Atenolol is also called by its brand name Tenormin®. It belongs to a class of drugs called beta-blockers and its specific uses are to treat pain associated with angina and to help control high blood pressure. It is most prescribed for adults and hasn’t been tested significantly for use with children. However, in rare instances atenolol might be used for kids with rare heart defects or disease when other medications are not working.
Atenolol dosage will vary by each patient, and age of patient can be a determining factor. There are also very specific directions on how and when to take this medication. Warnings also exist about possible drug interactions and side effects.
Most people begin dosage at 25-50 mg. According to medical literature on this topic, maximum atenolol dosage is 100 mg (although some patients may take as much as 200 mg) and this may not be high enough to completely lower blood pressure. Some people will require other medications that work with this drug to fully address symptoms.
There are special guidelines for atenolol dosage among the elderly. Their dose may stay at 25-50 mg. This is because the medication can affect the kidneys. Particular concerns exist when using this medication in any person who has impaired kidney function. If used, the dose is generally at the low end.
Another exception to atenolol dosage may occur when the medication is used for other purposes. Sometimes doctors use it right after a heart attack has occurred to stabilize blood pressure. The amount used will depend upon the discretion of the treating physician.
For most people who take this medication at home, the dosing instructions are the same, no matter the amount. People should strive to take atenolol at the same time every day and they should take it with a large glass of water. If the medication works effectively, most patients will see results in one to two weeks after beginning treatment.
There are a number of medications that may not be used when taking atenolol regularly. These include some common over the counter and prescription medications. People should avoid over the counter drugs like calcium carbonate, which is present in many antacids. Antibiotics like ampicillin are not advised, nor are medications such as insulin. If unsure, patients should check with doctors or a pharmacist to make certain this medication won’t interfere with other common meds.
A few people should not take atenolol, and these include women who are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or who are breastfeeding. This medication does secrete through breast milk. It has also been indicated in causing birth defects. Those with diabetes, impaired kindney function, or history of asthma may also want to alert their doctor to these conditions prior to beginning atenolol.