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Common Atenolol Side Effects

Atenolol has been studied extensively in people with high blood pressure, people with angina, and people who have recently had a heart attack. In these clinical studies, side effects are always documented and compared to those that occur in a similar group of people not taking the medicine. Based on these studies, the most common side effects of atenolol include:
  • Tiredness -- in up to 26 percent of people
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension) -- up to 25 percent
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia) -- up to 18 percent
  • Dizziness -- up to 13 percent
  • Cold hands or feet -- up to 12 percent
  • Depression -- up to 12 percent (see Atenolol and Depression)
  • Shortness of breath -- up to 6 percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 6 percent.
Other common side effects of atenolol (occurring in 2 to 4 percent of people) include but are not limited to:
  • Leg pain
  • A decrease in blood pressure when going from a lying-down or sitting position to standing
  • A spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased dreaming.


Other Possible Atenolol Side Effects

After medications are approved and are in use by the general public, healthcare providers may voluntarily report side effects. This information may point to possible side effects that were not seen in clinical trials. However, it is very difficult (or impossible) to tell how frequently such side effects occur or even if they are actual side effects, since they are reported voluntarily (and since the "side effects" could be coincidental). These reported side effects are known as "postmarketing experience."
Possible side effects of atenolol reported in postmarketing experience include (but are not limited to):
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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