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Question

13 Apr 2006

side effects of high blood pressure drugs
are there side effects related to taking of atenolol to lower blood pressure
Answer 368 views
Expert
HeartDoc

01 Jan 0001


Dear Paul,

Yes, all medication has potential side effects. But whether they occur in you specifically, at all, or to what extent, cannot be predicted. So please bear that in mind when considering the possible side effects.

Treating hypertension involves matching the right drug to each patient, so you may need a change of medication if you do have side effects,or if it proves ineffective for you.

Atenolol belongs to the class of drug called a beta blocker. It is an effective medication, with relatively few side effects. This class of drug is used cautiously in diabetics, because it can mask the warning signs of hypoglycaemia – I do not know if this applies to you. Some patients take time to adjust to the drop in blood pressure – which is what you want the atenolol to do – and feel a little dizzy at first. The dosage may need to be adjusted by your doctor. The other thing you will notice is that your pulse rate will slow down, and may not rise with exercise, which may make you feel lightheaded during exercise.

If you suffer from very cold extremeties, or other peripheral vascular disorder, then the atenolol may make it worse, and should in fact not be prescribed for you. Also, asthmatics should preferably not use this class of drug, as it can cause bronchospasm. If you suddenly develop any liver or skin problems, please inform your doctor that you are taking atenolol, in case this is somehow implicated.

Some men unfortunately develop erectile dysfunction on beta blockers, and find this enough reason to change to a different class of drug. This may not affect you, but if it does, please discuss it with your doctor, don’t just stop the treatment. There are other types of anithypertensives which can be used.

There are other, rarer side effects, listed in the fine print of the package insert of your tablets, but the above ones are the commonest. Despite this, beta blockers remain a popular, affordable and effective treatment for mild to moderate hypertension.

I hope you have a problem –free course.

Heartdoc
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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