tapering from 50mg. to 25mg. for 2 months, and then to 12.5mg. for 2 weeks, then decided to stop it, which was last Aug.01. The very first day, I felt BIG improvement on my feelings! Breathing has improved, without the asthma like symptom, and much less lightheadedness. However, 2nd day and succeeding days, I had spikes on my BP accompanied with anxious and terrible feelings, maybe worse and more devastating than the previous side effects. I am sure these are the withdrawal symptoms of Atenolol.

I decided to see a new cardio and guess what he asked and told me???"Who prescribed you this med? This is a BAD medicine"!! He prescribed me with ISOPTIN SR (verapamil)120 mg, to be taken at bedtime. My blood pressure started to gradually improve back to normal. I have been on it for almost 17 days, with the lesser magnitude of the withdrawal symptoms. It may take sometime, as many has said, depending on how long you are taking the atenolol. On my next consultation, I will ask my cardio if the Teveten may also be the cause of the residual symptoms.

In general, I am feeling much better now, and I had my LIFE back, at work and in my other physical activities, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY!!. This site is really very helpful, and I hope my experience can help somehow other people.

Hi, I have read all of the comments and am concerned. I lost my health insurance and have run out of atenolol. I have been taking 25mg daily for about 3 years for migraines and also I have a hole in my heart that no doctors want to operate on - saying it might be fine w/o an operation so far so good...anyway, i have stopped suddenly as i have no way to get a hold of more, i had some of these side effects but had no idea they were from the drug.

Since going off i have terrible headaches and am constantly tired & irritable. i am scared about the cold-turkey of going off the drug, am i going to be ok?


Please check in with your physician. It is entirely possible that you could get a month's supply of atenolol from a big-box pharmacy like Wal-Mart or Costco or Target for $4 or $5, which could tide you over until a conversation with your MD. Gradual tapering is usually the best approach with beta blockers like atenolol, but since you don't have hypertension or an irregular heart rhythm it may be less of a problem.

My mom is 58 yrs old.
In the last two weeks she fainted twice without any reasons. It scared me very much and then I just found out that this happened twice last year too.

Her blood pressure now while she takes Atenolol and the other pills is most of the time good 124/68 but I realized that her pulse drops a lot most of the time her heart rate is between 43-55. It just scares me seeing her pulse lower than 50! Also she complains about chronic semi numbness on her pinky, ring finger and little bit of her palm in her left arm.

She has headaches also and use to take Ibuprofen and just read on line that it's not good to use this while on Atenolol. She was diagnosed with some heart problems 20 yrs ago (arrhythmia, cardipathy ischemic...) and also they believe that she had a small heart attack 8 yrs ago.

In 2000 she was diagnosed with high blood pressure so they put her 2 yrs ago on Atenolol 50 mg one pill/day; Tertensif ( indapamide 1.5 mg) 1 pill/day; Preductal ( diclorhidrat trimetazidine 35 mg ) 1 pill/day; Also they gave her Theo SR 100 to help her breath easier (this year she was just diagnosed with mild emphysema).

My question is what she should do now in order to bring her pulse a little bit higher and keep it around 60? Also , what other pills should she use for headaches instead Ibuprofen...something safe to use while taking Atenolol? Should she decrease the pills dosages?

Hope I will get some answer soon!
Thank you sooo much and God bless!!!

I started taking Atenolol only yesterday. I've developed several side effects already, I'm itching a little and my eyes are a bit dry. The worst thing is that I woke up with pain in my right side above my breast. This went through to my back and as the day has progressed has spread around my right side. I think it must be my lungs. I'm worried about asking my doctor about this as I have had really bad problems with blood pressure and he has said a few times that he thinks I am anxious making the situation worse.

I was rushed to hospital with a high blood pressure of 204/112 and a pulse of 135 last week. Ramipril did not bring my blood pressure down at all so I have been given Atenolol. It's definitely worked but it worries me that I have a underlying cause due to the ramipril not working. My doctor thinks I am anxious about everything and I know if I ring or visit about these new pains he will simply put it down to stress. Has anyone else had this lung pain? Could it be side effects?


Since my previous post on 9th December my doctor has recommended I come off Atenolol. I was taken off Ramipril but some of the side effects continued and it became clear that Atenolol was the cause. I cut the dose down to 12.5 mg in the morning and 12.5 in the evening. I then cut back to 12.5 mg a day for a week and I am now trying not to take anything. It's hard. I have tremors and my heart races.

On reading other forums I think this is normal when trying to get off Atenolol. My blood pressure peaks throughout the day at around 165/95. At other times it is 135/85. I think once the atenolol is out of my system this will stop happening. I am trying not to take any more but it is not easy. I am amazed at how addictive this pill has been in only 6 weeks. If you are recommended to come off the pill do it gradually and only with your doctors consent.

I have been on atenolol for 10 years, 50 mg a day. My friend all of a sudden felt light headed and dizzy and his bp was 180/110. I went with him tonight to get a bp test and mine was 150/100. This is very strange cuz the last few times I went to the Dr it was always very good, ie 120/75 or so.

I take my med in the morning and was under the impression that atenolol lasted the entire day. Am I wrong? Does it lose effectiveness as the time goes on? Should I split it to 25 - 25?

Oh, and the only side effect I have had from it was in the beginning I get very tired, but that went away within a month or two. Now I really think it has done a great job these past ten years (I am a 50 year old white male).

And does anyone know if there are any long term effects associated with it? A nurse told me it could weaken the heart muscle over time, especially if too much is used.

So my mom was taking atenolol for 2 weeks. I found it weird cause the doctor first put on on 50 MG in one shot.. a couple days passed by and she started to feel weak but we couldn't do anything cause our family doctor was on vacation so we went to this clinic. When we went there she saw my mom walking kinda sluggish and she showed her the atenolol she was taking and the doctor said "50 is too strong one shot" and she started naming all my moms side affects which is surprising, she feels numbness in her hands and feet sometimes short of breath and tiredness.

So the doctor at the clinic cut it down to 25 which is half the pill till our doctor came back from vacation. So while she was taking 25 it didn't really change anything so our doctor finally came back and he saw my mom walking the way she did she threw the pills in the garbage cause of what it done to her... so now since shes off of it we want to know how long will it take to come out of her system.

She stopped taking it since the 12th of February and we are now march 2nd. So I'm a bit worried. She doesn't have any chest pains, the only pain she has at night is numbness and burning in her feet and hands. Thanks for helping.

Aloha - I've taken 25mg twice a day for a little more than a year and I've had it with this drug! Am trying to find some information on how to get yourself off of it ? I was never informed of all the terrible counterproductive side effects and now after suffering quite a few of them and also trying like crazy to eat right exercise and everything I could think of to loss weight without losing ONE POUND in over a year ! Ridiculous! The one thing they tell you for high blood pressure is LOSE weight and they don't tell you that you are not going to while you take this medication - job security anyone ?

I'm happy on the atenolol. The only side effect was water retention. After years on both I started having gout. The ER doctor told me that taking the water pill predisposed me to gout so I got off it. Instead, I make sure I eat lots of things with diuretic effects - like cucumbers.

Now I only need a water pill once in a while and no gout symptoms.

I love these Websites, they make me feel that I am not alone and there are people out there that will understand what I am going through!
I have been suffering from heart arrhythmia for about 6 months (since December) but nearly 3 months ago (March) they got worse where after I had a skipped beat I would feel like I was going to pass out. This led me to have chronic anxiety which of course made the arrhythmia worse so was put on Seroxat which I took 1 dose of and reacted really badly to so didn't take anymore. After I recovered from the Seroxat I actually started to feel a little better but it did leave me feeling a little depressed and anxious but I was able to cope with my every day life.

Suddenly after just 1 week of feeling reasonably O.K. the arrhythmia came back but this time it was constant (every 3-10 beats). I went to A & E but they weren't that helpful and just said they thought it a benign condition and to see my Doctor and it will go eventually. I was finding it hard to carry on my everyday life looking after my 2 young children and couldn't wait to see the Heart Doc that was booked for 2 months time so I saw a private Doctor (paid for by my dear parents) who did assure me that it was a benign condition and it might go now that I'd been reassured it wasn't anything serious but did recommended some medication to try if it didn't go away.
After 2 weeks I could not cope anymore so went on ATENOLOL. I started on 25mg but felt awful with the side effects..
Terrible dizziness/lightheaded
Tightness across chest and sometimes pain
Felt a little wheezy (not asthmatic)
Cold hands and feet (although I always have these)
Aches in my left arm

After 3 days on Atenolol the arrhythmia did ease for a few days. I felt so depressed on the day the arrhythmia went I saw the Doc who told me to persevere then after another 3 days the arrhythmia came back so the Doc suggested I up the dose to 50mg a day. I still felt awful and I still had the arrhythmia so after 2 weeks of suffering and not wanting to up the dose anymore I decided to come off it. I should mention that I had 2 good days when I came on my period, it was like someone has switched a switch as soon as I started, for a while I was convinced my hormones had something to do with how bad I felt but after 2 days everything came back, I was gutted!

When I stopped the Atenolol I started by lowering my dose to 25mg for a few days then did alternate days for a few days!

I've now been drug free for 2 days and weirdly the arrhythmia has stopped but I feel awful. I just wanted to find out if anyone else has felt the same as me so will also list what I am feeling now..
Still feel dizzy/ lightheaded (the floor feels like it is falling and I feel like I'll pass out when standing)
Pressure in my head like it's going to explode and pain behind my right eye when I look up
Aches in every bone
Slight nausea
Vision is slightly strange (I'm looking at the fence at it seems to be moving)
Feel tingly and fingers can sometimes feel a little numb
Occasionally feel my heart is aching
Does anyone think this might ease after a few days of being off the medication because I am worrying that I actually have something else wrong with me.
I will try and see a doctor tomorrow but feel I'm at a dead end with them and it's another 4 weeks till I see the Heart Specialist on the NHS.
Any advice will be much appreciated.
Many Thanks

After one week on Atenolol I have severe leg pain and now weakness, especially in the calf muscles. Anyone else had this? It is very bad and I have to stop this medicine now!

I've been Atenolol free since June 1st. I am experiencing severe depression, head pressure, bowel problems, nausea, headache, vivid dreams, extreme weakness, muscle pain, disorientation (I can't drive) and I am just wondering if I will ever feel well again. Has anyone successfully withdrawn from this drug? The weakness and depression are the most worrisome effects.


This website has been so helpful. Now I know I'm not alone/crazy! I had been taking atenolol (50 mgs/day, split 25m morning and evening) for quite a few years for HBP, along with benezepril-HCTZ. I don't recall ever having any side effects from going on the atenolol, but now I'm having a lot of the horrible side effects trying to get off it.

I went to the ER recently due to dizziness/fainting, pressure in chest, and numbness in arms and legs. After three days in the hospital and tons of tests (which I passed with flying colors), the cardiologist told me to stop taking the atenolol as my heart rate was way too slow (in the 40s, and even as low as 34 at one point). I went home and made an appointment to follow up with my regular doctor the following week. In the meantime, my BP and pulse started spiking--up to 156 sys and 96 dia, with pulse as high as 105. In addition, I was having terrible anxiety (and normally I am pretty stress-free). I started taking the atenolol again, at half the dose I had previously (12.5 mg morning and night), and lo and behold, everything returned to normal.

I saw my regular doctor several days later, and he told me to go ahead and stop the atenolol. I did, and of course the BP and pulse went up again, but at this point I didn't have the anxiety. I did some web searches for atenolol withdrawal, and found out about the side effects. Of course neither doctor saw fit to advise me to wean off the drug, or even to warn me about any possible side effects! I've now been totally off the drug for 10 days, and still have uncomfortably high BP and pulse (this morning was 138/89 and 93 pulse). It isn't dangerously high, but I still hate the feeling of my heart racing. I'm hoping that these symptoms will lessen as more time passes. I want to make sure I'm past any rebound effects before I see my doctor again, because chances are otherwise they'll just put me on some other drug.

I should mention that over the last year or so I started exercising regularly and have lost about 25 pounds, so it may be that the atenolol was no longer needed. I'm glad to be off it, as now I realize I was having side effects, such as blurred vision which has now totally cleared up. I'm just hanging in there now waiting to get past this withdrawal phase.

Thanks to everyone for your stories. It helps so much to know that I'm not alone.

Does anyone know if you have experienced a weight loss while taking this drug if the dosage should be lowered? My father in law has lost about 20+ pounds and is a fairly slight man. He is taking 50mg daily. I know he should follow up with his doc, but as he isn't working, I am not sure that is likely to happen.


Can you get bad Atenonal medicine? I Order my medicine thru mail order 3 months at a time and it's buy 3 months only pay for 2 months get one month free. So you get 3 months supply. Last part of April first part of May after starting taking this bottle of medicine my blood pressure shot up to 200 over 120. For the last 3 months have been fighting my blood pressure and over the 4th of July ended up in the hospital and with a sodium level of 111 and had a seizure.

My blood pressure was erratic over the last months. I have had 2 Dr.s and one nurse tell me that Atenonal drug might not have been good. Do you know where I could get this drug tested to find out if it was good or not?

The last 3 months have been hell for me & my family and would like to prevent this from happening to anyone else. I have been on atenonal for my blood pressure for about 10 years. I now am on Azor 5-20 mg morning and bystolic 2.5 mg at night. Am feeling better but just decreased medicine again because of low blood pressure. I would appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you.

Can someone help me.. my mom has taken this atenolol pill and she stopped after 2 weeks that was like January or February for one week the doctor gave her 50 grams and then she felt sick so they cut it to where she had to cut the pill in half and it still did the same thing.. since january/february she had cramps in her hands and her back and her face and her feet everything went away except her feet. At night she can't really sleep cause her feet are still cramped and its been like 5 or 6 months since that happened. What can she use to get the cramps out of her feet? Please help cause I hate seeing her like this.

I have been taking Atenolol 25mg daily since having a kidney operation in 1991. Recently my GP took my BP which was 'normal' and he suggested I try coming off it. He told me to just stop. I had my BP checked the following week and it was again 'normal'. Since stopping I have experienced bad headaches every morning, something I am not normally susceptible to.

I contacted my GP who said he thought it was unrelated but to go back if I still had them in a month's time.

Is this a side effect of stopping? I have read alarming side effects here on stopping suddenly, so am now concerned that I am be worse off coming off them than when I was taking them?

Also how often should I get my BP checked initially so ensure it doesn't go back up?
Many thanks.

I was on inderal for about 5 years for MVP. I'm now 44. My cardiologist switched me to 25 mg. daily atenolol because it doesn't permeate the brain barrier--whatever that means. After four months on atenolol, I'd gained 15 pounds despite daily workouts (unable to get my heart rate over 95 in high-intensity workouts) was having terrible foot pain (thought it was severe plantar fasciitis and almost spent $300 on orthopedic inserts) lethargy so severe I could barely get up and about (a looong nap at least once a day, sometimes twice), BP so low it was scary, heart rate 50, forgetfulness, overall cholesterol up to 220 (normally at 150), hair loss, nightmares, lack of ambition and creativity--I FELT BLAH.

I decided on my own to get off the beta-blockers permanently, as MVP can be controlled other ways and is not life-threatening in most cases. After weaning myself off it over the last two weeks, the improvement has been drastic and sudden. I feel like I have my life back. I'm an inner-city high school teacher and am on my feet ALL day with no break--there is no way I can teach on this drug. It saps your soul. The inderal was much better for me, but I'm not going back to it either. I'd rather live with the annoyances of MVP than the soul-sucking debilitation of atenolol.

I have been on atenolol (beta-blockers) for 30 years.. I am having a devastating case of eczema.. cannot figure why until I started reading all of these people gong thru their turmoil. When I read you had pins and needles in your hands, that's what I have along with the eczema.. it doesn't make sense that I have eczema and the needles and pins in my hands also.

So I started thinking thirty years on this pill might be the reason why. I need my meds very badly or I won't function. I hope I get an alternative soon. I'm going crazy with the itch from head to toe. I hope you're doing well. If you have any info on my condition please write back. thanks for listening.

I have been on this same stuff for about a year and have suffered terrible itching, for which my Dr prescribed cortisone cream which I refuse to use as the continuous use of this cream is unwise. I am sick of not sleeping because of the itch and I am going to start to come off the medication gradually. I stopped it a couple of weeks ago but my BP went through the roof and scared me.

I was on atenolol and hydrochlorot for a couple years for high BP.

In April I went on low fat diet for high triglycerides. I lost 30 pounds, started feeling dizzy and light headed. Went to Dr a few weeks ago. He took me off atenolol and hydrochlorot and started me on a generic for dyazide.

Have had no change in weight BUT I think I missed this month's period :(
I am almost 49 yrs old


I'm so glad I found this site.

I am 46 and have struggled with borderline hypertension. I finally decided to get my BP under control and my doctor started me on Atenolol.

I have to say it has worked great, however, I have gained 15 pounds for NO reason -- I almost can eat nothing.

I went back and almost fainted when I got on the scale. In my lifetime, I've never weighed this much. It's so depressing... My doctor put me on a water pill, but the weight has not come off.

I am going to try another very strict diet for 2 weeks. If this does not budge the scale, I'm going to look at other drug options.

This drug did take several weeks to get used to and if I did not have the weight gain I would be very satisfied with the result.

I feel like a blob!

After Having my son over three years ago I was experiencing hbp. I was put on 25 mg ateonolol. After about a year I had the dose lowered to 12.5 mg a day.With changes in my diet and starting exercising regularly my doctor allowed me to stop taking ateonolol. Its been a while since I stopped taking it but I feel amazing! I didn't realize how sluggish and lethargic it made me. I was struggling with my weight on that medicine. I immediately start losing weight after stopping taking it. I was able to take it easy the first week off it and I did monitor my bp and heart rate. If I could go back I would have stopped taking it so long ago. After taking it for so long I understand why people are scared to stop taking it but my heart is much calmer off of it. I got my sex drive back, motivation for life back, and my confidence in my body's ability! Good luck everybody.

Hi Folks,

I have been on Atenolol for upwards of 18 years. No side-effects that I can attribute to the drug.I take 50mg per day - in the evening. For part of the 18 years the atenolol was combined with a diuretic - Chlorthalidone.

Two years ago I started exercising more - I guess I walk about 30 miles a week now. Even on brisk walks it was difficult for me to raise my heart rate to over 60 bpm. I started to feel dizzy when I stood up and my doctor reckoned I had lowered my blood pressure so much, by the regular exercise, that he was probably over medicating me. He withdrew the diuretic to start with as he regards amlodipine as a better drug for hypertension so he introducing amlodipine gradually and weaning me slowly off atenolol.

If anyone is interested I will keep you informed of the progress

Phil in the UK.

I have been on atenolol , 100 mg for 3 years. About 5 months ago it was bumped up to 150 as I had afib. I got depression (I've had it before) about 3 weeks after the bump up to 150 mg. I stopped taking it over a weeks time. Two days ago was the last time I took it. I feel better, but still have some depression/anxiety. I am 68 yrs old and 6 ft 2. Am I expecting to much to feel completely better this soon? How long would it take to out of my blood system?

I have been taking atenolol 50mg for 7 years now. I just recently went to my doctor (GP) and I mentioned that my heart rate was in the 40s. One morning I woke up and it was 35. I was put on this medication for HBP. My doctor told me to stop taking the medication. I asked her if I would have withdrawals after being on this med for so long. She said no. I didn't believe her. So I emailed her and told her I didn't feel comfortable stopping med cold turkey!

So she said you can start by taking half of tab for a few days. I took half of tab 25mg for 1 week instead and then I stopped completely and she has me taking Lisinopril 10mg now. I noticed that my heart rate has gone back up in the 50s & 60s, BP seems to be in ok range, my doctor told me to call her if BP is consistently 140/90 for 3 days, it has not been that.

But I have had anxiety and some fast heart beats. I have been off of atenolol for 4 days now. I hope this anxiety goes away the longer I'm off this med. I went on a diet and exercise program about a year and a half ago and lost 35 pounds, so I think my body doesn't need this drug any more. I am so glad to read other people's comments regarding withdrawals from drug because I have been concerned about this anxiety I am feeling.

When I exercise now my heart rate gets up there. Why can't these doctors tell patients the truth about these drugs!! I had no idea there was side effects to getting off this drug!!! I will not goes back on this DRUG!!!!!! because I have had side effects too from this DRUG!!!! Blurred vision, fatigue, slow HRT, weight gain., etc.

I have taken atenolol for a couple months now. The first week was hell and almost got me off this drug. In spite of the consistent 150/ 105 readings. I was off balance and dizzy. I could not function normally.

Then I stated in the name of jesus this drug will not harm me but help me.
Then a revelation came to me. It consisted of me increasing my h2o intake.
I keep a 20oz gatorade bottle full of water in the fridge. So I thought what the hey.

I started drinking 10 0z at a time, 3 to 4 times a day. Wow, all side effects went away. Drink your first 10oz when taking your atenolol. Then do it incrementally throughout the day. I always feel refreshed and have energy, minus the anxiety without the drug. Maybe the potassium counteracts the side effect and makes the body process it better. Water helps.

Give it a try and see what you think. It works for me. I actually managed too lose 3 or 4 lbs doing this. I have read so much about unwanted weight gain. Give water consumption increase consumption a try. I think you will like the results as I do. Good luck and God Bless. By the way my readings are now consistently 110/65 to 120/78 when I wake up in the morning. Plus I take my med around 11a.m. and drink my water throughout the day. This helps me greatly.

For if you take before you go to bed you cannot take the water throughout the night, like you can throughout the day. Again good luck. Hope it works for you. Thank you god for the answer to my problems. May you help others too.

I was given a blood pressure machine by my doctor. I heard it was best too check your blood pressures when you first wake up and midday and before you go to bed. Always wait 3to5 minutes in rest before taking reading. I personally take mine while sitting. Good Luck.

What a horrible, horrible drug. I was prescribed Atenolol 50MGs/day about 4 years ago for HBP. I was not aware, nor told of any side affects. Over the years, I gained weight, grew depressed and withdrawn, I couldn't concentrate, and began drinking fairly heavily. It was all gradual, and I was simply putting it all off as a mid life crisis. I didn't connect the two.

The depression got so bad that I needed to seek help, and then I learned about the nature of atenolol. I stopped immediately. Within a week, the sky was bluer and flowers smelled prettier. Within a month, I was back to riding 20 km a day by bike, eating less and drinking considerably less. 3 months later, weight is coming off, I can think clearly and have a greater attention span. My BP is a tad higher, let's say 130/90 but I am a new man.

I quit smoking back in March 2010 after over 45 years.
We are told that stopping smoking lowers blood pressure but in a lot of cases it goes up.

A while back I started getting really bad headaches and went to the Doc's. He took my blood pressure and it was high... something like 167/124.
So he prescribed me atenolol. After a while my stomach was bloating, I don't eat a lot so it wasn't that.

Since I quit smoking I have done a walk of between 2 and 5 miles a day but suddenly I didn't feel like it and on a few times I was puffing after a short distance. Then the sleepless nights started. Only an hour or two at first then it was nearly all night. I would go to bed and just lay there awake. I was tired an just on the edge of sleep but just couldn't go off.

My eyes were getting tired and I couldn't concentrate on anything.
Then a a couple of weeks ago I started getting moody and on Sunday 9 January I really ranted at my wife for nothing at all and went upstairs slammed the door and cried because I knew this wasn't me. I was really upset that I shouted at my wife for no reason.

I went back to the surgery yesterday and saw a different doctor. As soon as I told him my symptoms he took me off of atenolol and even phoned a cardiovascular surgeon to see if it was Ok to stop the atenolol straight away.
So he gave me a couple of pills for me to get some undisturbed sleep for two nights and changed my medication.

I hadn't read about the atenolol side effects until today..... frightening.

Over the last couple weeks I have been experiencing really bad back pain, neck pain, and pain all around my rib cage area. Last year at almost the exact same time of year I had this same problem. Doctor last year took all kinds of blood tests, CT of Abdomen,. MRI of brain, Spinal Tap never got any answers. Went to Doc last week told me I had a flu like virus, but no t the flu. No fever, no cough, no runny nose. Just a pain that is all over my feet are ice cold muscles feel weak. Feels like pain gets really bad then almost a numb-like sensation. Skin around flank on left side gets raw like sunburn feeling. Also I've had watery diarrhea for over a week Monday my blood pressure went way up I took myself to Doc pressure was 160/100. Went down to 144/94 before I left. Doc prescribed atenolol.

I've taken it twice and I'm kind of afraid t keep taking it . Pressure is not always high maybe borderline. Not sure what to do here. I am 34 years old and a stay at home Mom with a 3 and 5 year old. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I have been on atenolol for about 3 years. At first, I was only taking 25 mg once a day, then slowly increased to 100 mg once a day. My doctor also added Lisinopril about a year and a half ago. Last summer, he took me off of the Lisinopril because of some side effects that I was having, but at the same time he increased my dosage of Atenolol to 100 mg twice a day. So, I am now taking 200 mg per day.

The problem I am having is that since he increased my dosage in August, I have been to his office 4 times for what I thought was a bladder infection. My urine test showed protein, blood and leukocytes, but no bacteria. For the past few weeks, I have been really paying attention to my symptoms and have come to the conclusion that these symptoms may be a side effect of the increased dosage of Atenolol.

I know that this drug is excreted through the kidneys. Has anyone else had similar symptoms? I did take my 100 mg tablet yesterday morning, but I did not take last night's dosage or this morning's dosage (just to see how I would feel). Strangely enough, my bladder symptoms are better today. I called and spoke with a nurse, but I have not received a call back yet. The nurse suggested that I cut the pill in half and take it today, so I am doing that now, but I wanted to see if anyone else had ever heard of this being a side effect.

NO but I am on a cornocopia of drugs, including atenolol. I noticed a little bit of change with side effects on this drug. My first week on this drug was horrible. I noticed sore kidney and dizziness. I was about too quit using the drug. But instead I started taking 10 0z of water with the drug. Then I would drink another 1.5 or 2 gatorade 20oz bottles worth of water throughout the day. Viola. All my side effects sore kidneys and dizziness went away. My blood pressure is stable etc.

I am not a doctor and this is my personal experience on the three months I have been on the drug. It works so well that now I am only taking a half of a 25mg tab. Down from a full 25 mg tab. A lot of people like myself were really unaware of how much slight dehydration can effect your blood pressure. I was drinking nowhere near the amount of water I am now. And I almost feel that I can get off of this med after 3 months. Remember dehydration causes vessel constriction which contributes greatly too blood pressure increase over along period of time. Not too mention the water will help with the processing of this drug greatly, through your kidneys. I am not a doctor but give it a try.

10 of water at least with every dosage. Higher dosage the more water. And in between doses try and take in at least another 20 oz throughout the day. Buy a water filter for your faucet if u don't already have one. It does make a difference with the water. Hopefully this helps. I make no guarantees but give it a try.


I have been to the doctor 2 times in the last month because I have been experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection as well. The last test showed I did have one. I was put on meds to clear up the Bladder infection and within 3 weeks I was having the same feeling. I have been taking this med since the birth of my daughter last year because of heart and lung complications (enlarged heart with and unknown infection) that happened 3 days after her birth. (Not fun)
I was only on this site because I notice a few months ago my hair was thinning it was slight at first but I was having to change my normal what of styling. From one day to the next my hair has just started to really come out and now I have some bald spots and this is not normal at all because I have very long thick curly hair. My hair has gone from very full and healthy to thin and dry.
My only wish is that I would have paid attention to some of this issues I was having before it has gotten this bad. My doctor just changed me today to Norvasc but I am really worried. I have to be at my best all of the time I am a business owner and a mother to 3 little ones + two Great Danes. I just wish I could feel like I used to and get ride of these drugs period....

I have been taking 50mg of Atenolol for 14 months now for PVC's. I was so tired for the first three months I could hardly get up a flight of stairs and in fact had to stop mid-way to catch my breath. I still feel very tired most of the time but not as severe as in the beginning. I am 56 and in otherwise very good health. Since taking the Atenolol, I have gained 20 pounds even though I eat very healthy foods. Last summer I walked 6 or 7 days a week - 4 or 5 miles each time on very step hills and never lost one ounce of weight. I have also had leg cramps and depression.

The one good thing that I have experienced since taking this drug is that I don't have migraine headaches anymore. I really want to get off of this drug but I am not sure how to do it. The PVC's terrify me and I had so many of them that they were a complete disruption of my life. I really need some advice from anybody who has this problem and is coping with it.

I told my cardiologist that I was getting off atenolol and wanted something else. I was prescribed diltiazem and am doing much better. You might talk to who ever prescribed the atenolol and tell them you would like another alternative. Atenolol is a beta blocker and beta blockers cause the beta blocker blues.

I have been having pin and needle like in my legs, groin, and buttocks especially when walking since I have been on Atenolol. I have been on this medication for 4 months. I take this medication for BP. I have never had this type of pain before. I switched from Diovan to Atenolol because I was considering pregnancy, but I am wondering if these are side effects are from the Atenolol. I just had an MRI on my back waiting on the results and I plan to contact my Dr to ask if the pain I have been having is related to this medicine.

HI my 6 year old son is on Atenolol and I am concerned that he is on a 25mg dose (he only weighs 42lbs). He is irritable and struggling to focus at school. As I am not the one on the drug, I have been told that these are just "normal" side effects. I am not sure if there are better pediatric solutions for SVT (tachycardia). Any thoughts on this?

I have been taking this med and it makes me feel sooo bad, so I'm going to stop taking it and let my doc know. I'm tired of being tired with this pill.

I'm 50 years old and I've been on one daily pill of 25 mg Atenolol and one plain 325 mg aspirin once a day for 2-1/2 years. I was prescribed this medicine to treat my atrial fibrillation. I've never had high blood pressure. Minor side effects--occasional fatigue and mental slowness.

I say minor because I've learned over time that, in my case, I could cancel these side affects by taking half a caffeine pill. Hope this helps somebody. However, the doctors I've seen say that I'll NEVER be able to get off this medicine--unless I get a pacemaker. They said it's not worth me getting the surgery. Personally I'm not playing with this anymore. I hope for the best but, really, this is the heart that we're talking about. Thank you God for the generous advance notice. I got born again and I'm making reservations at my local Memorial Gardens.

I have been taking Atenolol for about 9 years and Just now getting terrible dreams, poor sleep, depression. I take this for atrial fib which I rarely have but reading the blog I am scared to get off this drug. I am slowly reducing dosage,now about 20 mg. I had a chemical stress test and came out fine. I would appreciate any info from people who have weaned off this drug.

whenever I used atenolol 25mg for my heart fibrillation and I feel side effects of medication appear after 12 to 20 hrs like start lightly itching start on my wrist and some times my palm and then it becomes slightly bumpy, which moves one spot to another spot. Sometimes under my arm my feet my heel my belly this always continue 3 to4 days. While I stopped atenolol for week or more it disappears. I'm taking atenolol almost 2yrs these side effects happening, started from 2 months. Rest of common side effects I have which one every body mentions it. This is the different side effect I have.

I have decided to get off the 100mg of Atenolol that I've been taking since 2005. I'm so sick of doctors not telling me the side effects of the drugs they prescribe.

I am a 49 yr old teacher/mother/housewife. I was put on 50mg Atenolol 10 weeks ago due to high blood pressure. I have never been so ill in my life! I have an extra heart beat and checked with my GP if the medication would be ok with this. He said that it would help with my extra heart beat, not that it has ever given me any problems and when diagnosed 9 yrs ago I was told that it was not life threatening.

However after taking the Atenolol I began to feel breathless, exhausted, dizzy and weak. I fainted twice and was rushed to hospital by ambulance. It turns out that this tablet had slowed down my heart so much that it stopped! The bad thing is that the hospital stopped the atenolol immediately and put me on to a blood thinning drug. Little did I know that you should be weaned off Atenolol over a period of weeks.

I am still recovering from having to go 'cold turkey' from this drug and there were times when I thought I was going to die! I became so breathless I couldn't even speak.Thank god I have my family around me because I could not stand up without feeling faint, I couldn't eat, drink or wash without help. If I had been an elderly person alone I dread to think how I would have survived and recovered on my own.

I was told by the hospital that Atenolol is "the scourge of the NHS" as most people that are brought in from a collapse have been taking this drug! However I must stress DO NOT STOP taking it without medical supervision while you wean off it!

I was unfortunate that the hospital did not do this. If they had I may not have been so ill whilst waiting for it to leave my system, which has taken weeks. It has not only affected me but also my family, my work place... and my students!

If there is so must uncertainty about this drug, isn't it time that the world health organisation sits downs and debates the serious risks associated with this drug and sets out guidelines for all practitioners to follow before it is prescribed? and if I am missing out and they have already done this, then why are people's lives and their quality of life still being put at risk?

I am currently waiting further tests to see if any long time damage has been done to my heart. I pray that it has not as I still consider myself relatively young, and would hate to find out that my standard of life will have to change all because of this drug. One thing I have been told by the hospital is that there are various blood pressure medications that Dr's can prescribe. They don't understand why GP's always tend to go for this one as the first port of call, seeing as it has potentially harmful effects. They feel that maybe it is because it is so cheap! What's more important, money or life?

Please I cannot urge anyone enough, if you feel unwell on this drug seek urgent medical advice. If your doctor wants to put you on it I suggest you do some research before you agree to take it as it has the potential to finish your life!

I've been having these symptoms for years. The depression is getting worse... I feel emotionally paralyzed. I cut my dose in half last night and felt better this morning. Hardly no brain fog, much better mood, etc.. Can anyone tell me what BP med they were switched to, once off the Atenolol? I'm calling my MD this afternoon for an appointment. I can't keep living like this.



I'm taking 25mg of my original 100mg and I've felt a lot better. I am going to stop taking it all together tomorrow and wait 24 hours, then begin enalapril since my blood pressure is up.

I was on it for a while and had vivid dreams and terrible nightmares. My doc changed me to Amlodopine. It kept the BP down but oh the sleepless nights, many nights I just laying awake and lucky to get an hours sleep and also causing me terrible mood swings.

I am now on something called Losartan Potassium ( think that's the spelling ). Only been on them a week (25mg ) so early days yet.

I've stopped the 100mg of Atenolol over the last 4 days. I feel a lot better. BP this morning was 147/88. Tomorrow I will start 10mg Enalapril.

Thank-you both, to Laura and Eddie. I have an appt. tomorrow. I'm guessing the Dr. will tell me I'm nuts and go from there. I'm not nuts. I tried cutting an atenolol in half but I'm not sure I didn't screw up the chemistry of the pill. I woke up in a much better mood but my head is pounding. I might suggest enalipril, since that's what my husband takes, and it doesn't seem to affect him.

I tried splitting my pills in half but I'm not sure they were ones that could be split. I don't think they worked well in my system afterwards, but I did wake up feeling better, emotionally. Just a constant pounding in my head, so I took another half, which seemed to help.

Today was my first day on Lisinopril. I've had a headache all day, I'm hoping it's a rebound headache from stopping the Atenolol and not that I'm not on a high enough dose of the new stuff. How's the Enalapril working, Laura?

I got a light headache the first day taking enalapril 10mg, so I took 1 acetaminophen and it went away. I use to take an aspirin, but the drug interaction checker said not to with high blood pressure pills. Today I feel good. BP a little high, but not real bad.

You need to talk to your doctor about alternatives. I had the same problems as most of you who posted to this site! Try Avapro!!! It is a different type of medication. It works very well for me (for over 2 years now) with no side-effects! It is a well tolerated medication.

WARNING! FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use Avapro if you are pregnant. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Avapro can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester. Use effective birth control while taking Avapro. It is not known whether irbesartan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while taking Avapro.

The lisinopril is making me cough and I can't take a deep breath. And I have constant headaches. I've been on it for a week. Has Losartin helped anyone?

Patrice (or anyone here):
Has anyone dealt with a vibrating in their body while weaning off of atenolol? I was diagnosed with Neurocardiogenic Syncope about a year and a half ago and was put on 25 mg of atenolol to help combat the fainting spells. Recently, given the spells are getting worse, my doctor and I are working on increasing my sodium and choline levels to help combat the condition, and have started weaning myself off of the drug.

Given my body is quite sensitive to weaning off of the drug, we are trying a slow weaning schedule, however, despite the gradual decrease, I seem to now be experiencing a vibrating sensation in my lower legs, as well as in my chest at the later part of the day (I usually take the atenolol in the morning). It has proven to not help my sleep either, and I've been waking up aching all over in the mornings as a result.

I take an excellent whole food vitamin supplement, and usually about 10 8oz. glasses of water a day to help combat the syncope episodes, as well, so I am at a loss as to what could be resulting in this vibrating feeling, other than attributing to my recent weaning off of the drug. Any information provided would be greatly appreciated.

I have PVC'S and PAC'S and have been on Atenolol for 4 years. I still get the pvc and pac all the time. I take 50mg was on 100mg but the results were the same. I feel tired and haven't had a good night's sleep since I have been on this drug, weight gain, aches/ pains etc just like every other person on this web site.

I want so bad to go off of this drug but like the person with the pvc's I do not want those things to come back full force like they were. I sometimes had the pvc's for 8 hours at a time and have made many of trips to the ER to be told that they are not life threatening. They sure in heck feel like it. I want to try something else (another medication) but don't want to go thru all the withdrawals. I have had every test there is to have on my heart but all were normal.

I at one point was wanting something to be found just for the piece of mind. Living with this condition is a constant stress factor for me waiting and wondering if this is the big one... I feel for all of you because I am living this nightmare also... good luck and GOD bless you all...

After reading about Avapro, I went to my Dr. He said, "So, what would you like to try instead of Analopril? I said "Avapro"... so he gave me Lisinopril instead, insisting it was "the same thing", and as I walked out of his office, he said, "By the way, you'll cough". And that's all I've been doing since day 2. I've been on it for over a month, hoping it was an effect that would go away, but frankly, I feel like I've had a low-grade respiratory infection ever since that second pill. All I do is hack.

My wife was diagnosed with high BP about 12 years ago. At the time we had a very stressful business but we retired 5 years ago. My wife asked about coming off Antenolol but he said she couldn't... end of story as far as he was concerned. A year back my BP went up so I asked the doctor how to get it down naturally. I gave up smoking and alcohol and changed my diet... the wife had never smoked but joined me on the change of diet.

I bought a BP monitor as well. Now for years my wife has woken up in the nights for hours but we never connected it to anything. Then I started taking my wife's blood pressure and is was very low. So she started taking the Antenolol every other day and her BP was getting more normal. After several weeks she took the results to the doctor who said she could give up the Antenolol and go back in a few weeks with more readings and now she is off the awful drug completely and sleeps like a log.

I got my own BP down with diet and exercise. We both check ourselves regularly. Question is do a lot of people need these pills? Some will but some may not if they have changed their circumstances.

How's the progress? When I exercise the left side of my body felt numb and my hands and feet felt hot and then cold. Also after lifting weights even my first set I can't workout like I used too before I started taking atenolol 25 mg a day. Also at times there was pressure or something it felt like behind right eye and even effected my vision somewhat like blackness or something. I feel really dizzy and feel like I can't breath when lifting weights.

I try to run but I can't run like I used to either. I was prescribed this medicine during my alcoholic episode when I was 21-22 years old. Now that I'm sober 8 months and lost 40 lbs. I want to get off this medicine. I recently told my doctor about my symptoms but he seemed to have blamed all of it on anxiety.

My last bp reading at the doctors office was 110/65 and that was 4 1/2 weeks without exercise only limiting salt intake in my diet. I noticed that atenolol has prevented me from doing lots of things that I used to do physically. Before I thought it was in my head but I was like "this is not normal" cuz like I said before I started drinking heavily I was into weight lifting pretty good and maintained good fitness and bp was in normal range.

My experience with Atenolol over a 6-year period included a having a very slow heart rate, inability to walk very fast, and difficulty climbing stairs. I also was very tired in the morning and experienced slow, shallow breathing. Sometimes I even ran out of air while talking - a strange experience! I used to be an avid walker & stair stepper, but taking atenolol is not conducive to aerobic exercise - my heart rate rarely got to 80 beats per minute. The bottom line is while taking Atenolol the quality of my life deteriorated. I felt like an invalid.

Under a new doctor's supervision, I just weaned myself off Atenolol over a 4-week period. I am now taking Lisinopril with a diuretic. My heart rate has increased, along with a slight increase in blood pressure. So far I feel OK, but I definitely can sense the change in my heart rate. I agree with the the other posters that it takes a while for you body to get used to the change in medications. I am closely checking my BP twice a day with an OMRON monitor & writing down any new symptoms, which I will bring up at a follow-up checkup in a week with the new Dr. In summary: Knowing what I know now, I would not take Atenolol. Forewarned is forearmed!!

Just to answer people who've written recently....
Now that I'm also off the Lisinopril, I'm finally feeling better. Atenelol was one thing, Lisinopril a whole other chestnut. The coughing was terrible and I was one of the lucky ones who also contracted an upper resp. infection. It's been over a week since I switched to Avapro and slowly, both the cough and infection are decreasing. Through all this, I'm finding I trust Dr.'s less and less.

I take no medications, I have always been a naturalist using vitamins supplements, etc. I am past 70 and still do weights and much exercise. Due to slightly elevated blood pressure and anxiety, I was prescribed atenolol. Four days into it I was having weird dreams and on the eighth day this became horrendous nightmares I can only describe as "induced psychosis" since the nightmare continued even with my eyes open and awake.

My doctor advised me to stop immediately since I had been on it only a little over a week. Six days after stopping I began having diarrhea after eating which has worsened. From what I have read the effects of the med can last a period of time past the day of withdrawal.

All I can figure is that since my body is in such a healthy drug free state the med really kicked in hard! Hope this helps someone else!

I have been on this medicine for a year or so and there is no real change in my BP 140 / 90 in the morning and 150 /101 in mid after noon. Living in Thailand I am on what could only be describe as a very healthy diet and I drink gallons of water each day and maybe a small beer or two like wise. Hot beverage is natural green tea for me. No coffee coke or sodas.

The only big change considering I am eating small Thai portions 2 to 3 times a day is my weight. I am fit and keep going non stop but have put on 5 kilos in the past 12 months.

I have no other symptoms like described by other folk in the mails.
After reading all the above I have decided to ween my self off the stuff and try to go a different rout. Any good suggestions would be most welcome
Regards to all and I hope you all do well.

It's great that you're not experiencing the symptoms others have. Once I switched to Avapro, I started feeling better. I'm don't know why you've had the weight gain. Do you feel bloated? Some Drs. prescribe water pills along with Atenelol. But I had reactions to those, as well.

Good luck~

I am so glad that I found this page because I have only been on this med for about 30 days or so, and I have felt like crap. I too have shortness of breath, faint, feeling tired all the time, my heart still races some, I feel like I am in a fog mentally. And I am having major anxiety. My body literally shakes uncontrollably and I feel like I have to use the bathroom and vomit at the same time.

I too am running out of breath while talking. I was prescribed Atenol by my doc for tachycardia which was causing the high BP- and I am sure that my diet also played a part. I am a mother of 3 and only 36 years old. I was very active physically and now I can barely walk without feeling winded. I hate to take medications for this very reason. I have always been very leery of taking medication. Until now, I only had to take my Synthroid medication for my Thyroid.

You never know how all of these meds will affect you. I have to get off of this medication. It does frighten me because I don't want to die or have a heart attack. I have 16, 12 and 9 year olds who need me. I have been thinking that something is wrong with my heart but now I know that it is this medicine. I have been taking 1/2 of a dose of 25mg, up until last week. I will not continue to take something that is slowly killing me.

I did find some natural remedies for the tachycardia and BP, so I will try that as I ween myself off of this DRUG. I have been feeling like I was going crazy with all of my symptoms, but I know that God sent me here tonight/day. Thank you to everyone who has posted something to help someone else. I have really tried hard to be health conscious, but now I promise you, once the Lord has helped me to get this stuff out of my system, I will not be a consistently-inconsistent exerciser. I will also make sure that I am more food conscious as well. Healthy choices only from this day forward. Once again thanks to everyone.

Hi, I've been on Atenolol for a couple of years now, and I've been out of work and ran out of it, and the DR. would not call in a prescription for me unless I came in to see him. I did not have the money for a visit, so I stopped cold turkey! that was 2 weeks ago, and my heart started flipping like a tuna! I got the money and he got more for me! I was on 25mg and I cut them in half. I was feeling great until I got off it, and I've been back on for 2 days now, and my heart is still way off! It stops about 3 -5 times every minute. I called the DR. and he said to give it a few more days to kick in, but it seems like when I take it, I don't even feel like it's working. I don't have insurance so it's freaking me out! Does anybody know if it will work? thanks, Jon

I lost my job & have no insurance or doctor. I've been on Atenenol for 3 years to control high BP. I really don't have any side effects. My doctor wont refill any more prescriptions since I left the state he is located in. I guess I need to stop taking the drug... Does anyone have any comments for me?

You might try getting in touch with the drug company and explaining your plight. They might be able to offer you meds at a discount. But I wouldn't just ignore the HBP. Find a doctor, even if you have to use a clinic.

I have been on Atenolol for two years and I have been having a myriad of issues. Most prominent of which is severe diarrhea, cramping, and foamy white stool. I have been tested for Celiac, Crohns, ulcers, cancer, polyps and everything in between. Has anyone had these issues while taking atenolol? I also suffer from trembling hands, dizziness, headaches, fatigue and weight gain that I can't seem to lose. I need help.

I never experienced the bowel problems, but did become tired, my calves ached when I walked, I was depressed and experienced many headaches. Try switching, see if that helps.

have no appetite which isn't unusual for me eating only miniscule amounts of food. I have never been overweight. I have gained about 10 kgs since being on tenormin.

How can I have gained such weight even though I am not eating very much?

can anyone answer that for me?

thank you

Tellis, I've had the headaches, diarrhea, cramping and fatigue. But I can't attribute it fully to the atenolol. I have also been diagnosed with gluten intolerance. I don't have full blown celiac disease, so tested negative for celiac on three different tests. The fourth test was a gliadalin test and it was positive for gluten intolerance. Most doctors are not well versed in celiac/gluten intolerance, so don't know all the tests that need to be done. I had to go to my local celiac support group to find a doctor who was well-versed. So, even though your test was negative, don't take that as the answer. has a lot of info. Good luck!

I have been on 50 mg daily of Atenolol for approx a year and a half for heart palps related to thyroid problems. I have had extreme sleep problems, fatigue and low energy, hair loss, memory problems, G/I problems (diarrhea and bloating) and depression. I had to top working. It is difficult to separate these symptoms from my thyroid problem. I had my thyroid removed and the thyroid situation seems to be stable now.

I am ready to go off Atenolol and see if these symptoms are caused by the Atenolol. I called my MD's office about going off and was told simply to stop taking it - cold turkey. I am astounded after reading the entries here that I would be told to do so. Thank you all for your input and comments. I will try to wean myself gradually over the next month.

I have been on Atenolol now for about 2 years. Had 2 ablations to fix it but none worked due to stress caused by my ex husband. I now worry if I get into a new relationship and get pregnant while on it as I can not get off the medication or if the person I get in a relationship with wants to have a child. I take 200mg a day. Can someone tell me anything about it or should I go ahead and try for another ablation or would it be dangerous since I already had 2 ablation?

you should get tested for P.O.T.S.... I have it...its worth a shot...good luck..

Been on atenolol for 8 months, just starting gasping for breath, scarey, doesn't last long, more often each day. Feel pain in stomach area, atenolol problem????

My experience is that doctors will not tell you how to wean yourself off this drug (no matter how much you like the doctor) - so this and other sites helped me kick it after 15 years.

When put on the drug I had already been taking 2 adult aspirin (650mg) - and sometimes antihistamines for allergies - so the drug may have been blocked most times.

Before starting dose reduction, I started taking a magnesium supplement, and made sure I got close to 100% potassium in my diet.

I went from 50mg to 25mg and stayed at 25 for a couple of months (the reduction did cause my heart rate to increase - so I waited until it was back down to normal. I then cut the pill in quarters - and stayed on 12-1/2 for another couple of months - finally going to no pill 3 weeks ago.

All side affects have disappeared - including some I did not know were related to the med.

I can now sleep on my left side and back again; my eyes have started tearing (they were very dry); sleep through the night; no more nightmares; and restless legs are no longer restless.

Does anyone else taking atenolol (25mg daily) have decrease in libido and E.D.?
How do I ween off the drug?

I've been on atenolol for many years for palp's & somewhat high BP. After the first few years I realized my energy level was considerably lower (I'd call myself somewhat hyper-active), so my doc told me I could try tapering off and stopping the drug. I did, felt more energetic, but BP went up again, so I went back on it. Only drug I was on. Later, BP was up a bit, so doc added hydrochlorothiazide. Seemed OK.

I'd had pretty severe asthma for many years, but it had gradually faded away before I started Atenolol. Then about 6 mos. ago, I started coughing a lot and felt a return of asthma symptoms was the cause. I started using my husband's inhaler occasionally and eventually went to his pulmonologist, who put me on Symbicort and ventolin. Helped.

Recently, what had been occasional muscle cramps in legs and feet, started to hit with a vengeance. Woke me multiple times at night; difficulty getting to sleep. Talked to docs, others, and only advice I got was to eat bananas for potassium and drink quinine water. Decided to research my meds.

On line I learn that beta blockers and thiazide meds are not good partners with asthma meds, and thiazide depletes potassium! Seeing cardiologist this week. Reading the comments by others makes me determined to get off the atenolol and thiazide. Alternatives seem questionable. I hate taking any meds I can't live without!!! We'll see what's offered and hope for the best.

P.S. FYI: An Amish "tonic" for leg cramps that I ordered on line seems to work.
Apple cider vinegar, ginger and garlic! It tastes as bad as you'd guess, but
last night I slept through for the first time in weeks. Good luck to all.

Withdrawal phenomena after atenolol and bopindolol:

hormonal changes in normal volunteers, states, 3. Following atenolol withdrawal the results show hormonal evidence of adrenergic overactivity in the form of elevation of plasma cortisol, insulin and glucose levels. I've also read that atenolol reduces melatonin levels, increased cortisol levels are associated with severe trauma, I've been on atenolol and lisinopril for 2 years and just now learning about this , I'd like to know what other fillers are used, but I'll be looking for an alternate blood pressure remedy, diet is key I'm sure.

Until reading these comments, and seeing my sister for the first time in many years, I had almost forgotten my horrible 8 year experience with beta blockers. My sister is on Atenalol and at least two other meds. She is zombie-like and extremely forgetful, repeating things over and over. She used to be lively and animated and independent. She keeps on repeating, "You know high blood pressure runs in the family". I know life style runs in the family with all the bad habits like smoking, drinking, bad diet, no exercise, following or not following doctors orders to bad health and the grave, etc.

Many years ago my GP put me on SERAPES(?). The side effects were awful so he told me to take half a pill. My BP went up so high my pulses were beating like hammers. He almost put me in the hosp. He retired. My family was very poor and I ended up in a clinic. They put me on beta blockers. Every time I complained they would eventually switch me to another beta blocker. The last one was CORGARD(?).

During this eight year period I became a slow motion person in action and thinking. Among many side effects, I lost my grip in my hands. I was told I'd be on meds for life. When I tried to get off meds my BP went up and I had a stroke in my left eye leaving only peripheral vision. I had been a drinker and smoker just like my parents and many other relatives. It took awhile but I quit. I did not cope very well with life and went into Alanon and then into AA. After about a year my sponsor sent me to a doctor who took me off meds and said I probably hadn't needed them for years, since I had changed my lifestyle. Gratefully, I haven't had a drink nor BP med for over 26 years.

I wrote back in May when I quit taking Atenolol and changed to Enalapril. Well, that didn't work either. Right now I am not taking anything except vitamins. E, D, potassium, and an aspirin each day. Blood pressure is running about 150/109, and I'm determined to get it down naturally. The side effects from those drugs have ruined my hair, my weight, and my attitude. Doctors seem to have too many patients and not enough time to really listen and help, they just want the big paychecks.

My mother, of 81 yrs of age, just recently acquired high blood pressure. The doctor put her on liprisil and atenolol and she could do nothing but cough and run to the bathroom. She was taken off one of the meds (not certain which) and still has the same effects. She was told that if she didn't go on the drugs she could have a stroke and would not have a good quality of life.

Now since she's been on the drugs she has not had a good quality of life. She doesn't dare go anywhere. She was a very healthy and vibrant person, but now all she can do is stay home and worry about the side effects and cannot sleep on top of that. Just wanted to share what these drugs do. The doc said there are so many HBP meds out there to choose from but he didn't change the prescript... I wonder why... I miss my "normal" mother.

Try a different medication (ie Avapro or Diovan)!!! They USUALLY don't have significant side-effects. (not sure how old your mom is but don't take these if pregnant or plan to become pregnant.) Don't waste another day waiting. Call the doc today and tell them she needs to change meds. Work with the Dr. because you need to come off of atenolol slow.

I've been on inderal many years at first to help with palpitation. recently my blood pressure started to go up so about 5 months ago I was increased to 60mg twice a day of propranolol but my b/p the last couple of months has been getting higher so on visit to dr. last thursday she took me off pro. and started me on atenolol 50mg qd.

First 3 days everything ok b/p a little better but now I have higher pulse rates at rest (84-94) and if I just walk to kitchen and back or bend to pick up something on floor my heart rate is 98-120 ..while on pro. my hr were mid 70's80's and I just feel lousy since this started
why is hr increased.?

I have been using atenolol for fifteen years. Originally 12.5 mg. then increased to 25 mg. daily. This to stabilize irregular heart beat and high blood pressure. Atenolol brought it down and for many years my blood pressure averaged 118/68 heart rate low 50's. Also, general health was good. About six years ago I began experiencing numbness in middle toes on left foot, since that time this has progressed to both feet. Plus I feel as it the tarsel muscle going across the bottom of the foot has shrunk and is trying to pull together.

Both feet now feel numb, tingle, burn, feel cold, and there is a tightness around my ankles as if I have tight elastic bands around them. This is not pain, but extreme discomfort, being so much worse in the evenings when sitting quietly, it also keeps me awake through the night. I have had many tests, including blood tests, Xrays, vascular tests which say borderline, or 'adequate'.

Having read in several of the comments above of similar situations I have come to the conclusion that it is the Long Term Use of Atenolol that has probably caused this. problem is, Now What To Do About it??? Will check with doctor re this latest 'find' but doubt he will agree! Would appreciate any related comments re the above. I would add that I am female and in mid seventies, but very active and generally healthy apart from these darn feet!

I switched to Apapro and am feeling better. You might want to consider this med as an option.

I have the exact same thing with my feet. It started gradually, and became worse over a few years on Atenolol. I stopped taking Atenolol because of that, and fatigue, hair loss, and just all over restlessness. I never can get comfortable.

I was hoping when I quit taking the Atenolol that at least my hair would stop coming out, but it hasn't stopped. It's been 7 months and my feet still hurt and my hair is thin and looks like crap. I no longer trust doctors! My blood pressure is high. About 158/103 most days, but on some it's around 178/151.

I had a stroke when I was 48. I'm 55 now. 4 years ago I had surgery on my caroid (?) artery (neck). I'm not as active as I use to be, so I am figuring that I just need to get more exercise to fix things, cuz I am not going near anymore doctors.

Many thanks for two replies to my query re possible effects of the drug Atenolol. To R.P. I will ask my doctor regarding Avapro, though on checking, some of their side effects do not look too promising either. I guess all drugs can be toxic. One has to decide whether a good end result is worth putting up with some side effects. Trouble is, when many of these side effects do not show up, or occur until years later, it is impossible to make an informed decision as to whether to try them or not.

Re Laura. Thank you for your info. I too get the all over restlessness and have trouble getting comfortable. However, regarding your own blood pressure, the figures you mention are really far too high, and I strongly suggest you do get advice about it from someone you can trust. Yes, a good idea to do more exercise, you are young, fifty five is the New thirty five these days. Good luck.

I don't know if anyone else has responded to you, but please, be careful. You sound like you need a bit more than just some exercise. At least at the moment, anyway. I'm not exactly thrilled with doctors, either, but at some point, you've got to see one, if only for a starting point (meaning, getting some bloodwork done). It's amazing what a little pill can do to you, isn't it?

I have been on Atenolol for high blood pressure since 1975, 50 mg./day. Pressure was around 145/94 and still is!!! In the late 1980's I began suffering from shortness of breath and laziness. So why did I keep on taking it? Good question but I guess I just trusted the Doctors. Breathing and shortness of breath is now much worse, but my Doctor insists I stay on it. I am a 66 year old male, 6'1" 220 lbs and don't drink alcohol or take other Rx type medications, but I do smoke, have since I was 15.

I have decided to quit it altogether anyway by withdrawing slowly. I plan on cutting down to 25 mg./day for two weeks, then down to 10 to 12 mgs. for another 2 weeks, then... just stop altogether. Any comments on this plan? I'll keep you all posted. Atenolol is one difficult drug! As are so many of them. Prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thanx much.

People's Pharmacy response: We urge you to let your doctor know of your plan. S/he may need to help you transition to a different blood pressure drug. It does make sense to discontinue gradually, since atenolol should never be stopped suddenly.

I agree, many of (if not most) the drugs are toxic, in some way. But so far, I haven't experienced anything like I did while on Atenelol. There was a slight cough, but it went away almost instantly. I guess the best bet would be to swear off stress, eat better and exercise. Right... if I could get rid of the stress (person) that annoys me, I think I'd be home free!!!!!

And I agreed with your assessment of Laura's situation... get thee somewhere, because those numbers (and her history) are really bad.

Reply to John from EH
Thirty six years is a long time to have been taking 50 mg. daily of atenolol, however, your doctor may have good reason for keeping you on it. In any event, after so long on this drug, in my humble opinion, I would not think the relatively quick withdrawal time you have suggested of only four weeks, is anything like long enough. A daily dose of 25 mg. for two weeks, and a further 12.5 mg. for another two weeks, then quitting altogether after 36 years, may have a serious result. Why not check with another doctor or even a reliable pharmacist for a second opinion before starting. Will be happy to remember you in my prayers. Prayer works miracles!

Change doctors? Be careful when cutting down... and getting off the drug. What will you do instead, once off the med?

I started searching here because of the way I started feeling when I ran out of Atenolol during the holidays and couldn't get refill.
I have always had a slow heart rate. My heart rate continued downward as I got older.

In 2002 I had not really monitored my heart rate but started having severe dizzy spells and then passing out. My resting heart rate had dropped to 39, why I do not know. My cardiologist diagnosed me with Neurocardiogenic syncope after I failed the tilt table test. With heart rate so low he said I had no choice but to receive a pacemaker. I did in Oct. 2002.

I thought a pacemaker would take care of everything. I had arrhythmia and the pacemaker does not handle that. My doctor put me on Atenolol for the arrhythmia. I am on 150mg a day. I feel like I could drop most of the time. No energy, taking away desire to do much of anything.

When I was off the med lately for two days, my energy shot up, I felt almost hyper. I cleaned our house top to bottom. My wife liked that, but I noticed what felt like my heart beating harder even though I had not really had the arrhythmia. My blood pressure had shot up to a dangerous level. I am back on the med today. I really dread going back to the no energy spot. I am hoping there is an alternative med. that I can take.

My cardiologist almost increased my dosage last check up because of some episodes where the pacemaker had to increase my heart rate past the setting of 70 bpm at which it is set.

I am just so tired of being so tired, I feel I have no life. Hoping someone will see this who had the same side effects and enlighten me with a new med they have started that will control the problem without the side effects. I was surprised that not a very large percentage experience the lethargy that I do. It is just tough to give up much of life now that I have experienced a new energy level while off of it, yet realizing I have enough heart problem that I need to be on some medication.

Problem with weaning of Atenolol is the increased heart rate as your body gets to regulate itself again.

I did have the lethargy etc -and if I missed taking the pill at my normal time - my heart rate did go up.

I reduced the dose over time until I stopped taking atenolol.

At each reduction I did experience a slight increase in pulse rate & waited until it went back down to normal before the next reduction until I was off completely.

I have been off it for 2-1/2 months and feel 100% better.


I have been off atenolol for 2-1/2 months and feel 100% better & my hair seems to be filling in again.

As you do not feel any better, you may want to look for a doctor in private practice who can sit and talk with you about your concerns and problems.

I switched back to propranalol and became a new person. Some docs do not like Inderal, but I insisted my cardio guy try me on it, and my body tolerates it soooo much better. Atenolol sucked for me. I was so tired I could barely get through a teaching day. I'd go home and sleep right away. My heart rate was so low I had to sit down a lot.

Propranalol isn't perfect--the efficacy arc is steep as far as time goes. Atenolol builds more gradually. However, I wouldn't take another Atenolol if you put a gun to my head. Hate to be so dramatic, but there it is. Good luck. Insist on experimentation from your doc. It IS the meds and there are alternatives. Get your life back!

I just replied to you in the wrong place. BTW, I was only on 20 mg when I had the same side effects.

I am so glad I found this website....

I have been on Atenolol for almost 3 years for high BP due to stress and crazy work schedule (sometimes 15 hour days). I am a high school athletic director, 28 yrs old. Over time the side effects got extremely worse. I became lethargic. Sleepy. Long naps. Muscle cramps. Gained 20 lbs. blurry vision. Forgetful. Horrible concentration. I was a high school athlete. Lifted weights. Ran 3 miles a day. Then all the sudden became so cramped I was getting injured in the gym and becoming tired after 1.5 miles. I knew this couldn't be right.

As my new years resolution I decided I'm done with atenolol. My doctor said to wean off for 3 days at 12.5 mg but i felt personally that is way too fast. So I am on day 6 of my 14 day wean schedule. So far not bad.... the usual.... I get spiked HR every day around evening time. But nothing unbearable. Weaning off is a battle. 8 more days to go and my hope is to feel rejuvenated!! Good luck everyone!

I was prescribed both atenolol and lisinopril for high blood pressure. Atenolol was great for the blood pressure and heart rate, and never had angina while on it, but for 2 years I suffered serious leg pain. My doctor didn't think the atenolol was responsible, but after taking a vacation for a week and forgetting the atenolol, it disappeared. Came home started taking the meds again, and the leg pain came back. Every morning the first few steps just wanted to fall over that's how bad the pain was. Needless to say now I'm only on the lisinopril and the blood pressure is still good.

I have been on Atenolol 50mg for over 10 years for SVT. I had Ablation of SVT in August and my Cardiologist told me to ween off of the Atenolol and I didn't do it. Now I am almost out and was told to get off of it as they are not refilling. So I am taking it every other night until its gone. No problems yet but an just frightened that I may have a side effect of getting off, just because I was on it so long. I have gained weight over past 10 years but not any of other side affects.

I've been having leg pain since I started Atenolol two years ago...esp. when climbing stairs. I want to go off it just to see, but I'm worried about withdrawal. 61 year old female with slightly high blood pressure and no other health issues..

Don't worry, you'll survive the withdrawal. The leg cramps are worse!

I have been on 25mg a day for 10 years. My BP was not real high, but my doctor thought this "lowest dose" would be good to get out in front of it so kidney's, heart etc.... will last longer, and help with my stressful job.

The first few days I felt weird or "off" a bit and then like he said came around and felt good. It took the edge off my BP and stress too. I ran out a few months ago and on the second or third night while laying on the couch reading my heart suddenly started racing - totally freaked me out! Then it went normal for a bit and then started pounding and racing again. I got very anxious.

For some reason I felt the urge to get some exercise and went out and briskly walked up and down the hill our house is on. My heart finally started to settle down after about 10 to 15 minutes from the exertion and I later had trouble sleeping but after an hour slept OK, but did go up and get my prescription refilled the next day.

I think I could keep my BP in check with lots of exercise, which I really enjoy doing, but just don't have time except for 3 days a week and that's not quite enough. I think the stuff works, don't feel the fatique some have mentioned at all, and I have had no loss of hair from it, but sure hated that feeling when I stopped it.

I just recently started taking Atenolol 25mg 1 week ago, and already the side affects are starting. I woke up very, very dizzy, feeling like I was in a "fog", my heart felt heavy, I feel nauseated and very tired. I could not even go for my morning walk. I literally could not get out of the house. I called my doctor and told her "I just can't take this medication". This is not for me!!!!!

I've been taking it just a couple months and it's making me exhausted. Problems breathing (my doctor knew I had asthma as a child). I can't eat. I have no desire to do anything. I'm taking 25 mg. a day. Calling my doctor tomorrow. I'm worried about what some have said about the side effects of going off it.

Barbara, I too have the same side effects, my question is how did you wean your self off of atenonol in ten days? Did you decrease your dosage each day?

Just found this site as I am fed up with Atenolol and Doc. I am 75 and been on this Atenolol 25MG for 5 years for PVC's. I felt all my problems were my age but after reading these posts I am convinced it's the med.

I have shortness of breath while walking and talking, laziness (never had this before) pressure behind my eyes, no energy, can't walk far, 15 lb. weight gain (I hate it) hair loss, need nap every day and trouble climbing stairs.
I'm starting a cut back tonight. Wish me luck!

I just started taking Atenolol 25mg a week ago. So far, I feel infinitely worse than I did before. It all started with a trip to the Dr. to actually get stitches removed from a cut finger - my blood pressure was up due to stress I believe - 158/80-something, one of the nurses promptly flipped out and made me see a Dr. - She put me on the 25mg. I've taken it for a week now and I do not feel well. Two days ago I started getting a tightness in my chest that radiated to my back... it went away a bit and has come back off and on. Right now for instance, I'm having the tight/numbness in my back. Plus, I noticed by BP after I took the pill, was HIGHER than before! So I went back to the Dr. today - She told me to only take half a pill now, at night... and gave me Chlorthalidone to take in the morning.

I explained all the chest/back feelings and she said Oh, sounds like acid reflux (which I have never had and since when does that make my back feel like this for two days afterwards?!!) or something muscular and dismissed it. I have no freaking idea what to do at this point. I'm wavering between just going to another Dr. at a completely different office so I don't get pushed off on this one again, and just taking the diuretic in the morning and doing the half an Atenolol and gradually making it less than half, and so on and so forth until I'm not taking it. I feel so crummy and not myself.... I have NEVER had any chest tightness, etc like this and they just write it off!

Seems like you put 2 & 2 together, and know your answer. Go with your gut feeling, because you are not imagining this. 'Nuff said.

Doctors just prescribe the meds, they don't take them, so they really don't know what problems they cause.

The OTC allergy medication I took daily - nicely blocked most or all of the atenolol. When I did not take them daily - only aspirin - I had side affects like you mention & worse - so I weaned myself off of it.

I am 6 months free & I will never go back to these drugs.

Like yours the nurse and doctor panicked and put me on 25mg - it was during allergy season, summer, workplace was dry and warm, could not drink enough water during the day - so yes it was up.

I noticed toward the end of being on 50Mg atenolol up from 25 for the last 6 months I took it - that it was very hard to get a pulse reading.

I had a BP home device that automatically inflated etc. I didn't use it that often - but while getting reading to go off atenolol - noticed that most of the time the cuff inflated to the point it almost cut off circulation in my arm - cut weird pulse readings etc. When I took my pulse in the same arm, would get maybe to three before I lost it.

6 months off atenolol and I have a pulse that is easy to take by hand - gave up on the BP reader - & decided that how I feel is more important than a number that may be suspect and, with my heredity may be an okay number for me.

Atenolol blocks adrenalin response - and, in the final year of the drug mine was so blocked, when the smoke detectors burped at night I didn't bother checking. Now, I jumped up and check to be sure that nothing is wrong.

Update on me here - The day after I posted, the next morning I made the choice to seek a second opinion and did. I made an appointment at an entirely different office, so I had no chance of getting pushed back off onto the original Dr. I saw, as I had before (after I asked to see another Dr. Btw). I went and saw an older male Dr., explained things to him, he took my BP and looked at what it had been when she (first Dr.) prescribed the BP meds, etc. He told me that it wasn't a knock on the other Dr., but considering mine was just a few points higher than he'd like to see it at it's highest ideally, he didn't think he'd have even treated me at all. He said really, it's better to treat the low end of higher BP like mine, with changes in diet, exercise and stress reduction FIRST before you ever consider medication. And as I'm still young, I'm not a long term risk so he thinks this can be handled probably just fine without the meds. He said he felt that I probably over the last weeks, with my several Dr. visits, family issues, etc... was stressed and that it's very possible the first Dr. was treating adrenaline and stress symptoms, not a bad BP issue. He also let me know that my EKG she'd done, was good - which she never let me know about, so I assumed something was wrong all this time.

Anyway, so he told me to completely stop both pills. I asked if I needed to wean off the Atenolol and he said since I'd only been on it just a week and it was a lower dose, he felt I could stop cold turkey and be fine, but if I wanted to be extra careful for my peace of mind I could do half a pill for a couple days and then less than that and just stop. He told me flat out, this stuff can and does cause chest tightness and pain in some people and when I explained all about my back numbness and problems he said ya know, since I've been taking it and it's turned up in that time it could easily be the pill. So to see what it is, the best thing is to get off it and see if the symptoms go away and if they do, great... if not, we can proceed from there if I need to. He'd like me to stop checking my BP at home and just relax... and in a couple weeks or so, just come in at my leisure and get it checked to simply see how I'm doing so I can tell if I need to adjust more in my lifestyle, or if it gets worse, etc...

I'm still in horrible pain in my back.... I'm praying it's muscle aches and nothing worse, so *fingers crossed* this and the chest twinges go away as this gets out of my system and I get back to "normal" soon.

I have been prescribed this a week ago, and without a week into the medicine. I've been extremely fatigued even though I have been told to take it at bedtime (which I have). My heart has been feeling funny. I just feel like passing out if I am up for too long. I refuse to take any more.

hi, another first time atenolol user here with questions. took first 25mg pill yesterday, within two hours my pulse rate was nailed to 60 whether resting or at moderate activity, so first question - what are the rules for exercising while on this stuff?

I've had moderate hypertension for about five years, have been on Azor (benicar + amlodipine, ace II inhibitor + calcium channel blocker) for about that long, and it does control my BP, but pulse often runs fast even at rest, so last year I started trying dark chocolate as a (reported) natural beta blocker - and it actually works for me, but it does take one to two ounces per day. doctor had wanted to give me beta blocker even five years ago, but I'd heard it complicated treatment of psoriasis (I also have) so when I questioned the doctor, we just dropped it.

So to the second question - in combination with continued Azor, it seems to me the 25mg atenolol is already too strong - after the first pill! Actually, I'm just about to call the doctor for the rest of my checkup results and about to ask him about this. I gather that standard dosing is 50mg once/day. He had recommended 25mg twice/day. Has anyone ever heard of doing just 12.5mg once/day?

Pills are already small, darn it, hard to cut accurately!


I just started taking atenolol and am have ridiculous side effects. It's darn near to pregnancy symptoms. I took a test before I went into the hospital and it said I wasn't pregnant then they took blood and xrays at the hospital so if I had been pregnant they would have told me. Now my period is almost 3 weeks late and I'm freaking out. Not to mention the continuous chest pain. I never seem to get a break from it. I am trying so hard to just get through my days but I am so tired and weak I can't do anything. I'm only taking 25mg and its effecting me more than the chest pain did before. Anyone have any suggestions?

Since you are already under a doctor's care, what does he/she say?

Hard for anyone out here to comment without knowing why you were first prescribed the drug, and what else you're taking.

In my case (see above) it turned out, what with one thing and another, that even the 25mg dose seemed far too strong for me, possibly/probably because the turmeric I'm taking for other reasons is a weak MAOI and may be potentiating the atenolol. Beta blockers are known for generating a widely varying raft of side-effects, and if one doesn't work for you, there are a dozen others to try. Might discuss that with your doctor, trying a different one.

Which does raise another question: whatever effects you *wanted* from the atenolol, besides the side-effects, are you also getting whatever benefits you wanted?

I was put on this at 1/2 pill a day. I have PAC and my heart was beating a little fast, anxiety, etc. PAC is at a rate of 8 to 10 times per minute. After just over 30 days, I am getting hives. They come on quick, itch like mad and the go away. I have noticed bruising on arms, hip area and legs. I was told to stop taking them and return to previous blood pressure med. Now my sweating break outs are back, rapid heart rate, not sleeping, but the feeling of being on edge are gone. I hate pills! I need this to be controlled but not with this drug. I would hate to see me on one pill a day of these. I am to follow up with dr this week.

Stopped taking ALL prescribed pills. Now only taking Magnesium, Zinc, Green Tea Extract and Metamucil, and I am feeling great. BP is steady at 145/90 which is low for me, so this is what I am sticking to. Doctors just don't know what the pills do to a person since they don't take them.

Regarding the hives -You may have undiagnosed allergies.

Atenolol inhibits production of adrenalin (epinephrine is adrenalin).

Suggest you try unscented soaps etc & also a food rotation diet.

If you don't feel your doctor is trying hard enough (as in not doing any research on what you have) you may have to do your own research or have a friend help you out.

From Wikipedia look up Chest Pain - it lists many conditions - with links to detail pages.

Another option - heard of a person who after many months of frustration with their doctor - got a diagnosis from doctors at WebMD - caught whatever it was while it was still treatable.

Laura, it's great you're getting results just from nutritionals - I try to go even one step further and use foods instead of pills! Try some beets for BP, about six to eight ounces seems to work for me, apparently on the NOx path. Also dark chocolate! Milk proteins mostly block the effects. About two ounces of 72% or 85% give you natural beta blocker effects. Almonds are great for magnesium, and of course bananas for potassium.

But - you should shoot for lower BP than that, even if untreated it's even higher. Doctors now like it *under* 120/80, I'm happy pretty much anywhere in the 120's and 80's, I tend to feel like a rag when it gets lower than that.

I have taken Atenolol since 2003. One time since then, one doctor in the practice tried to wean me off the medication. It seems that his schedule for me to wean was about 3-4 weeks. It didn't work at that time because my BP went back up. Last month (June 2012), another doctor in the practice gave me a longer weaning schedule. He said he believes this is the safest way to stop Atenolol.

For the first month, take 1/2 the dosage every day.

For the next two weeks, take 1/2 the dosage every other day.

For the next one week, take 1/2 the dosage every third day and then stop.

I am in the last week of weaning and things have gone relatively well. I did have pounding palpitations on three different nights (not consecutive) when I started taking it every other day. Those kinds of episodes have not hit me since. Since, I may feel a couple of palpitations a day. On the day I ran errands, my heart rate increased significantly. After I came home, I rested for quite a while before I took my rates. Even after resting for a while, my HR was 110 but my BP was normal.

My doctor had warned me that BP was not the only concern. He said that palpitations and heart rate were also important when being weaned. The palpitations have decreased; the heart rate hasn't been above the 80's since that one day and my BP is actually running lower than it had been on the medication. It is ranging from 105/67 to 119/68.

I had all the side effects that the others have mentioned with my worst being fatigue, hair loss (excessive), asthma, gasping for air, weight gain, brain fog and acid reflux which I never had prior to taking this medication.

I have had to take no asthma medication after a few days of just cutting back the medication. I have lost 7 1/2 lbs without trying. I don't have to take antacids nearly as often. My brain fog is soooo much better. I am, of course, hoping that my hair will sign of that yet. Will let you know if that changes.

It is my prayer that I can stay off Atenolol! I have been tried on every class of BP medicine except one and that one is not recommended for me. On all the others I tried, I had horrendous side effects, including symptoms of a heart attack and feeling so mean that I thought I was going to hurt someone. I felt purely evil!

Thanks to each of you for sharing your stories. I will update mine should there be any changes. Best wishes for all of us to be rid of Atenolol!!!

Keep in mind that not all generics are the same, which are often produced by a different company. Have your pharmacy help you or work with a different pharmacy to get you a different manufacturer for your generic drug.

I have been on atenolol for one week and I have been coughing.
Is this caused by the drug? It is not on the list of side effects.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Coughing is not a typical side effect of atenolol.

Yes. There are very strange anecdotal symptoms. If you say it to your doctor he may scoff, but many in the thread have reported fits of coughing. I had a severe onset of plantar's fascitis, almost like a neuropathy in my feet, and found it difficult to walk the entire time I was on Atenolol. My doc insisted it was not related, but it started a few days after I started taking it and stopped a few days after I stopped. That, lethargy, hair loss, yadda yadda yadda. I switched back to propranalol. I prefer the nightmares I have on it to the debilitating feeling I got from Atenolol.

I'm 61 years, F. I've been on Atenolol for 4 years for A-fib. 25mg 2 x day. It worked well for the first year, then I began having mysterious episodes of inflamed gums above my two front teeth, which came and went for no reason. (My teeth and gums otherwise are healthy. Then my hair changed - became thin, the texture was wirey and around 2.5 years later I noticed patches at the front of my hairline above my eyebrows were gone!

I suspected Atenolol, but my doc said he couldn't find anything relating Atenolol to hair loss. Then it started falling out rapidly and over the course of the last 9 months, my hair is completely changed from being thick and full to wispy, out of control thin strands. My shower drain is full of hair every day. Went to a dermatologist, did a blood workup, said I was deficient in Vitamin D.

Three months later, Vit. D wasn't helping. Then, my gums became horribly inflamed, not just the front, but all over my gums this time. My dentist thought it was oral lichen planus, but sent me to a periodontist for another opinion. A biopsy and lab diagnosis came back lichen gingivitis reaction related to medication, Atenolol!

I hit the internet and began doing my own research. I found beta-blockers are linked to oral lichen planus. I found this site, and THANK YOU EVERYONE for sharing your stories! After reading this site, the mysterious joint pain that came for 3 mos. and went away in my thumbs which the doc thought was gout, was probably Atenolol related. I had to stomp my feet and tell my doc I wanted off Atenolol... and I went through my research with him point by point and showed him what 10 days of hair loss in my shower looked like.

He is suggesting Bystolic. But agreed I can go off everything and monitor what happens. I have tapered off the Atenolol and tonight will be my first night without it. I began by cutting my day dose in half. for 2 weeks, then I stopped taking the day dose for two weeks. I did fine. Then I cut the night dose (25mg)in half to 12.5mg a night. I felt some flopping in my chest at night, but it was tolerable. I did that for 2 weeks. I cut the 12.5 dose in half for 2 weeks and felt the same.

Doc says now stop it. My BP is OK, heart rate elevated slightly but not terrible. I have to monitor my heart rate and keep an eye on my BP, so far the A-fib stuff is tolerable. I'll see what happens when I stop. I'll report back on my hair, gums. Anyone know about Bystolic?

After tapering off, my Doc said stop Atenolol. The first day after stopping, was a bit rough. I woke with a headache, elevated BP, heart palps, and was light-headed and dizzy all day. The Second day, was better. My BP was elevated, but down over the first day. Heart palps only in the evening. Light headed, but less. Slept good. Third day, was even better! BP was under control, dizziness and headache gone. Some mild palps.

I noticed night my leg cramps stopped when I tapered off the Atenolol and they are gone. I'm on my fourth day and no palps so far, & feel good. I'm still losing hair, but hope it will stop soon. I still have lichen gingivitis in my gums, but it seems to be receding slowly... it may be too early to tell. There is definitely a re-bound when you stop Atneolol... even when tapering off to only 12.5 a day, but if you can get through the first 2-3 days, I hope, like me, you will feel better. I'll report back.

I am 69 years old I have been taking atenolol for over 5 months and I have developed-

*hair loss
*muscle and joint pain
*diarrhea after eating
*pain in left arm

I am taking 100mg I would like to change my dosage or medication because I feel its doing me more harm than good.BYE

I have been on atenolol for over 10years.

I have EVERYONE of the symptoms mentioned on this site.

I am far too scared to stop taking them. I did ask my doctor and she said oh yes just take one every other day. Well that simply is not the way to do it because after 16 hours without them the side effects of withdrawal start.

My pulse goes crazy about 140 endlessly. It scares me so much that I can't wait to get a 25mg down my throat !!

I feel dreadful everyday. I won't list the horrible symptoms because as I said I have every one of those mentioned.

I was given them for severe anxiety, still have the anxiety and now the added problem of the worry of coming off the things.

I feel trapped on them, I hate them, my last doc (since retired) told me I could never come off them. Now this new doc says oh yes just take one every other day. Yikes.

I just don't know what to do, it's easy for a doctor who is young and fit and never suffered my problems. She simply has no understanding of how the withdrawal makes you feel. I can honestly say the feeling is totally overwhelming and so horrible I just can't face it. So I take the horrid things daily and ruin my life.

When I was younger I was on 80mg of inderal and did just stop those overnight. It took about four weeks before my heart slowed down. My bp is always ok it's tithe rapid heart that is the problem. Been taken to hospital with HR of 160 but sent home again with no explanation . They just said it was fast !!!!

Have since had echo on heart and had fluid. Around it. I am sure it's the atenolol. Not that the doc said that it's me who tho ks that.

The doc said they don't know why I had the fluid around my heart, which has now gone!!! Or should I say they said its gone, but I think the darn thing is back again. Tut, drugs I hate them.

Maybe you should get a second opinion???

Yes maybe I will.

I get very little from the docs at my surgery. I think maybe I have the anxiety label and they head straight in that direction.

I have obviously seen heart consultant he isn't bothered in the least.
I then went privately and he just said stay in the 25mg to damp down your anxiety.!!!!

Have seen nuero consultant (have other problems migraine, which knocks me off my feet for five days at a time ). He said stay on BBS for migraine.!!

Phew !! Not sure about any of it to be honest

I was on 25mg for over 10 years and have been free for 10 months. I was also told I could never come off of it. Ha.

I found this and other blogs helpful in what to do.

Make sure you have enough magnesium and potassium in your diet. I did not have enough magnesium so started taking a supplement.

I am not aspirin sensitive and take 2 alka seltzer a day (instead of an aspirin) to control heart palpitation - skipped beats etc.

You can cut the pill in half & quarter it - go with 3/4 of it then 1/2 then 1/4 then stop -- I went about a month with each step down.

Unfortunately doctors are prescribing this drug without determining why your bp is up.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Before making such a change in dose, be sure to talk it over with the doctor.

I feel for you. I went through the same thing with Drs when I had lyme disease. Most thought I was a nut-job. But I was not, and kept insisting something was wrong. I also found a new doctor.

You might have to start from scratch. I don't know why they won't taper you off and try something new. I don't understand the medical profession sometimes.
Good luck.

Oh thank you RP,

Well I live in UK so it is not easy to change doc. Also I live in a small town therefore I have heard of most of the docs in this area. Not a decent one has shown up so far.!!

A second opinion is not easy here in fact it's almost impossible. I have been asking to see a particular physician for three years and still my doc won't refer me to him.
I won't give up I will get to see him somehow. (he has been recommended ) thing is he doesn't do private so I got to be referred. Oh the joy of NHS !!!!!

I'm so glad I found this site. I have had ALL of these symptoms since I started taking 50mg Atenolol in 2002. I am 48yr old Af-Amer woman:

memory loss
blurred vision
brain fog
attention issues
hair loss :(
gum disease
chest pain
numbness in right leg
pain in left arm
WEIGHT GAIN even with good diet and exercise

I was lead to and began to believe that this was par for the course for black women approaching middle age. I looked around me and that's what I saw of at least 80% of the AfAm women I know (Oakland, CA). Turns out, almost all of that 80% were on Atenolol/Tenormin (two were on another beta blocker).

I quit cold turkey 4 days ago and have not experienced any withdrawal symptoms. I lost 4lbs of water weight (I can bend over w/o discomfort in my mid-section now) and I am already noticing that I can remember longer sequences of numbers again. The brain fog is lifting and I've slept through the night for the last two nights-- without Ambien. No itchiness, no wheezing. I pray that I haven't irreversibly damaged my ability to grow my thinning hair.

My Dr increased my water pill dose from 25mg to 37mg eventually up to 50mg because, guess what? A diuretic at the correct dose is just as effective! I take one aspirin and a mag/potassium supplement.

Ten years of being fat and miserable! There's ten of us women here who are going off Atenolol (the rest are weaning, not stopping like me). I'll let you know our progress.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: We don't recommend quitting a beta-blocker cold turkey. We're glad you're feeling better.

Well, this opens up a whole other can of worms, doesn't it, SA??? I had no idea NHS would make it so difficult for a patient to receive a referral from a doctor, to see another doctor. Will your doctor not even let you try another med? I'm having pretty good luck with Irbesartan (which is the generic name for Avapro). Have you mentioned this website, and all the people who experienced bad symptoms while taking Atenelol?

One last thing...I've never heard of taking Atenelol to "damp down the anxiety" as your doctor suggested. Then again, I'm not a doctor.
Good luck, SA....

Thank you so much for all the comments on this site. Reading them has really helped me. I am going to tell you a bit about my experience and hope it helps others. I am female and 59 and also live in UK.

Originally started taking Atenolol 7 years ago to deal with migraines. At same time it was found I had very high BP, so when the Atenolol was ineffective in controlling that despite dose of 50mg they added candesartan (similar to losartan), an arb. Atenolol does stop migraines though, at least in my case. Living without them has been very good. However, candesartan also was not terribly efficient in reducing blood pressure so hygroton, a thiazide diuretic, was added.

That was brilliant - ankle swelling and some of the other side effects vanished and for first time I started to feel well. At the same time as all this I had started taking a low but gradually reducing hormone to deal with my menopausal symptoms, as I thought, viz depression, and sort of non-specific flu like symptoms ie I just felt generally dreadful and put this down to menopause.

Eventually, two years ago I had to give up work as a university teacher, as I thought reducing stress would help to lower BP and that changes in lifestyle might be the key. It had zero effect on the BP readings but being retired has other compensations. Now the light is slowly dawning after reading the comments from others on this site. It is very difficult to disentangle all the drug side effects and ones own life changes from each other.

Earlier this year a routine test showed I had very low potassium and indeed I was hospitalised twice with this - but not in the end treated except with an upping of the dose of potassium supplements. I was taken off the thiazide diuretic and put on a calcium channel blocker as diuretics reduce potassium, but despite taking potassium supplements, eating bananas etc the problem remained. The calcium channel blocker also seemed to be effective in controlling BP.

All through it I have had high BP and low potassium, so the latest is that I am now seeing an endocrinologist about possible Conn's syndrome. This causes high BP and low potassium but taking all the drugs masks the effects.

What has completely shocked me is that the endocrinologist calmly rang me up after the hospital appointment and insisted I come off ALL the drugs for six weeks, after which I can have blood tests for Conn's syndrome, which I have very reluctantly done, and I have gone cold turkey for nearly a week now. After four days feeling fine back came a migraine sort of headache, nausea, feeling terrible etc. Also of course I get night sweats as not taking hormones any more.

I have got to survive until 1 October when I have the blood tests in hospital. But now I am also wondering what if anything I should go back to after that assuming tests are negative. If I have Conn's syndrome I will presumably have to have some surgery to remove the tumour on my adrenal gland, but there is no certainty that this exists.

I have persuaded (my idea!!) the local doctor to monitor my BP and potassium in the meantime (weekly). I feel let down by doctors. I have also gone round the gluten intolerance /possible coeliac disease route and am now beginning to wonder if that was an Atenolol side effect. Cannot eat gluten currently but maybe that will change? Comments welcome, and thanks for reading this tale of woe.

You have a right as an NHS patient to a second opinion so don't take "no" for an answer.

Thank you everyone for your comments.

Most helpful.

Well I am trying to sort myself out !!!!

My doc is leaving this week and apparently getting a new one. So I will wait and see the new one next week.

It's like a second opinion, I am sure the other doc just had me down as anxiety.

RP. The doctor who said stay on them to damp down your anxiety was in fact a heart consultant. I had paid. £200. To see him privately. Waste of Monet me thinks.

Anyway will let you know what new doc says.

I have had some blood tests taken because they want to check if I have factor v Leiden. My daughter has it they have only just found it. She had four miscarriages and they wondered why. So now because I need a hip replacement (yikkkkkkks)
They want to see if I have it because of the clotting after operation.
So I will go to see him for results of that.

Thanks once again for your replies.

TS. That's strange I started gluten free diet two weeks ago.

I was fed up going to the toilet at least four times a day. Also it was wrong colour!!!! Too much information lol

Anyway cut a long story short, I am now going once a day. Hurrah.!

So will stick with gluten free for a bit longer to see what happens, I was hoping I would feel better in myself, I don't I actually feel worse.

Still small steps you never know.

I have been taking this medication for three weeks. now.... I am also taking this with my antidepressant prozac and 25mg lamotrigine..... I have severe dizzy spells, have fallen, nausea, but the dizziness is the worst.... I stopped taking aletenol for two days now, dizzy spells have subsided somewhat...... any further suggestions?

I am not sure if there is a connection between high blood pressure, taking beta blockers and gluten intolerance in some people or not. But it has cropped up several times when reading the thread on this site. Of course that could be coincidence. Going gluten free made a huge difference for me and gave me a whole lot more energy and sorted out the bowel problems, bloating etc. But it is a problem when eating out. And I miss being able to grab a sandwich or a bowl of pasta without thinking about the consequences. Doctor wanted me to come off gluten free diet for six weeks so he could test for coeliac disease but I could not manage it with everything else going on - and I seem to have found my own cure. Good luck SA!

Thanks TS,

Yes I understand about the inconvenience of being on the diet, it's so difficult.
I don't eat out because I have agorophobia so it's ok for me lol.

Not noticed the bloating but I do have less pain and less trips to the toilet.

I had the test for celiac but it came back negative. However my friend is celiac and is totally convinced I have it. So that's why I started the diet. I still have the rash and still feel awful.

Never know though, my friend said it took six weeks before she felt better and of course I am still taking the dreadful beta blockers.

Carolyn, I am sorry to hear of your health issues.. I am also on atenolol for High BP... I feel fine now, I have been on it for only 2 months.. My side effects are reduced appetite and feeling tired off and on. BP is great now 120/70 before 190/80

I have also been taking a natural supplement called L-arginine Plus... this was formulated by a doctor to lower high BP and cholesterol...

It helps with my aches and pains and energy level,and my cholesterol is very good ...and my dr.gave me thumbs up on it.

I am 52 and hope to get off med. soon.

I have been taking Atenolol for 15+ years, 25 mg once a day. I'm a 40-year old female; I was diagnosed with high normal BP (skimming the edge of official hypertension) and arrhythmias at 25. My father had HBP and arrhythmias as well, and died at 50 of a heart attack, so putting me on Atenolol (and for a short while, Accupril--I'm not on that anymore) was partly reactionary, partly hereditary, partly anxiety.

I have not really had any of the side effects you all have been describing... until two weeks ago. I recently changed my diet (three months now) to a strict vegetarian/almost vegan diet (I eat the occasional fish, but no meat, eggs, or dairy) due to being diagnosed with a fatty liver. I also have lost 14 pounds--not a big number in the grand scheme of things, but I think these two things have wreaked havoc with my body in such a way that I'm now experiencing side effects.

Two weeks ago I noticed I was dizzy upon waking up and trying to get out of bed. I was also slightly nauseated and fatigued. This past weekend I started getting short of breath. I took my last 25 mg dose Saturday night. I was still feeling rotten over the holiday weekend, and I wound up going to the ER on Monday to make sure it was a reaction from the Atenolol and not anything more serious. The ER doc seemed to think I had too much beta blocker in my system. I saw my primary care doctor yesterday, and she put me back on the Atenolol, just now at 12.5 mg once a day. Seriously, I'm wondering if I should even continue bothering at this point. Yesterday, before I took the pill, I did have some elevated pulse rates, but the dizziness was gone. This morning, after last night's 12.5 mg dose, I woke up dizzy again.

I have a follow-up appointment with my doctor next week, and I intend to let her know I don't want to be on this medication any more. It used to work for me; now it's not. Seems like a no-brainer to me; why keep taking a med that isn't working?

I'd really like to just watch my BP for a couple of months and see what it does... I intend to stay on this eating plan, so I'm expecting to lose more weight and get healthier in general. I don't want to be on any more medication than necessary, and I'm hopeful that I can now control my BP with diet and exercise.

You may have dropped something from your diet that was inhibiting the side affects of atenolol.

At each step in weaning off you may experience a quicker pulse - it helps to be in a situation where you can relax.

I will be off of it 1 year next month (after 10+years) and feel 100% better than I did while taking it.

I regret letting myself be put on this drug without having found out why my BP was elevated.
(I did and its tied to allergies - worst result would mimic flu or stomach virus - mild result would just be a low fever- my normal temp is 97.2 to 97.6 - 98.6 to me is higher temp - try explaining that one to a doctor).

I was weaned off 50g per day Atenolol down to half a tablet two weeks ago, and I feel awful. I was on it for High BP now I am shaking and unsteady and can hear my heart bests all through my body especially at night, has anyone else had this experience and will it go away I am NOT taking any more Atenolol!

I was started on atenolol for more than a year now. Two weeks back, I stopped taking this without the knowledge of my doctor. Can I start taking atenolol 25mg again without telling my doctor?

I'm guessing you're feeling bad again, without a BP med? If that's the case, you'll either need to go back on or get a different med. But if you weren't liking the atenolol in the first place, then I'd suggest you go back to the dr. and say LISTEN!!!, then continue with what you want to say. Or find another MD.

Lorraine, backing off Atenolol is not easy. I tapered off very slowly and felt the same symptoms you are feeling. When I stopped taking it, on the first day I had "bounce back" reactions, which are a bit scary, (dizzy, headache, heart pounding) then each day it got better and by the 4th day, I felt normal again. I stopped Atenolol on August 4th after taking it for 3 years. Go off this drug carefully and with a doctor's advice.

I'm here to tell you, once I got off of Atenolol I felt OK. I had hair loss while taking it, but now, my hair is (just now) showing some signs of filling in and growing back. My doc put me on it without telling me about side affects or really knowing why I had heart palpitations. You have to fight for information and good care and do what you feel is right for you. Good luck!

I was just prescribed Atenolol for heart palpitations. I do not smoke, drink, etc and the only other meds I take is antacid for heartburn. The more I read the side effects everyone has been having, the less I really want to take these meds. I already feel extremely tired (fatigued), I ache all the time, I am up & down constantly at night because I just can't sleep, I have already been having some minor hair loss since all the palpitations have started, I have been attempting to lose weight so I really don't want to have it put back on, my ankles swell some now because I am on my feet all day at work. Why do I want to be on a medication that is going to INCREASE these affects????

Now I am more nervous than I was before! My BP has been lower than normal for me (and I haven't even started taking Atenolol yet) the last two times it was checked it was 102/78 and 100/74, my pulse normally runs between 82 and 90 (that has ALWAYS been fast even as a child).. what to do, what to do....

I was prescribed 25 mg. Atenolol after a recent unexplained syncope, my second in three years. Blood tests, two stress tests, the second one nuclear, and a successful EKG, did not help my cardiologist diagnose what was going on with me. I explained to my Dr. that on occasion (two or three times a year) I would experience what I would describe as a type of panic attack which, with no warning, would include sudden perspiration, cold skin temp, muscle weakness, light headed, and a racing heart. He wrote a prescription for 25 mg. Atenolol and said that it would help smooth out my "anxiety" attacks.

I am a 61 year old white male, 6', 235, and on no other medication of any kind. After just six weeks of Atenolol, I felt cold/numb fingers and toes, cold lips, leg and foot cramps, difficultly forming words, mental fog, restless sleeping with less than four consecutive hours of sleep, blurred vision, mood swings, plus unexplained weight gain. OMG!!! I called my Dr. and he said just stop taking the drug cold turkey. After reading this blog, I was not sure cold turkey was the right way to stop. Well it is day two and I already feel considerably better, but the sleep issue is still there. The benefits do not seem to justify the side effects, Be careful!!

Can you afford a second opinion?

Yes, and I plan on changing my cardiologist. He seems very robotic to me. I tried to explain that I thought the syncope could have been caused by some blockage in my rear neck arteries. I often have stiffness there and on occasion can feel the veins with my fingers. He never looked there and dismissed it as probably a muscular problem.

Go with your gut feelings!

Living in Australia for many years I was taking a non generic BP tablet Tenormin.

Nine years ago I returned to New Zealand, once my Australian Tenormin supply ran out I was put on a generic version of Tenormin -Atenolol(100mg).

Seemingly as a result a vicious itch began and a red rash showed all over my body ,consequently I was put on anti histamine tablet every second day.


Beta Blockers make any allergies you have worse. Your New Zealand doctor should have weaned you off the Beta blocker & found out what you are allergic to.

It depends on the antihistamine or allergy meds and the strength of the dose. All allergy meds affect your blood, steroids can damage your bone strength.

For most of the time I was on atenolol I actually was taking OTC allergy meds that blocked the affects of atenolol. When the brand changed its formula - excluding caffeine and changing the decongestant to one that does not affect bp - my allergies got worse.

Since weaning myself off atenolol my allergic response is not as bad so I don't have to take antihistamines every day.

I am M40. I was taking repalol for last 7 years for high bp. My new doctor suggested that I switch to olmezest 40 and stop repalol. After two days of switch my heart rate has gone up from 60 to 100. Is it safe to switch abruptly?

I'm 25 years old and have been diagnosed with inappropriate sinus tachycardia. I'm of average height and weight and in pretty decent shape physically, but I still have an extremely high heart rate. I was taking sotalol 360mg a day and had to stop due to severe numbness in my legs.. I actually fell a few times from standing up too fast. My pulse was 148 bpm at rest yesterday so I was prescribed 25 mg of atenolol at bedtime. Every comment I have read so far is something negative, so I'm thinking maybe an ablation might be better? I really don't want all of these bad side effects. Any advice?

I'm 24 and have been on Atenolol for high blood pressure 3 months. I have been exercising the last month and my heart rate isn't going as high as I want it due to the beta blocker. I'm in complete disbelief reading these side effects. I want off of this medication!

I have been taking atenolol 50 mg for 13 years. My SVT began picking up and at times when I bent over or laid on my back my SVT would kick in and sometimes go for over 5 hours. My doc said increase to 50mg in AM and 25 at night. Later he increased to 50 MG in AM and 50 at night. Now I feel like I can't stop moving inside. There is somewhat of a pressure between my ears and I feel like I have butterflies in my system. Could this be atenolol? I want of this but don't know the options I would have. If someone else knows drugs used for SVT please let me know so I can be informed when I go to demand he change my meds. I have also gained almost 30 pounds in 13 years (I started at 125 pounds).

I have been reading the forum for some time.

I have read other forums which also have people upset by the side effects of theses drugs.

I have every single side effect on the list and maybe even extra ones. Like... My hands and arms burn all the time and pins and needles in them.

Also the hair loss has upset me very badly. I HATE it. I had wonderful thick hair.

What I want to say is..... The doctors have no idea what this drug does to us. Or do they even care. I think maybe someone who is good with words should write a paper on the suffering of thousands of people.
The whole array of side effects and the impact on people's lives.

Doctors won't prescribe Valium because its addictive. Ha!!!! This drug is worse !!!! You can't come off it because its too dangerous. Well maybe it would help patients decide if they want to take this drug if they were given this information to start with.

I can't come off it. It. Is so awful, my heart goes crazy and I shake and run to the toilet all day. Even so the side effects of taking it are equally as bad. Day after day I feel I have to poison myself and still my heart feels sort of wrong. I feel strange, dizzy, sick, weak, tired, jelly legs, among other problems.

Surely doctors should know all these poor patients are struggling. Surely someone should sort this huge problem out?

I don't know who, but someone.?

Anyone agree???

I have a terrible, terrible, Vaginal itch that I have had for years, do not have a discharge. I have used every over the counter cream and one prescription without any help. I have body itch too but not as bad. I have been on Atenolol for a long time. My heart seams to be fine, but I have some of the other side effects I see listed. Hairloss, cramps in feet, weight gain. I used to walk a lot but I fainted one morning so I'm not doing that anymore. Could it be the Atenolol? I' m at wits end, can anyone help?

S A & Mary

Atenolol is first choice because it is cheap a 90 day supply is less than $20.00.

If you are going to an HMO you may want to consider switching to preferred provider plan where you can go outside the listed doctors - if that is what you need to find a cardiologist that will work with you to find out what is really wrong rather than prescribing a drug to fix a symptom without finding out the cause.

I was on Lisinopril for 6 years for moderately high blood pressure. 3 1/2 weeks ago, when I had a doctor's visit because I kept getting blood pressure readings that were 150/95 almost all the time which is high to be on blood pressure meds, my doctor switched me to Atenolol/Chlorthalidone combo 2 medicines in one and said it would be more beneficial for me as the linsinopril was not effectively working for me any longer.

I had bouts of dizziness/lightheadedness almost every morning taking them, I had a rash around my neck and itched a lot, at night time, I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin with a pins/needles feeling, and on 3 occasions I had difficulty breathing. Finally I contacted my doctor 2 days ago and I have a visit with him on Friday of this week to access the situation, however he told me to just stop Atenolol cold turkey and I am surprised a doctor would do that when their is a big risk involved with stopping a Beta Blocker abruptly.

I am so nervous over these days wait, however I am going to switch this Doctor, because he seems to be annoyed with this, like it is a inconvenience to him and a bother that I am having adverse reactions to the drug. I am sure it is probably only the Atenolol and not the Chlorthalidone drug. Any thoughts on this?

I have been using atenolol for 6 weeks also. I had complained to my doctor that I had been experiencing numbness and tingling in the left arm and also chest pains. He just told me to stop using it. He did not even ween me off the pill. I have stopped taking it for four days now and I have been experiencing chest pains and burning sensations in my chest and back. Is this supposed to happen and how long is this going to last for???

Definitely report that to your cardiologist right way, Alicia.

I know this is an old thread but I'll toss in my 2 cents...
Have you had your thyroid levels checked? Low thyroid output can cause high blood pressure AND loss of hair & fatigue, weakness, depression, rapid pulse, headaches, AND DIARRHEA AFTER EATING.

A friend of mine was on a BUNCH of different meds. Some for treating each symptom and then more "other" meds to deal with side affects. He kept asking for blood work to check his thyroid, but the doctor just stuck to - "I'm the Dr. You are the patient... just do what I say."
Needless to say, he went to a different doctor; the new doc weened him off everything he was taking so he could get a baseline to run a full blood panel... His thyroid was low, BP and blood sugar high plus a few other things. He started Thyroidazine, and within a month the other symptoms were gone as well. That was three years ago. He is still only taking the one medicine and feels better than he has felt in years.

Hope this helps :-)

I am glad I came to this site like the rest of you. I have MS, and I also have Fibromyalgia, so when I started feeling awful, I just related it to one of those illnesses. However, after coming to this site, I now believe like you guys, that the Atenolol is the culprit and the reason I know for sure, is that I never took HBP too seriously.

So really I've been on it for about 2 years but not taking it regularly like I should. For instance if I wanted to go out with my friends, and have a few cocktails, I would not take the atenolol, only because I take it at night, and usually after going out its late and I don't want to take the pill with alcohol in my system. I am on 50mg at bedtime.

I am also on Lisinopril 40mg in the morning with the water pill. Recently after going to the doctor, I got tired of hearing my blood pressure was not where it should be, so I started taking the Atenolol the way it was prescribed, without missing any doses. Every since I have been "faithful" to atenolol, I have had every symptom most of you have experienced. I can't get out of bed, low energy, brain fog. I lost my car at the grocery store and was looking for it for 45mins... A huge walmart, burned myself, and flooded my apartment twice just from being scatter brained.

I am going to immediately ask my doc to wean me off. Now its bad because the MS doc prescribed adderral for the fatigue, and I know that can make your pressure sky rocket, but I am coming off this medicine one way or the other. I felt as if I was dying.

My grandmother used to boil bananas peels and drink the juice to keep her BP in check, I've since started doing that as well, but in the mean time, I will be coming off this medicine and hopefully no side effects since I was not taking it regularly like I should. Thanks to everyone who does a review, you really help other suffering patients.

I have been on Atenol/Chlor 100-25mg tab. I have had much success from 226 OVER 110 TO 122 OVER 80. however in the morning I have congestion and a runny nose until 12pm. Is this normal?

Peoples Pharmacy response: This does not seem to have been reported as a common side effect. There was a report in 1994 in a Norwegian Journal suggesting that others have had a similar problem. Here's the link to the abstract:

Hi Lynne,
I know this is a few years later but I'm now going through withdrawal from Atenolol and having all the same symptoms, particularly the muscle twitches, pains, and pins and needles and the vivid dreams/nightmares (so badly). How long did it take for all of that to stop after you weaned off the Atenolol? Thanks for any help!


It may depend on how long you were on Atenolol. From the last day I took atenolol it was about 3 months before I really started to return to normal.

After I was off of it I had about 6 months where it seemed I was having catch up dreams about things that happened over about 10 years as tho my brain had been waiting to file it. Just prior to weaning and during the period I was reducing the dose I did wake up with nightmares.

Also before starting off the atenolol I started taking magnesium supplement and still take it daily as my diet is rich in potassium but short on magnesium.

Its been a 1-1/2 years since I have been off of it.

Hi Dee Dee

In re to your Fibromyalgia - I had mysterious aches that really didn't have a cause - and seemed to get worse - and then discovered the cause - Grapes/raisins/anything with grape juice - and any cheese other than American or cottage. When I removed all that from my diet the pain went away - seems it was an allergy - besides the pain my BP went up and so did my temp.

Thank you so much, that's encouraging. I'm now past the 2 week mark of being completely off of atenolol and the last few nights I've actually gotten fairly normal sleep after 7 weeks of vivid dreaming and nightmares (so exhausting!) that happened during the weaning and initial quitting phases. This medicine sure messes up your system, seems sometimes like the cure is worse than the disease with all of the crazy and scary side effects you can have! Since I only have borderline hypertension, I'm going the naturopathic route now, with exercise, plant-based vegan diet, meditation, and yoga. Thanks again!

I have been on atenolol for one month, in combination with losartan because losartan was not lowering my blood pressure. Before atenolol, my blood pressure was 165 / 110.

One month after atenolol, my blood pressure is 115 / 75. So far, I am happy with atenolol and feel less anxious. I have actually lost two pounds since starting atenolol because it reduces my appetite. I have felt a little more fatigued, but that usually lasts a few months and then goes away after starting a new med.

Hi, my mum is taking Ternonol 100, on the tablet it also wrote Atenonol Tablet B.P. 100mg, oranges colored pil. She is suffering cough since she taking this medicine. So is this medicine have side effects such as causing cough?

People's Pharmacy response: No, cough is not a common side effect of atenolol. She may have something else causing her cough.

I've been taking Atenalol for 5 years or so and haven't had any regular problems. The only thing I noticed is that when I've had a surgery procedure I can not take it the night before as it makes my bp too low. The first time it happened I wasn't sure if it was caused by the Atenalol. After the 2nd time I knew. So the 3rd time I had to go in for a procedure, I made sure to tell my doctor my side affect and didn't take it the night before. I had no problem.

I have read all of these comments and agree with them all. One side effect that I have is frequent urge to urinate with bladder pressure; the amount of urine is far less than what I expect (a cupful). I have also just started taking simvastatin - don't know which medication is causing this.

I think in some cases that the doctors today know the side affects and that this will require you to keep coming back for other drugs that effects other parts of your health. This keeps them in a pay check. I was on atenolol for 13 years 25mg then 50mg. I was stupid and did not ask questions. As years went by I started having breathing problems, weight problems, and last 2 years my throat and sinus swell up I choke when I eat, I snore, due to my throat swelling, then the doctor couldn't find anything so he put me on levothyroxin which made everything worse, when I started to look all this up I started to reduce my meds until I cut them back one at a time a little piece at a time for a week at a time. I listen to my body when my heart rate would rise I would walk on tread mill at a slow steady speed no matter whether it was nighttime or day. I also walked anywhere I could if I started feeling anxious.

I have been off both meds for 2mths, still get some anxious feelings when my week for my hormones or lack of hormones act up. I am 57, and I had a hysterectomy 7yrs. after I started the atenolol, so I have different side affects then maybe someone who did not. My hair also was thinning its looking better now. I have lost 4 pounds, I still have to watch salt intake. My blood pressure is better than it was on meds, I bought a blood pressure cup to keep track of it, to be careful through this process. My memory has improved, and my vision seems better and I have notice my throat is better and breathing.

try vinegar 2 capfuls of vinegar and 2 capfuls of water, or take a soaked wash cloth and pour vinegar over cloth to cleanse area, either vinegar will work, just be sure to use mixture the stronger the vinegar the better it works, but not full strength, hope it works for you. your friend skh

I was on clonidine, lisinipril and atenolol. For a couple of years and I still take the clonidine. The other two drugs were horrors. Rashes, brain fog, terrible depression, anxiety (panic attacks). My doc now has me on Xanax, serequel and ambien and I am a much happier, healthy person. I don't think I have had any side effects from the psychotropic drugs like I did with the high blood pressure ones. It is so maddening that doctors and pharmacists treat you like some crazed drug addict because you take them.

Does it cause brown spots?

Hi I was atenolol 50mgs for 4 to 5 months then I went down to 25mgs for the last 2 weeks and as of today I been off of it for 2 days I was put on it because my blood pressure was a little high but I was getting a lot of side effects I have 4 kids and I didn't want to do nothing or go nowhere and my husband said one day that I was not being myself and I had a lot of mood swings and mad all the time I felt like I was walking around in a cloud I seen it for myself I said that is it I want off of this so I have my own blood pressure monitor so I been taking it and its been fine

I have been on 25 mg Atenolol for a couple of months now, I have stage 1 HBP and my doctor wanted to put me on a water pill, but I have Sulfa is gross, but two hours almost exactly after I take my pill, with or without food, I am in bathroom with loose bowels, and have gotten to the point I want to carry extra underwear, it hits so suddenly and with a few seconds warning (not exaggerating)... I thought it was a side effect that would subside, have an appointment next week, going to be addressed, but I also have anxiety issues, which I am on 50 mg Sertraline (Zoloft) and when I get wound up, I have the same effect... I am having more anxiety flare ups since being on the Atenolol... not sure if it is the drug, or me???? worrying about the drug...

I have been on atenol for 6 years and have put on weight cannot sleep have dreadful sweats. Back of my legs ache I am 71 years old, I bought a blood pressure machine and do a test every month which turns out normal. Doctor had me wired up for 48 hours and it showed no problem. Why then am I on 50 mg tablet it seems to high.

Well when it comes to trusting doctors, I'm done, now I'm going to start weening myself of this atenolol, I've tried before but the withdrawals were horrible but I feel just as sick taking it every day, 9 months and a doctor later my health is shot, I can't breath, I'm 20 pounds heavier, I can't think, I can't sleep, and I'm to tired to fight, but I am turning more violent, so now I'm secluding myself from people at least until I get this drug out of my system, my friends are tired of my complaining and now I'm tired of my friends.

Hi Craig, I'm down to 12.5 a day, it's my first day, I would really like to know how it turned out for you, I hope you get this message and reply, and that goes for anyone else that has gotten off this drug, I would appreciate any info... the peoples pharmacy has been the best forum that I've encountered so far... yours sincerely. Mark

I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol probably some caused by genetics, anyway I have been on Lisinopril for over four years and now Atenolol for just about a year and a half. I have notice some brain clouds but nothing serious, but I am getting concern and will cut back if it continues to worsen.

I did want to say that at the age of sixty-three I really do not feel that bad, but I am concern about high blood pressure do to my Fathers health and his death caused by dementia. I am also taking Crestor that is a blessing, and will continue as long as necessary, my blood pressure is under control and so is my cholesterol. So it is a mixed blessing I guess, but I am positive and optimistic and hope everyone here will be also.

Some of the comments I have read here, is not only blood pressure, or that of the heart, but mental challenges. Some of the drugs I have found talked about here, are for depression and mental challenges, even some of the conditions and concerns are more of a mental health issues and not that of blood pressure.

I hope everyone the best, but if you're having mental issues, please seek out help, and of course watch your meds. In conclusion I strongly believe that there are more positive results and positive outcomes from the use of Atenolol and Lisinopril medication, but you need to work with a professional with experience. Thank you and God Bless.

I'm 69 and about 5 years ago had a blocked artery. After stenting I was put on 25mg Atenalol having had high blood pressure for many years that no one had managed to cure. About two years ago a different cardiologist upped the dose to 50mg. It seemed okay but about two months ago I started to get severe breathing problems, although mainly when I was at rest walking was okay, also blurred vision and dizziness/faintness.

I saw the Doc who got a chest xray and ecg and could see nothing wrong. I now have an appointment with a cardiologist. My B/P after taking the Atenolol goes as low as 95/60 and my heart rate drops to 50/55. I think the dose is too high and I have decided to try 25mg see what happens, but I'm confused why should this suddenly happen after two years?

People's Pharmacy response: No one knows why it would pop up after two years, but do be persistent. There is certainly a good chance your shortness of breath, if not caused by atenolol, is being made worse by the drug.

Hi Betty I am in the same situation fed up with bp pills. What was your diet and how much apple cider vinegar did you take?


Hi there,

My son is 7, and has been taking this since he was 5 for LQTS (long QT syndrome). In the past couple of months we have noticed a huge change in his mental well being. Suffering from nightmares, hallucinations, lack of concentration and the list goes on.

He has also been suffering from migraines (diagnosed). However atenolol hasn't really helped with this.

Will these symptoms worsen with continued use as he will be on this for the rest of his life?


KW - Had migraines most of my life. While searching on ways to wean myself off of atenolol saw a post mentioning making sure I had enough magnesium in my diet. Discovered had enough potassium - but not enough magnesium. Started magnesium supplement during the time I was reducing Atenolol - 2 months after I took the last atenolol pill - my migraines ended. Have taken magnesium supplement every day since. (more than 2 years since last migraine).

I also removed all high processed oils and sugars from my diet. So its now only cane sugar, honey, real maple syrup, butter, and olive oil.

Keep track of your sons diet - increase in use of corn oil and corn syrup in foods also caused an increase in my migraines - rate dropped off when I removed all corn from my diet. Also saw an allergy site post where the poster stated that canola oil increased his BP so rather than meds he dropped it.

I started taking Atenolol 25 mg a month ago. I was on listenopril, but it was not working well. My bp went from 160s/90s to 120s/70s. This medication has worked out well for me. I had some really crazy dreams the first two weeks, but that has passed. I also get a full nights sleep now, whereas I had trouble sleeping before. One other benefit is I have lost 10 pounds without dieting - you won't hear me complain about that. My doctor said he has two other patients who lost weight on Atenolol, but it is not typical and not an excuse to raid the refrigerator.

I am prescribed 50 milligrams about an all day and 20 milligrams of Norco have a day for my high blood pressure I've been having dizzy spells lightheadedness leg cramps a very severe shortness of breath and feeling weak and lethargic and I've seen that duh getting wind of this is not very easily done as some people have heart attacks from the morning off of it I also have been passing bright red blood and large blood clots in my bowell movement the last month with every movmentI think I'll take a trip to the ER right now.


I am on Atenolol 25mg a day. Well was. I took the med for alternate days I was fine with that, now I am on to the next phase and I fell a little it ill. I now take my med on Monday and Thursday.

1st week of this phase and felt ok but during the weekend on saturday. I felt ill and change in my heart rythm speeding up and slowing down. Anxiety is all over the place and all I want is water (been peeing a lot lately and throat hurts).

I had three panic attacks last night and couldn't get to sleep in two days. I managed to sleep the other night but I slept when there was daylight and woke up at 1pm and last night I had around 3-4 hours sleep. I can't sleep. I know anxiety is playing apart because I keep feeling like ill have a heart attack or heart failure, something stupid like that, I have found it difficult to breath lately although I can manage to speak full sentences so it may just be anxiety.

It all started off with stomach pains, a load of wind/gas in my stomach/intestines? and constipated. Is this normal? (Although that day I was fruit mad, I had a large orange for breakfast, apple for dinner lol and a Banana to put me on for my tea/dinner? and then had my sunday roast which was good) My appetite has increased. I have been eating more frequent.

I have been having chest pains and odd pressure there but there's not a lot I can do about it. Please give me some reassurance.

I tried to come off this last time but went off it suddenly and became ill within 4 days o.o I am not too sure why and heart was beating up to 135 beats per minute while laying down..

Now I think that's because I stopped it just like that and the doctor said it was okay but obviously not, doctors fault. Any advice? anyone had any experience similar to this? please I am anxious and depressed. At least when I was on Atenolol everyday 25mg I was able to sleep like fall asleep without worrying.

Will this pass?
I am only 18 years of age. I have Mitral Valve Prolapse. I get worked up about it sometimes and the cardiologist keeps saying I have nothing to worry about but when I experience shit like this it makes me wonder what the heck they're doing to me by giving me this shit medicine. Its hard to come off, I agree, strongly agree with others

I have had a health scare in December lol I had a legal high-_- it mixed with my previous medication that I was on called Flecanide or something like that and that made me feel ill and I couldn't move much at all..

It's been over 6 months since then or just over it, what to do?
I am not as bad as last night because I took my med today this morning but even then I still felt a little bit ill (I have been sneezing a lot lately and wheezing too)

I hope I have made this clear as to what I am experiencing.

Hi Chris, I'm Mark, it's all the Atenolol, I went thru withdrawals for about a month or more, heavy heart palpitations, heart rate went to 125, just sitting still, got asthma put on weight, got acid reflux, you name it, I got it from atenolol, mood swings, anger, relationship problems, I think the doctors are full it, its poison for me, it took a couple of months to clear it from my body. I would go to the hospital thinking I was dying, but I read the other comments on here and realized it would have been a waste of time and money, just decrease your dosage, but its going to take time, my bp and heart rate ran high for several week, best wishes Mark

Have you had more than one echo cardiogram? Are you on an aspirin regimen?

Had one echo that said mitral valve - 3 that proved it was not that.

There is mitral valve syndrome where certain food etc sensitivities can cause a mis-diagnosis.

The chest pains may be acid reflux.

Have you been tested for allergies?

I have been on Tylenol for 16 years for tachycardia and it never occurred to me that many of the symptoms I have, as described by many others, might be caused by it. I take meds for depression which I have had for many many years. Some of the symptoms might be ascribed to this but I have many of the symptoms described above the loss of appetite (i do not have an appetite at all, never feel hungry, just have cravings) loss of memory, diahrrea, often 20 mins after I eat, lethargy, digestion problems and I seem to live in a fog. Atenolol could accerbate the depression problems as I have had to change and increase the drugs I take for them. The problems seem to be increasing. Do Tylenol symptoms increase with time? I am so tired of living like this.

I have been on Atenolol for 4-5 years and no problems till recently. I have had some bouts of what I was told was psoriasis and now The Dr. upped me from 50 mg once a day to twice a day. I have had two very sore throats and100 and 100.5 fever in a month. The second time was the worst ever! I couldn't swallow for two days and was in bed three days and felt bad longer and still do. Neck glands swollen, whole mouth red, lips pealing, toothpaste burned like very hot sauce, lips stuck to my partial plate denture, very dry mouth, small soft nodule in palm of hand for a month so far.

From my research, I now believe these problems were caused by Atenolol. I actually thought it was two bouts of strep throat but the symptoms were definitely different. Atenolol was the forth med that I was on after being allergic to others. Benicar nearly killed me with anaphylactic shock. Now I realize that I should not have let the Dr. go higher on the dose but he said the insurance would make me get another Dr. if he didn't lower my pressure more even though I was happy with the amount it had come down.

Went from up to 200 over 109 to 145 over 85 and had maintained that for 4 to 5 years. Called my insurance and they said this was not the case. Now working on weight and exercise.
Would like to know if others have experienced any of this.

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