Atenolol (Intravenous)

The beta-blocker Atenolol is used to treat angina and hypertension. It affects the circulation and blood flow through arteries and veins.


Atenolol is a beta-blocker that affects the heart and circulation. It is used in the treatment of angina and hypertension.

The drug is also used to decrease the risk of death after a patient has suffered a heart attack.

This drug should not be used if you suffer from a very slow heart rate or have heart failure.

Atenolol works by affecting the response to the nerve system in particular parts of the body, including the heart. The heartbeat will thus slow down and this decreases the blood pressure in the patient. By lowering the blood pressure of the patient, the heart and lungs are able to more effectively transport oxygen into the heart.

This medicine is only available with a doctor's prescription.

Only a doctor or other trained medical professional should administer this medicine. This medicine is administered intravenously into one of your veins. You will only receive a few doses of this medicine intravenously before being switched over to an oral medicine that behaves in the same manner and uses the same beta-blocking methodology.

Use when pregnant should be avoided if at all possible. In life-threatening situations, however, use can still be recommended.

Condition(s) treated

  • Angina
  • Hypertension
  • Heart attack

Type of medicine

  • Beta-blocker

Side Effects

Along with the wanted and necessary effects of this medicine, there can also occur a range of unwanted side effects. Not all of the listed side effects will occur, but some may require medical attention if they do.

The following side effects should be reported to your doctor immediately if they are experienced:

Occurring commonly

  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common

  • Anxiety
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Noisy breathing
  • Sudden shortness of breath or troubled breathing
  • Tightness in chest
  • Wheezing

Occurring rarely

  • Bloody urine
  • Decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased thirst
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Nausea
  • Swelling of face, fingers, or lower legs
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain

Frequency unknown

  • Black, tarry stools
  • Bleeding gums
  • Blood in urine or stools
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Disturbed color perception
  • Double vision
  • Feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behavior
  • Feeling that others can hear your thoughts
  • Feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there
  • Fever
  • Halos around lights
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Loss of vision
  • Night blindness
  • Paleness or cold feeling in fingertips and toes
  • Pinpoint red or purple spots on skin
  • Severe mood or mental changes
  • Skin irritation or rash, including rash that looks like psoriasis
  • Skin rash, hives, or itching
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen or painful glands
  • Tingling or pain in fingers or toes when exposed to cold
  • Tunnel vision
  • Unusual behavior
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

Other side effects may occur that do not require any medical attention. If they persist or are bothersome, then report them to your medical professional who may be able to help:

  • Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • Dry mouth
  • Inability to have or keep an erection
  • Loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • Pain of penis on erection
  • Temporary loss of hair

The following side effects are symptoms of overdose and are very serious. You should seek urgent medical attention whether day or night if they occur.

  • Anxiety
  • Coma
  • Cool, pale skin
  • Depression
  • Dilated neck veins
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Headache
  • Increased hunger
  • Irregular breathing
  • Nervousness
  • Nightmares
  • Seizures
  • Shakiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness

Other side effects or interactions may occur that are not listed herein. If you experience any other side effects inform your doctor or healthcare professional.


This drug is to be administered by a trained healthcare professional only.

The dose given to each patient will be personal and will depend on a range of factors. The following is an indication only and you should not change your dosing in any way.

2.5mg is to be injected intravenously over a 2.5 minute period. This can be repeated over 5 minute intervals until the desired response is observed. Do not exceed the maximum dosage of 10mg.

If given by infusion, 0.15mg/kg can be administered over a 20 minute period.

Dosing can be repeated every 12 hours if required.

Once stable and once arrhythmias have abated, the patient can be switched to an oral prescription instead.


Before using any medication you should discuss habits, current medications, current medical conditions, past medical conditions and allergies with your doctor. Medicines can have interactions with certain conditions and medications in the body so it is important to share as much information as possible. For Atenolol, the following should be considered:

Allergies - In particular allergies to any medicines that you have taken in the past should be shared. Any allergies to foods, dyes, preservatives and animals should also be shared.

Pregnancy - If it can be avoided this medication should not be taken when pregnant. In some life-threatening situations, however, the benefits of taking this medicine can outweigh the risks to the fetus. Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus.

Breastfeeding - There is not enough evidence to determine risk levels to the infant. Discuss breastfeeding with your doctor.

Drug interactions - Different medicines can react with one another in the body. In some cases one can stop another from working and in serious cases they can react violently with one another causing significant medical problems. Atenolol has drug interactions with a wide number of different medications. The following list is selected for severity and may not be all-inclusive. Tell your doctor about any and all medications that you are taking including vitamins, herbal remedies and over the counter medication.

Using Atenolol with any of the following medications will not usually be recommended. If both medicines are prescribed your doctor may wish to adjust the dose of one or the other.

  • Clonidine
  • Crizotinib
  • Diltiazem
  • Dronedarone
  • Fenoldopam
  • Fingolimod
  • Lacosamide
  • Rivastigmine
  • Verapamil

Using this medicine with the following medicines can increase the risk of certain side effects. These medicines would not normally be recommended together but your doctor may still prescribe both.

  • Acarbose
  • Aceclofenac
  • Acemetacin
  • Acetyldigoxin
  • Albiglutide
  • Alfuzosin
  • Alogliptin
  • Amiodarone
  • Amtolmetin Guacil
  • Arbutamine
  • Aspirin
  • Bromfenac
  • Bufexamac
  • Bunazosin
  • Canagliflozin
  • Celecoxib
  • Chlorpropamide
  • Choline Salicylate
  • Clonixin
  • Dapagliflozin
  • Deslanoside
  • Dexibuprofen
  • Dexketoprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Diflunisal
  • Digitoxin
  • Digoxin
  • Dipyrone
  • Disopyramide
  • Doxazosin
  • Droxicam
  • Dulaglutide
  • Empagliflozin
  • Etodolac
  • Etofenamate
  • Etoricoxib
  • Exenatide
  • Felbinac
  • Fenoprofen
  • Fepradinol
  • Feprazone
  • Floctafenine
  • Flufenamic Acid
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Glimepiride
  • Glipizide
  • Glyburide
  • Ibuprofen
  • Indomethacin
  • Insulin Aspart, Recombinant
  • Insulin Degludec
  • Insulin Detemir
  • Insulin Glargine, Recombinant
  • Insulin Glulisine
  • Insulin Human Inhaled
  • Insulin Human Isophane (NPH)
  • Insulin Human Regular
  • Insulin Lispro, Recombinant
  • Ketoprofen
  • Ketorolac
  • Linagliptin
  • Liraglutide
  • Lixisenatide
  • Lornoxicam
  • Loxoprofen
  • Lumiracoxib
  • Meclofenamate
  • Mefenamic Acid
  • Meloxicam
  • Metformin
  • Metildigoxin
  • Mibefradil
  • Miglitol
  • Morniflumate
  • Moxisylyte
  • Nabumetone
  • Naproxen
  • Nateglinide
  • Nepafenac
  • Niflumic Acid
  • Nimesulide
  • Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
  • Oxaprozin
  • Oxyphenbutazone
  • Parecoxib
  • Phenoxybenzamine
  • Phentolamine
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Piketoprofen
  • Pioglitazone
  • Piroxicam
  • Pramlintide
  • Pranoprofen
  • Prazosin
  • Proglumetacin
  • Propyphenazone
  • Proquazone
  • Quinidine
  • Repaglinide
  • Rofecoxib
  • Rosiglitazone
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Salsalate
  • Saxagliptin
  • Sitagliptin
  • Sodium Salicylate
  • St John's Wort
  • Sulindac
  • Tamsulosin
  • Tenoxicam
  • Terazosin
  • Tiaprofenic Acid
  • Tolazamide
  • Tolbutamide
  • Tolfenamic Acid
  • Tolmetin
  • Trimazosin
  • Urapidil
  • Valdecoxib
  • Vildagliptin

Other interactions - Medicines can also interact with foods, drinks, alcohol and tobacco. Discuss your habits with your doctor and take advice on any consumables that you should avoid

Other medical problems - Other medical problems can affect the use of medication and the medication can make existing conditions worse. It is important that you inform your doctor of any conditions that you have or have had in the past. It is particularly important that you inform your doctor if you have or have had any of the following conditions:

  • Bradycardia
  • Heart block
  • Hear failure
  • Adrenal gland tumor
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertyroidism
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung disease


Should not be used on patients who have suffered Adrenal gland tumor.

Hypoglycemia may cover up symptoms of other diseases that interact with medication.

Patients with kidney disease may see increased effects from the medication.

Atenolol may cause breathing problems in patients who suffer from existing breathing conditions.

Atenolol can cause fetal harm in a pregnant woman. Atenolol administration has been associated with infants being born who are small for gestational age.


Protect from the light.

Keep in packaging until ready to use.

Store at a controlled room temperature of 20-25 °C at all times including when in transport.


Atenolol is used for the treatment of angina and hypertension. It can also be used following a heart attack to prevent death in a patient and stabilize the heart.

Atenolol is a beta-blocker that inhibits signals from certain parts of the body to the brain, including the heart. This slows the rate of the heartbeat and reduces the speed of flow. This allows the blood to draw more oxygen from the lungs and transport it to the heart. This increased supply of oxygen can help to decrease and stop arrhythmias.

The intravenous use of Atenolol is to be administered by a healthcare professional only. Only a few doses will be given intravenously before the patient is switched onto an oral version of the same drug. Your doctor must also prescribe this medication.

Atenolol will have a wider range of possible side effects on the body. These side effects can include a loss of sex drive and an inability to maintain an erection.

It is also important that it is not administered with certain medical conditions as it can make them worse. Lung conditions of certain types can be negatively impacted by this drug. Some heart conditions can also be worsened by this drug. Kidney failure can prevent this medication from leaving the body and can intensify the side effects that are experienced.

Atenolol has been shown to cause fetal harm in pregnant women and where possible should be avoided. In life-threatening situations, however, such as following a heart attack, Atenolol may be administered to a pregnant woman. Fetuses who have been exposed to the medication have been shown to be born comparatively small for their gestational age.

Overdosing on this medication can be very serious. If any symptoms of overdose are experienced you should get emergency medical care immediately.

Last Reviewed:
December 22, 2017
Last Updated:
April 02, 2018
Content Source: