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Atenolol

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

By mouth

Atenolol is used alone or together with other medicines (such as hydrochlorothiazide) to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure… Read more

Brand names include: Tenormin

By injection

Atenolol injection is used to reduce the risk of death from an acute heart attack. It is given to people who have already had a heart attack . This medicine… Read more

Brand names include: Tenormin

Drug classes About this
Antianginal, Antiarrhythmic, Group II, Antihypertensive, Antimigraine, Cardiovascular Agent
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Therapeutic efficacy of early intravenous atenolol for acute coronary syndrome: a meta-analysis

Bibliographic details: Cao FF, Zhang HT, Feng X, Jiao RN.  Therapeutic efficacy of early intravenous atenolol for acute coronary syndrome: a meta-analysis. Medical Journal of Chinese People's Liberation Army 2014; 39(1): 35-39 Available from: http://www.plamj.org/index.php/plamj/article/view/868

Beta‐blockers for preventing stroke recurrence

People who have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) are at risk of having further strokes or heart attacks, or other serious circulatory problems. Beta‐blockers are drugs that reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and have other effects that might also reduce the risks of stroke and heart attack. Searching for studies up to May 2014, we found two high quality trials involving 2193 participants that tested beta‐blockers after stroke in people with a recent stroke or TIA. No clear evidence indicated that beta‐blockers reduced the risk of stroke, heart attack, or death from vascular disease. Participants who received beta blockers instead of placebo showed significantly more adverse effects. More studies with larger samples are needed.

Beta blockers for peripheral arterial disease

Intermittent claudication, the most common symptom of atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease, results from decreased blood flow to the legs during exercise. Beta blockers, a large group of drugs, have been shown to decrease death among people with high blood pressure and coronary artery disease and are used to treat various disorders. They reduce heart activity but can also inhibit relaxation of smooth muscle in blood vessels, bronchi and the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. The non‐selective beta blockers propranolol, timolol and pindolol are effective at all beta‐adrenergic sites in the body, whereas other beta blockers, such as atenolol and metoprolol, are selective for the heart.

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Summaries for consumers

Beta‐blockers for preventing stroke recurrence

People who have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) are at risk of having further strokes or heart attacks, or other serious circulatory problems. Beta‐blockers are drugs that reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and have other effects that might also reduce the risks of stroke and heart attack. Searching for studies up to May 2014, we found two high quality trials involving 2193 participants that tested beta‐blockers after stroke in people with a recent stroke or TIA. No clear evidence indicated that beta‐blockers reduced the risk of stroke, heart attack, or death from vascular disease. Participants who received beta blockers instead of placebo showed significantly more adverse effects. More studies with larger samples are needed.

Beta blockers for peripheral arterial disease

Intermittent claudication, the most common symptom of atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease, results from decreased blood flow to the legs during exercise. Beta blockers, a large group of drugs, have been shown to decrease death among people with high blood pressure and coronary artery disease and are used to treat various disorders. They reduce heart activity but can also inhibit relaxation of smooth muscle in blood vessels, bronchi and the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. The non‐selective beta blockers propranolol, timolol and pindolol are effective at all beta‐adrenergic sites in the body, whereas other beta blockers, such as atenolol and metoprolol, are selective for the heart.

Beta‐blockers for hypertension

The aim of this Cochrane Review was to assess whether beta‐blockers decrease the number of deaths, strokes, and heart attacks associated with high blood pressure in adults. We collected and analysed all relevant studies to answer this question and found 13 relevant studies.

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