What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Atenolol-AFT. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have benefits and risks. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Atenolol-AFT against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine.
You may need to read it again.
What Atenolol-AFT is used for
Atenolol belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers. It makes the heart beat slower and less forcefully reducing the amount of oxygen required by the heart and the volume of blood it has to pump. This results in lower blood pressure. It widens the blood vessels in the body, causing blood pressure to fall. It helps the heart to beat more regularly.
Atenolol-AFT is used to:
- lower high blood pressure (hypertension)
- prevent angina
- treat irregular heart rhythm or beat (arrhythmias)
- treat heart attacks, or reduce the risk of heart complications following a heart attack
Atenolol-AFT may be used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat your condition.
Atenolol-AFT may also be used in emergency situations or during surgery to treat a fast heart beat before, during or after surgery.
Everybody has blood pressure. Blood pressure helps to move the blood around your body. Your blood pressure will change during the day, depending on how busy you are or how you are feeling.
You have hypertension (high blood pressure) when your blood pressure stays higher than is needed, even when you are calm and relaxed. Regular blood pressure checks are the only way to know if you have hypertension. There are usually no symptoms with hypertension and you may feel fine. If hypertension is not treated, serious health problems e.g. stroke, heart disease and kidney failure may occur.
Atenolol-AFT helps to lower your blood pressure.
Angina is a discomfort or pain felt in your chest. The pain may also be felt in your arms or neck and sometimes your shoulders and back. It may be caused by not enough oxygen or blood reaching areas of your heart. Angina pain is often caused by exercise or stress.
Atenolol-AFT is used to prevent angina. It is not used to relieve a sudden attack of angina.
Irregular heart beat (arrhythmia):
Some heart diseases, an over active thyroid gland or chemical imbalances may cause your heart to have an irregular heart beat or rhythm.
Atenolol-AFT helps restore your heart's normal rhythm.
Reducing heart complications after heart attack:
After a heart attack, you may have complications e.g. an irregular heart beat or an increased chance of having another heart attack.
Atenolol-AFT helps to prevent these complications from occurring.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Atenolol-AFT has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed Atenolol-AFT for another reason.
Atenolol-AFT is not recommended for use in children as there have been no studies on its effects in children.
There is no evidence that Atenolol-AFT is addictive.
Before you take Atenolol-AFT
When you must not take it
Do not take Atenolol-AFT if you:
- have or have had asthma (difficulty in breathing, wheezing and coughing), bronchitis or other lung problems.
- have any of the following conditions:
- a history of allergic problems, including hayfever. Symptoms of an allergy include rash, itching, watery eyes and sneezing.
- a very slow heart beat (less than 45-50 beats/minute)
- a severe blood vessel disorder causing poor circulation in the arms and legs
- certain other heart conditions
- phaeochromocytoma (a rare tumour of the adrenal gland) which is not being treated with other medicines
- low blood pressure (hypotension)
- too much acid in your blood (metabolic acidosis)
- are receiving:
- certain anaesthetics for medical or dental procedures
- emergency treatment for shock or severely low blood pressure
- have an allergy to atenolol or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet, or to any other beta-blocker medicine.
- are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, are breast feeding or intend to breast feed.
Your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of using Atenolol-AFT during pregnancy and while breast feeding with you. Atenolol passes into breast milk and may therefore affect the breast-fed baby.
If you are not sure whether any of these apply to you, check with your doctor.
Do not use Atenolol-AFT if the package shows signs of tampering.
Do not use Atenolol-AFT if the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack has passed.
It may not work as well after this date.
Before you start to take Atenolol-AFT
Tell your doctor if you:
- have any allergies to:
- any other medicine, including eye drops, or other beta-blocker medicines
- any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes
- insect stings
Atenolol-AFT may make allergies worse or harder to treat.
- have or have had a history of any of the following conditions:
- heart problems
- an over active thyroid gland called hyperthyroidism.
- kidney problems
- circulation problems
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start to take Atenolol-AFT
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop without a prescription.
Some medicines and Atenolol-AFT may affect how each medicine works. These include:
- other beta-blocker medicines
- medicines used to treat high blood pressure or angina
- medicine used to treat heart problems
- insulin and tablets used to treat diabetes
- medicines used to treat arthritis, pain, or inflammation
If any of these medicines and Atenolol-AFT are taken together, you may need to take different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you on which medicines to be careful with or to avoid while taking Atenolol-AFT.
How to use Atenolol-AFT
How much to take
Follow the instructions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet. If you do not understand the instructions on the label, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
The usual dose is from 10 mL (50 mg) up to 40 mL (200 mg) of Atenolol-AFT daily. If your dose is 20 mL or less, take it once a day. If you need to take more than 20 mL, take half of your Atenolol-AFT in the morning and the other half in the evening.
Angina or Irregular Heart Beat:
The usual dose is from 10 mL up to 20 mL taken as either a single dose or half the dose in the morning and half at night.
The usual dose is 10 mL of Atenolol-AFT daily. Some people e.g. the elderly or those with kidney problems, may require a lower dose.
If you have been taking tablets that containing atenolol, your doctor may wish to see you more often until they are certain that Atenolol-AFT is working in the same way as the tablets you have been taking. While there should be no problem switching from atenolol tablets to atenolol liquid (or from the liquid to the tablets) it is possible that some people may need to have their dose adjusted to achieve the same effect. If you have any concerns about how Atenolol-AFT is working for you, talk to your doctor.
When to take it
It does not matter if you take your medicine before or after food. It is best to take your medicine at the same time everyday. This will help you remember when to take it.
How long to take it
Take Atenolol-AFT as you are directed. Continue taking until your doctor advises you to stop.
It helps to treat high blood pressure, irregular heart beat, heart attacks and prevent angina but does not cure them. Do not stop taking without checking with your doctor first. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount of Atenolol-AFT you are taking. This should take place over a period of about 2 weeks before stopping completely. Do not stop suddenly, as this may worsen your condition.
If you forget to take it
If it is less than six hours since you missed your dose, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking Atenolol-AFT at the same time you would normally. If it is more than six hours since your last dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
While you are taking Atenolol-AFT
Make sure you attend all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked.
Tell all the doctors, dentists and pharmacists that are treating you that you are taking atenolol.
Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while taking Atenolol-AFT.
Immediately tell your doctor if you have an allergic reaction to any foods, medicines or insect stings.
Atenolol can cause allergic reactions to be worse and harder to treat.
If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar level regularly and report any changes to your doctor.
Atenolol-AFT may affect your diabetes. It may hide the symptoms of low blood sugar levels, e.g. a fast heart beat. It may take longer for your blood sugar level to get back to normal even if you follow the usual treatment for diabetes. Your diabetic medicines may have to be changed or the doses adjusted.
If you continue to have angina attacks, or have more of them whilst taking Atenolol-AFT, tell your doctor.
Atenolol-AFT is used to help prevent angina, so your angina attacks should become less severe and occur less often.
If you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint when getting out of bed or standing up, get up slowly. You may feel light-headed or dizzy after taking Atenolol-AFT. This is because your blood pressure is falling suddenly. If this problem gets worse or continues, talk to your doctor. To help your body get used to the change in blood pressure, you may find the following useful:
- Stand up slowly when getting up from a chair or bed. This will allow your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure.
- If you feel dizzy, sit or lie down until you feel better.
- If you feel faint, sit down and put your head between your knees.
Drink lots of water when exercising and during hot weather when taking Atenolol-AFT.
If you do not drink enough water while taking atenolol, you may feel faint, light-headed or sick.
If you are having surgery (even at the dentist), tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking atenolol.
Atenolol may affect some of the medicines used during surgery.
If you have to have any medical tests while you are taking Atenolol-AFT, tell your doctor.
Atenolol may affect the results of some tests.
Things you must not do
Do not stop taking Atenolol-AFT without checking with your doctor.
Do not take any new medicines with Atenolol-AFT, unless your doctor has told you to.
Do not give Atenolol-AFT to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not use Atenolol-AFT to treat any other complaint unless your doctor tells you to.
Things to be careful of
Take care driving or operating machinery until you know how Atenolol-AFT affects you.
Atenolol-AFT may cause dizziness, fatigue, light-headedness or faintness in some people.
Be careful not to over exercise when you first start taking Atenolol-AFT.
It helps prevent angina caused by physical activity and exercise. You may be tempted to exercise too much. Talk to your doctor about how much exercise you can do.
Dress warmly during cold weather, especially if you will be outside for a long time e.g. when playing or watching sport in winter.
Atenolol-AFT may make you more sensitive to cold temperatures, especially if you have circulation problems. Beta-blockers tend to decrease blood circulation in the skin, fingers and toes.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Atenolol-AFT, even if you think the problems are not connected with the medicine.
If you get any side effects, do not stop taking Atenolol-AFT without first talking to your doctor.
Atenolol-AFT can cause some side effects. If they occur, most are likely to be minor and last only a short time. However, some may be serious and need medical attention.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- stomach upsets such as diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain or heartburn (indigestion)
- dry mouth, change in taste sensation
- dizziness, headache or buzzing or ringing in the ears
- slow or irregular heart beat
- dry eyes, problems with vision
- runny or blocked nose
- difficulty sleeping, nightmares
- skin reactions (e.g. rash, itching, worsening of psoriasis)
- cold fingers and toes
- increased hair loss
- tingling, 'pins and needles' or walking unsteadily
- sexual problems
These side effects are usually mild.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
- confusion or disorientation
- depression or mood changes or a worsening of these
- unusual thoughts, hallucinations (seeing, feeling or hearing things that are not there)
- light-headedness or fainting which may be due to low blood pressure
- yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (jaundice)
These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately, or go to accident and emergency at your nearest hospital:
- wheezing, chest tightness or difficulty breathing
- unexplained bruising
- swelling of the face, lips or throat
These are very serious side effects and you may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are rare.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Some people may get different side effects while taking Atenolol-AFT.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26), or go to the Accident & Emergency Department at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Atenolol-AFT. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention. Keep these telephone numbers handy.
If you take too much Atenolol-AFT, you may feel faint or dizzy or you may find it difficult to breathe
Store below 25 ºC.
Store in original carton to protect from light.
Use within 1 month of opening.
Do not leave Atenolol-AFT in the car or on window sills.
Heat can destroy some medicines.
Keep this medicine out of reach of children.
A locked cupboard which children cannot reach is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop using Atenolol-AFT or it has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that is left over.
Atenolol-AFT also contains sorbitol, propylene glycol, sodium citrate, citric acid, methyl and propyl hydroxyl benzoates, sodium saccharin and lemon-lime flavour. It does not contain any sucrose, lactose, gluten or colouring agents.
If you want to know more
If you have any questions about Atenolol-AFT or why it was prescribed for you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Atenolol-AFT, atenolol 50 mg/10 mL, oral solution, bottle, 300 mL, AUST R 184745
AFT Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd
113 Wicks Road
14 August 2015