Q. I have been on atenolol for high blood pressure for about seven years. Recently my doctor told me to stop this drug because my heart rate was in the 40s.
He switched me to lisinopril, and although my blood pressure is under control I have experienced anxiety and bouts of rapid heart beats. Sometimes this wakes me up at night. Is this a symptom of withdrawal from atenolol?
A. Atenolol has lost favor as a first-line treatment for high blood pressure. That said, stopping beta blockers like atenolol, propranolol or metoprolol suddenly can cause complications. People taking such drugs for heart disease may experience angina, irregular heart rhythms or heart attack if they stop their medicine abruptly.
So you can learn more about the pros and cons of atenolol, other beta blockers and lisinopril as well as other approaches for hypertension, we are sending you our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment.