Q. I am taking Atenolol from six years. But, now I feel dizzy when I take it. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 24, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

I have been on Atenolol for the past six years. I was prescribed this for a high heart rate. It worked well the first five years. But, from the last year, it has ruined my life. I have no energy. I get light headed and dizzy. I am on 100 mg a day. I am not sure what to do.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • It is probably Atenolol-induced low heart rate and blood pressure.
  • First, you need to get your blood pressure and pulse rate checked. You should buy an electronic BP apparatus which shows both blood pressure and pulse rate or else you could get it checked from a nearby physician, or you could count your pulse rate for one minute.
  • Next appropriate step is dose reduction, especially if both or either of the two parameters is low. You should reduce the dose to 50 mg once a day and look for the response. If the blood pressure is found to be low, then you could additionally have ORS solution.
  • Let me know if you experience symptoms like black tarry stool, abdominal pain, vomiting, etc.

Hope this helps you. And get back if you have any doubts.

For more information consult a cardiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/cardiologist

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your response. Usually, my blood pressure is 120/75 mmHg and sometimes it is 130/70. My pulse is usually high in the morning, but when I take Atenolol, it lowers to about 75. I had two echocardiograms in the last six years and nothing showed up. It was then determined that being a big guy my heart just beats a bit faster. I also take Edarbyclor for my blood pressure.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • We gradually need to taper off or reduce the dose of Atenolol as you are developing side effects. A pulse rate of less than 100 beats per minute (BPM) is acceptable. Intermittently, the pulse rate may raise, but if most of the times it is below 100 BPM then it is alright.
  • Also, we will reduce the dosage to 50 mg and look for the response for a week. If the response is satisfactory, then it can be continued. If not, discontinue and shift to another beta blocker for your heart rate like tablet Metoprolol XR (extended release tablets) 25 mg once a day, which we will gradually increase to 50 mg and further if needed.
  • If not done already, you should get your thyroid profile checked to look for cause.
  • Also, as I can see, your mentioned weight is very high. So, your high heart rate could be because of an obstructive sleep apnea, for which you will need definitive treatment.

for more information consult a cardiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/cardiologist

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