The Atenolol is a drug blocker , selective of the β1-adrenergic receptor (also known as “beta-adrenergic blocker” or more simply “beta-blocker”) that is used in the treatment of ‘ hypertension. The function of beta-blockers is to inhibit the beta receptors of the adrenergic system that are present at the cardiac level, reducing their effort. It is classified as cardioselective (i.e. it acts mainly on the heart more than on other tissues), does not have membrane stabilizing properties and does not have intrinsic sympathomimetic activity.
What is Atenolol used for?
It is used in the treatment of arterial hypertension – also of renal origin – of angina pectoris and arrhythmias. It is also administered in the early intervention of acute myocardial infarction .
How is Atenolol taken?
It is marketed in the form of tablets , to be taken orally or in the form of injection solutions .
Side effects of Atenolol
The recognized side effects are multiple and may vary based on the sensitivity of the subject, the prescribed dosage and the duration of therapy. Among the most common were noted:
- gastrointestinal disorders: constipation, dyspepsia, dry mouth, nausea and diarrhea ;
- hepato-biliary disorders;
- cardiovascular disorders: worsening of pre-existing peripheral circulation problems, worsening of previous problems affecting the cardio-circulatory system, bradycardia, orthostatic hypotension and syncope;
- nervous system disorders: mental confusion, depression , headache, hallucinations, insomnia, dizziness and lethargy.
On the other hand, blood complications are more rare, manifested by the appearance of purpura, thrombocytopenia and granulocytopenia.
Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Atenolol
Maximum care must be taken in administering it to subjects with asthma and bronchospasm. Individuals with diabetes mellitus also deserve special attention .
As for the administration to pregnant women , although the pharmacological-toxicology studies have not shown any teratogenic effects attributable to it, a careful evaluation of the risk / benefit ratio is necessary (the drug actually crosses the placental barrier and blood levels have been found in the umbilical cord).