Also Known As: Atenolol, Tenormin
Atenolol is a selective Î²1 receptor antagonist, a drug belonging to the group of beta blockers (sometimes written Î²-blockers), a class of drugs used primarily in cardiovascular diseases. Introduced in 1976, atenolol was developed as a replacement for propranolol in the treatment of hypertension. The chemical works by slowing down the heart and reducing its workload. Unlike propranolol, atenolol does not pass through the blood-brain barrier thus avoiding various central nervous system side effects.
Atenolol is one of the most widely used Î²-blockers in the United Kingdom and was once the first-line treatment for hypertension. The role for Î²-blockers in hypertension was downgraded in June 2006 in the United Kingdom to fourth-line, as they perform less appropriately or effectively than newer drugs, particularly in the elderly. Some evidence suggests that even in normal doses the most frequently used Î²-blockers carry an unacceptable risk of provoking type 2 diabetes.