Blokium (Atenolol) is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. It also is used to prevent angina (chest pain) and treat heart attacks. Atenolol is in a class of medications called beta blockers. It works by slowing the heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels so the heart does not have to pump as hard. Atenolol is also used sometimes to prevent migraine headaches and to treat alcohol withdrawal, heart failure, and irregular heartbeat. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
HOW TO USE THIS MEDICATION
Blokium (Atenolol) comes as a tablet (50mg & 100mg) to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day. To help you remember to take atenolol, take it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your leaflet carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take atenolol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Atenolol controls high blood pressure and angina but does not cure them. It may take 1-2 weeks before you feel the full benefit of atenolol. Continue to take Blokium even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Blokium without talking to your doctor.
PRECAUTIONS I SHOULD CONSIDER DURING THERAPY
· Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to atenolol or any other medications.
· Inform your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others) and verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan); clonidine (Catapres); nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as indomethacin (Indocin); and reserpine (Serpalan, Serpasil, Serpatabs). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
· Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma or other lung disease; diabetes; severe allergies; an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism); pheochromocytoma; heart failure; a slow heart rate; circulation problems; or heart or kidney disease.
· Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking atenolol, call your doctor immediately.
· if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking atenolol.
· you should know that if you have allergic reactions to different substances, your reactions may be worse while you are using atenolol, and your allergic reactions may not respond to the usual doses of injectable epinephrine.
DIETARY INSTRUCTIONS TO FOLLOW DURING THERAPY
If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet, follow these directions carefully.
WHAT TO DO IF I FORGET A DOSE
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
UNDESIRABLE SIDE EFFECTS
Atenolol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dizziness, lightheadedness, tiredness, drowsiness
- upset stomach, diarrhea
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
- shortness of breath, swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- unusual weight gain, fainting
Treatment of overdose should be directed to the removal of any unabsorbed drug by induced emesis, gastric lavage, or administration of activated charcoal. It can be removed from the general circulation by hemodialysis. Other treatment modalities should be employed at the physician's discretion and may include:
- BRADYCARDIA: Atropine intravenously
- HEART BLOCK (SECOND OR THIRD DEGREE): Isoproterenol or transvenous cardiac pacemaker.
- CARDIAC FAILURE: Digitalize the patient and administer a diuretic. Glucagons have been reported to be useful.
- HYPOTENSION: Vasopressors such as dopamine or nor-epinephrine (levarterenol). Monitor blood pressure continuously.
- BRONCHOSPASM: A beta 2 stimulant such as isoproterenol or terbutaline and/or aminophylline.
- HYPOGLYCEMIA: Intravenous glucose.
Based on the severity of symptoms, management may require intensive support care and facilities for applying cardiac and respiratory support.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
Almirall Prodesfarma, Spain
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