(atenolol) film-coated tablet
Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Atenolol GH. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have benefits and risks. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Atenolol GH against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
What Atenolol GH is used for
Atenolol GH belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers. It works by affecting the body’s response to certain nerve impulses, especially in the heart. As a result, it decreases the heart’s need for blood and oxygen and therefore reduces the amount of work the heart has to do. It widens the blood vessels in the body, causing blood pressure to fall. It also helps the heart to beat more regularly.
Atenolol GH is used to:
- lower high blood pressure, which is called hypertension;
- prevent angina;
- treat irregular heart rhythm or beat called arrhythmias;
- treat heart attacks or reduce your risk of heart complications following a heart attack.
Atenolol GH may be either used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat your condition.
All people have blood pressure. This pressure helps to push blood all around your body. Your blood pressure changes during the day, depending on how busy you are or how you are feeling.
You have hypertension (high blood pressure) when your blood pressure stays higher than is needed, even when you are calm and relaxed.
Regular blood pressure checks are the only way of knowing that you have hypertension. There are usually no symptoms of hypertension and you may feel fine. If hypertension is not treated, serious health problems such as stroke, heart disease and kidney failure may occur.
Atenolol GH helps to lower your blood pressure.
Angina is a discomfort or pain felt in your chest. The pain may also be felt down your arms or neck and sometimes your shoulders and back. This may be caused by not enough oxygen or blood reaching areas of your heart. Angina pain is often brought on by exercise or stress.
Atenolol GH is used to prevent angina. It is not used to relieve a sudden attack of angina.
Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
A number of factors such as some heart diseases, an over active thyroid gland or chemical imbalances may cause your heart to have an irregular heart beat or rhythm.
Atenolol GH helps restore your heart’s normal rhythm.
Reducing heart complications after heart attack
After a heart attack, you may have complications such as an irregular heart beat or an increased chance of having another heart attack.
Atenolol GH helps to prevent these complications from occurring.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why it has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed Atenolol GH for another reason.
Atenolol GH is not recommended for use in children, as there have been no studies of its effects in children.
There is no evidence that Atenolol GH is addictive.
This medicine is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
Before you take Atenolol GH
When you must not take it
Do not take Atenolol GH if:
- You have or have had asthma (difficulty in breathing, wheezing and coughing), bronchitis or other lung problems in the past.
- You have the following conditions:
- a history of allergic problems, including hay fever. Symptoms of an allergy may include: rash, itching, watery eyes or sneezing;
- a very slow heart beat (less than 45-50 beats/minute);
- a severe blood vessel disorder causing poor circulation in the arms and legs;
- certain other heart conditions;
- phaeochromocytoma (a rare tumour of the adrenal gland) which is not being treated with other medicines;
- low blood pressure (hypotension);
- too much acid in your blood (metabolic acidosis).
- You are receiving:
- certain anaesthetics for medical dental procedures;
- emergency treatment for shock or severely low blood pressure.
- You have an allergy to atenolol (the active ingredient in Atenolol GH) or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet, or to any other beta-blocker medicine.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin or you may feel faint.
- You are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, are breast feeding or intend to breast feed.
Your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of using Atenolol GH during pregnancy and breast feeding. Atenolol GH passes into breast milk and may therefore affect the breast-fed baby.
If you are not sure whether any of these apply to you, check with your doctor.
Do not use Atenolol GH if the expiry date printed on the pack has passed.
Do not use Atenolol GH if the package is torn or shows signs of tampering. If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking Atenolol GH, talk to your doctor or pharmacist
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if:
- You have any allergies to:
- any other medicine, including eye drops, or other beta-blocker medicines;
- any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes;
- insect stings.
Atenolol GH may make allergies worse or make them harder to treat.
- You have or have had a history of any of the following conditions:
- heart problems;
- an over active thyroid gland called hyperthyroidism;
- kidney problems;
- circulation problems.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you take Atenolol GH.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop without a prescription.
Some medicines and Atenolol GH may interfere with each other. These include:
- other beta-blocker medicines;
- medicines used to treat high blood pressure or angina;
- medicine used to treat heart problems;
- insulin and tablets used to treat diabetes;
- medicines used to treat arthritis, pain, or inflammation.
If any of these medicines and Atenolol GH are taken together, it may affect how each of them work. You may need to take different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or to avoid while taking Atenolol GH.
If you have not told your doctor about any of these things, tell them before you take any Atenolol GH.
How to take Atenolol GH
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the label, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to take
The usual dose is from 50 mg (1 tablet) up to 200 mg (4 tablets) of Atenolol GH daily.
If your dose is 100 mg or less, take it once a day. If you need to take more than 100 mg (2 tablets), take half of your Atenolol GH in the morning and the other half in the evening.
Angina or Irregular Heartbeat
The usual dose is from 50 mg (1 tablet) up to 100 mg (2 tablets) taken as a single dose or half the dose in the morning and half at night.
The usual dose is 50 mg (1 tablet) of Atenolol GH daily for 1-3 years following a heart attack.
The doses mentioned for arrhythmia and heart attack should be given after the condition is brought under control.
Certain people, eg. the elderly or those with kidney problems, may require a lower dose.
How to take it
Swallow Atenolol GH with a glass of water.
It does not matter if you take your medicine before or after food.
When to take it
Take your tablet at the same time every day. This will help you remember when to take the tablet.
How long to take it
Take Atenolol GH every day. Continue taking Atenolol GH until your doctor advises you to stop.
It helps to treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attacks and prevent angina but does not cure it.
Do not stop taking Atenolol GH without checking with your doctor.
Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount of Atenolol GH you are taking. This should take place over a period of about 2 weeks before stopping completely.
Do not stop suddenly as this may worsen your condition.
If you forget to take it
If it is less than six hours from when you missed your dose, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your tablets at the same time you would normally.
If it is more than six hours since your last dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you would normally.
Do not take a double dose of Atenolol GH to make up for the dose that you missed.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26), or go to Accident & Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Atenolol GH.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
If you take too much Atenolol GH, you may feel faint or dizzy or you may find it difficult to breathe.
While you are taking Atenolol GH
Things you must do
Attend all of your doctor’s appointments so that your progress can be checked.
Tell any doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Atenolol GH.
If you are about to be started on any new medicines, tell your doctor, dentist or pharmacist that you are taking Atenolol GH.
Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while taking Atenolol GH.
Tell your doctor immediately if you have an allergic reaction to any foods, medicines or insect stings. Atenolol GH can cause allergic reactions to be worse and harder to treat.
If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar level regularly and report any changes to your doctor. Atenolol GH may affect your diabetes. It may hide the symptoms of low blood sugar levels, such as a fast heartbeat. It may also take longer for your blood sugar level to get back to normal even if you follow the usual treatment for diabetes. Your diabetic medicines may have to be changed or the doses adjusted.
If you continue to have angina attacks, or have more of them whilst taking Atenolol GH, tell your doctor. Atenolol GH is used to help prevent angina, so your angina attacks should become less severe and occur less often.
If you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint when getting out of bed or standing up, get up slowly. You may feel light-headed or dizzy after taking Atenolol GH. This is because your blood pressure is falling suddenly.
If this problem gets worse or continues, talk to your doctor.
To help your body get used to the change in blood pressure, you may find the following hints useful:
- Stand up slowly when getting up from a chair or bed. This will allow your body to get used to the change in position and blood pressure.
- If you feel dizzy, sit or lie down until you feel better.
- If you feel faint, sit down and put your head between your knees.
Drink lots of water when exercising and during hot weather when taking Atenolol GH, especially if you sweat a lot. If you do not drink enough water while taking Atenolol GH, you may feel faint, light-headed or sick. The recommended healthy minimum water intake is 6-8 glasses a day.
If you are having surgery (even at the dentist), tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Atenolol GH. Atenolol GH may affect some of the medicines used during surgery.
If you have to have any medical tests while you are taking Atenolol GH, tell your doctor. Atenolol GH may affect the results of some tests.
Things you must not do
Do not stop taking Atenolol GH or change the dose without checking with your doctor.
Do not take any new medicines with Atenolol GH, unless your doctor has told you to.
Do not use Atenolol GH to treat any other complaint unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give Atenolol GH to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar or they have the same condition as you.
Things to be careful of
Take care driving or operating machinery until you know how Atenolol GH affects you.
Atenolol GH may cause dizziness, fatigue, light-headedness or faintness in some people.
Make sure you know how you react to Atenolol GH before you drive a car, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or lightheaded.
Be careful not to over exercise when you first start taking Atenolol GH. It helps prevent angina resulting from physical activity and exercise. You may be tempted to exercise too much. Talk to your doctor about how much exercise you can do.
Dress warmly during cold weather, especially if you will be outside for a long time (for example, when playing or watching sport in winter). Atenolol GH, like other beta blocker medicines, may make you more sensitive to cold temperatures, especially if you have circulation problems. Beta-blockers tend to decrease blood circulation in the skin, fingers and toes.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Atenolol GH.
If you get any side effects, do not stop taking Atenolol GH without first talking to your doctor.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- stomach upsets such as diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain or heartburn (indigestion);
- dry mouth, change in taste sensation;
- dizziness, headache or buzzing or ringing in the ears;
- slow or irregular heartbeat;
- dry eyes, problems with vision;
- runny or blocked nose;
- difficulty sleeping, nightmares;
- skin reactions (eg. rash, itching, worsening of psoriasis);
- cold fingers and toes;
- increased hair loss;
- tingling, ‘pins and needles’ or walking unsteadily;
- sexual problems.
These side effects are usually mild.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
- confusion or disorientation;
- depression or mood changes or a worsening of these;
- unusual thoughts, hallucinations (seeing, feeling or hearing things that are not there);
- light-headedness or fainting which may be due to low blood pressure;
- yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (jaundice).
These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
- wheezing, chest tightness or difficulty breathing;
- unexplained bruising;
- swelling of the face, lips or throat.
These are very serious side effects and you may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are rare.
Other side effects not listed here may occur in some patients. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
After taking Atenolol GH
Keep your tablets in a cool, dry place where the temperature will stay below 25°C.
Keep your tablets in the pack until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the pack they may not work as well.
Do not keep Atenolol GH in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave Atenolol GH in the car or on window sills. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep this medicine out of reach of children. A locked cupboard which children cannot reach is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop using the tablets, or the tablets have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over.
What it looks like
Atenolol GH 50 mg tablets are white to off-white, circular biconvex film-coated tablets with “50” embossed on one side and break line on other side.
Atenolol GH tablets come in blister packs size of 10, 14, 28, and 30 tablets.
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
Each Atenolol GH tablet contains 50 mg of atenolol.
- maize starch;
- magnesium carbonate hydrate;
- magnesium stearate;
- sodium lauryl sulfate;
- colloidal anhydrous silica;
- sodium starch glycollate Type A;
- macrogol 6000;
- titanium dioxide.
Australian Registration Numbers
Atenolol GH: AUST R 298440
Generic Health Pty Ltd
Suite 2, Level 2
19-23 Prospect Street
Box Hill, VIC, 3128
Telephone: +61 3 9809 7900
This leaflet was prepared in October 2020.
Published by MIMS December 2020