Atenolol is a beta-blocker drug used to treat some heart conditions, reduce the symptoms of angina pectoris (chest pain), lower blood pressure in people with hypertension, and treat people after heart attacks.
Atenolol is a beta-adrenergic blocking agent. Atenolol blocks the action of the sympathetic nervous system, a portion of the involuntary nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the pace of the heart beat. By blocking the action of these nerves, atenolol reduces the heart rate and is useful in treating abnormally rapid heart rhythms. Atenolol also reduces the force of heart muscle contraction and lowers blood pressure. By reducing the heart rate and the force of muscle contraction, atenolol reduces heart muscle oxygen demand. Since angina occurs when oxygen demand of the heart exceeds supply, atenolol is helpful in treating angina.
Atenolol can be used as antihypertensive treatment for raised blood pressure, as anti-angina treatment to relieve symptoms and to improve tolerance and as an anti-arrhythmic to help regulate heartbeat and to treat myocardial infarctions. It is also used in the management of alcohol withdrawal, in anxiety states, migraine prophylaxis, hyperthyroidism, and tremor. Administration can be oral as tablets, capsules or a syrup, or by injection. It is also available as an antihypertensive treatment in the form of compound preparations with diuretics.