Consumer Medicine Information
WHAT IS IN THIS LEAFLET
This leaflet answers some common questions about Atenolol Sandoz.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risk of you taking this medicine 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 SANDOZ IS USED FOR
This medicine is used to treat:
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- a number of heart conditions such as angina (chest pain) and irregular heart beats (cardiac arrhythmias)
- reduce your risk of heart complications following a heart attack.
It contains the active ingredient atenolol. Atenolol belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers. It works by slowing down the heart and reducing its workload.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
This medicine is not addictive.
BEFORE YOU TAKE ATENOLOL SANDOZ
When you must not take it
Do not take this medicine if you have an allergy to:
- atenolol, the active ingredient or to any of the other ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet under PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
- any other similar 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.
Do not take this medicine if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
- a heart condition other than that for which this medicine is prescribed
- a slow heart beat
- very low blood pressure or poor circulation
- a condition called phaeochromocytoma (a rare type of tumour above the kidney)
- a condition called metabolic acidosis (too much acid in the blood)
- breathing problems such as asthma or breathlessness. Atenolol Sandoz may make these conditions worse.
- any allergy including hay fever.
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant. If may affect your developing baby if you take it during pregnancy.
Do not breastfeed if you are taking this medicine. The active ingredient in Atenolol Sandoz passes into breast milk and there is a possibility that your baby may be affected.
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging 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 this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
- an overactive thyroid
- a particular type of angina called prinzmetal angina or variant angina
- problems with your kidney function
- any medical condition affecting your blood vessels
- any other heart problem.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start taking Atenolol Sandoz.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and Atenolol Sandoz may interfere with each other. These include:
- other beta-blocker medicines including beta-blocker eye drops
- calcium channel blockers, medicines used to treat high blood pressure and angina e.g. verapamil, diltiazem and nifedipine
- any other medicines used to treat irregular heart beat (arrhythmia), high blood pressure (hypertension) or severe chest pain (angina)
- clonidine or hydralazine, medicines used to treat high blood pressure
- certain medicines used to treat abnormal or irregular heartbeat e.g. disopyramide, quinidine
- insulin or other medication used to treat diabetes
- certain medicines used to treat arthritis, pain, or inflammation e.g. indomethacin or ibuprofen
- digoxin, a medicine used to treat heart failure
- guanethidine, a medicine used to treat certain heart conditions
- cold remedies.
These medicines may be affected by Atenolol Sandoz, or may affect how well it works. You may need 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 avoid while taking this medicine.
HOW TO TAKE ATENOLOL SANDOZ
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or 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
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure of the correct dose for you. They will tell you exactly how much to take.
The dose may vary from 50mg to 200mg (one to four tablets) per day, depending on your condition. Doses of up to 100mg are usually taken once daily, however, doses of more than 100mg should be divided and taken twice daily.
If you need to break Atenolol Sandoz, hold the tablet with both hands and snap along the break line.
How to take it
Atenolol Sandoz tablets should be swallowed whole with a drink or a glass of water, during or immediately after food.
Your tablets are provided in a calendar pack which is designed to remind you when to take this medication. To do this, take your first dose from the position marked "First Day" followed by the second dose on the second day from the position marked "Second Day". On the following third day take the first tablet which is labelled with the appropriate day of the week. When you have taken all doses in this pack, take your next atenolol prescription in the same way.
When to take Atenolol Sandoz
Take your medicine at about the same time each day. Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
How long to take Atenolol Sandoz
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.
This medicine helps control your condition, but does not cure it. It is important to keep taking your medicine even if you feel well.
If you forget to take it
Take your dose as soon as you remember, and continue to take it as you would normally.
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you missed. This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering when 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 Australia 13 11 26 or New Zealand 0800 POISON or 0800 764 766) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much Atenolol Sandoz. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
Symptoms of an overdose may include a very slow heart beat, dizziness and breathlessness.
WHILE YOU ARE TAKING ATENOLOL SANDOZ
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Atenolol Sandoz.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your surgeon or anaesthetist that you are taking this medicine. It may affect other medicines used during surgery.
If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
If you are about to have any blood tests, tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine. It may interfere with the results of some tests.
Tell your doctor if you have a severe allergic reaction to foods, medicines or insect stings.
Keep all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked. Your doctor may do some tests from time to time to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent unwanted side effects.
Things you must not do
Do not take Atenolol Sandoz to treat any other complaint unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not stop taking your medicine or lower the dosage without checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are taking before stopping completely. This may help reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms such as worsening of angina or other heart complications occurring.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Atenolol Sandoz affects you.
As with other beta-blockers, Atenolol Sandoz may cause dizziness or light-headedness in some people, especially after the first dose.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Atenolol Sandoz.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- indigestion, constipation
- dry mouth
- fatigue, dizziness (especially when standing up)
- hair loss
- problems with sexual function
- runny or blocked nose
- depression and confusion
- difficulty sleeping, nightmares
- weakness, lack of energy.
These are mild side effects of the medicine.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
- abnormal thinking, hallucinations (seeing, feeling or hearing things that are not there)
- dizziness or light-headedness (sometimes with fainting), especially on standing up, which may be due to low blood pressure
- skin reactions e.g. rash, itching, hives, flaking of skin, worsening of psoriasis
- tingling or pins and needles in the hands and/or feet
- coldness, burning, numbness or pain in the arms and/or legs
- irritated eyes (red, runny, itchy or dry), visual disturbances (e.g. blurred vision)
- buzzing or ringing in the ears, difficulty hearing
- difficulty in speaking
- unsteadiness when walking.
The above list includes serious side effects that may require medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
If any of the following happen, stop taking Atenolol Sandoz, and tell your doctor immediately, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
- swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing
- shortness of breath, sometimes with tiredness, weakness and reduced ability to exercise, swelling of the feet or legs due to fluid build-up
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- chest pain, changes in heart rate (fast, slow or irregular), palpitations
- chest tightness, wheezing, difficulty breathing
- yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (jaundice).
The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. All of these side effects are very rare.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.
AFTER TAKING ATENOLOL SANDOZ
Keep your medicine in the original container. If you take it out of its original container it may not keep well.
Keep your medicine in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Do not store Atenolol Sandoz or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking this medicine or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine that is left over.
What it looks like
Atenolol Sandoz 50mg tablets – white, round film-coated tablet with a one-sided score notch. Available in blisters of 30 tablets.
- Atenolol Sandoz 50mg – 50mg atenolol.
- maize starch
- sodium lauryl sulfate
- heavy magnesium carbonate
- magnesium stearate
- titanium dioxide
- macrogol 4000.
Sandoz Pty Ltd
ABN 60 075 449 553
54 Waterloo Road
Macquarie Park NSW 2113
Tel: 1800 634 500
Novartis New Zealand Limited
PO Box 99102
Newmarket, Auckland 1149
Tel: 0800 354 335
This leaflet was revised in December 2015.
Australian Register Number
50mg tablets: AUST R 101462 (blister)
Published by MIMS December 2016