WHAT IS IN THIS LEAFLET
This leaflet answers some common questions about Atenolol Sandoz.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risk of you taking this medicine 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 SANDOZ IS USED FOR
Atenolol Sandoz contains the active ingredient atenolol. Atenolol belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers.
It works by affecting the body's response to certain nerve impulses, especially in the heart. As a result, it decreases the heart's need for blood and oxygen and therefore reduces the amount of work the heart has to do. It widens the blood vessels in the body, causing blood pressure to fall. It also helps the heart to beat more regularly
This medicine is used to:
- lower high blood pressure (hypertension)
- prevent angina (chest pain)
- treat irregular heart rhythm or beat (cardiac arrhythmias)
- treat heart attacks, or reduce your risk of heart complications following a heart attack.
Atenolol Sandoz may be either used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat your condition.
All people have blood pressure. This pressure helps to push blood all around your body. Your blood pressure changes 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 of knowing that you have hypertension. There are usually no symptoms of hypertension and you may feel fine. If hypertension is not treated, serious health problems such as stroke, heart disease and kidney failure may occur.
Atenolol Sandoz helps to lower your blood pressure.
Angina is a discomfort or pain felt in your chest. The pain may also be felt down your arms or neck and sometimes your shoulders and back.
This may be caused by not enough oxygen or blood reaching areas of your heart. Angina pain is often brought on by exercise or stress.
Atenolol Sandoz is used to prevent angina. It is not used to relieve a sudden attack of angina.
Irregular heart beat (arrhythmia):
A number of factors such as some heart diseases, an over active thyroid gland or chemical imbalances may cause your heart to have an irregular heart beat or rhythm.
Atenolol Sandoz helps restore your heart's normal rhythm.
Reducing heart complications after heart attack:
After a heart attack, you may have complications such as an irregular heart beat or an increased chance of having another heart attack.
Atenolol Sandoz helps to prevent these complications from occurring.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
Atenolol Sandoz is not recommended for use in children, as there have been no studies of its effects in children.
This medicine is not addictive.
This medicine is only available with a doctor's prescription.
BEFORE YOU TAKE ATENOLOL SANDOZ
When you must not take it
Do not take this medicine if you have an allergy to:
- atenolol, the active ingredient or to any of the other ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet under Product Description
- any other similar medicine.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
- shortness of breath
- wheezing or difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
- rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not take this medicine if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
- asthma (difficulty in breathing, wheezing and coughing), bronchitis or other lung problems in the past
- a history of allergic problems, including hayfever. Symptoms of an allergy may include: rash, itching, watery eyes or 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)
- a condition called metabolic acidosis (too much acid in the blood).
Do not take this medicine if you are receiving:
- certain anaesthetics for medical dental procedures
- emergency treatment for shock or severely low blood pressure.
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or intend to be pregnant. If may affect your developing baby if you take it during pregnancy.
Do not take this medicine if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. The active ingredient in Atenolol Sandoz passes into breast milk and there is a possibility that your baby may be affected.
Your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of using Atenolol Sandoz during pregnancy and breast feeding.
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering. If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
- an overactive thyroid
- a particular type of angina called prinzmetal angina or variant angina
- problems with your kidney function
- any medical condition affecting your blood vessels
- any other heart problem.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start taking Atenolol Sandoz.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and Atenolol Sandoz may interfere with each other. These include:
- other beta-blocker medicines including beta-blocker eye drops
- calcium channel blockers, medicines used to treat high blood pressure and angina e.g. verapamil, diltiazem and nifedipine
- any other medicines used to treat irregular heart beat (arrhythmia), high blood pressure (hypertension) or severe chest pain (angina)
- clonidine or hydralazine, medicines used to treat high blood pressure
- certain medicines used to treat abnormal or irregular heartbeat e.g. disopyramide, quinidine
- insulin or other medication used to treat diabetes
- certain medicines used to treat arthritis, pain, or inflammation e.g. indomethacin or ibuprofen
- digoxin, a medicine used to treat heart failure
- guanethidine, a medicine used to treat certain heart conditions
- cold remedies.
These medicines may be affected by Atenolol Sandoz, or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking this medicine.
HOW TO TAKE ATENOLOL SANDOZ
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or 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.
How much to take
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure of the correct dose for you. They will tell you exactly how much to take.
The usual dose is from 50 mg (1 tablet) up to 200 mg (4 tablets) of Atenolol Sandoz daily.
If your dose is 100 mg or less, take it once a day. If you need to take more than 100 mg (2 tablets), take half of your Atenolol Sandoz dose in the morning and the other half of your dose in the evening.
Angina or Irregular Heart Beat:
The usual dose is from 50 mg (1 tablet) up to 100 mg (2 tablets) taken as a single dose or half the dose in the morning and half at night.
The usual dose is 50 mg (1 tablet) of Atenolol Sandoz daily.
Certain people such as the elderly or those with kidney problems, may require a lower dose. If you need to break Atenolol Sandoz, hold the tablet with both hands and snap along the break line.
How to take it
Atenolol Sandoz tablets should be swallowed whole with a drink or a glass of water, during or immediately after food.
When to take Atenolol Sandoz
Take your medicine at about the same time each day. Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
How long to take Atenolol Sandoz
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.
This medicine helps control your condition, but does not cure it. It is important to keep taking your medicine even if you feel well.
Do not stop taking Atenolol Sandoz without checking with your doctor.
Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount of Atenolol Sandoz 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.
Make sure you keep enough Atenolol Sandoz to last over weekends and holidays.
If you forget to take it
If it is less than six hours from when you missed your dose, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your tablets 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 you missed. This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone Australia 13 11 26 or New Zealand 0800 POISON or 0800 764766) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much Atenolol Sandoz. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
If you take too much Atenolol Sandoz, you may feel faint or dizzy or you may find it difficult to breathe.
WHILE YOU ARE TAKING ATENOLOL SANDOZ
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Atenolol Sandoz.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your surgeon or anaesthetist that you are taking this medicine. It may affect other medicines used during surgery.
If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
If you are about to have any blood tests, tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine. It may interfere with the results of some tests.
Tell your doctor if you have a severe allergic reaction to foods, medicines or insect stings. This medicine 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. This medicine may affect your diabetes. It may hide the symptoms of low blood sugar levels, such as a fast heart beat. It may also 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 Sandoz, tell your doctor. This medicine 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 Sandoz. 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 hints 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 Sandoz, especially if you sweat a lot. If you do not drink enough water while taking Atenolol Sandoz, you may feel faint, light-headed or sick. The recommended healthy minimum water intake is 6-8 glasses a day.
Keep all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked. Your doctor may do some tests from time to time to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent unwanted side effects.
Things you must not do
Do not take Atenolol Sandoz to treat any other complaint unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not stop taking your medicine or lower the dosage without checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are taking before stopping completely. This may help reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms such as worsening of angina or other heart complications occurring.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Atenolol Sandoz affects you. As with other beta-blockers, Atenolol Sandoz may cause dizziness or light-headedness in some people, especially after the first dose.
Make sure you know how you react to Atenolol Sandoz before you drive a car, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or lightheaded.
Be careful not to over exercise when you first start taking Atenolol Sandoz. It helps prevent angina resulting from 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 (for example, when playing or watching sport in winter). Atenolol Sandoz, like other beta-blocker medicines, 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 Sandoz.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist 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 reaction (e.g. rash, itching, worsening of psoriasis)
- cold fingers and toes
- increased hair loss
- tingling, 'pins and needles' or walking unsteadily
- sexual problems.
These are mild side effects of the medicine.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible 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).
The above list includes serious side effects that may require medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
If any of the following happen, stop taking Atenolol Sandoz, and tell your doctor immediately, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
- swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- chest tightness, wheezing, difficulty breathing
The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. All of these side effects are very rare.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.
AFTER TAKING ATENOLOL SANDOZ
Keep your medicine in the original container. If you take it out of its original container it may not keep well.
Keep your medicine in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Do not store Atenolol Sandoz or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one and a half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking this medicine or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine that is left over.
What it looks like
Atenolol Sandoz 50 mg tablets - white, round, convex film-coated tablet scored on one side. Available in blisters of 30 tablets.
- Atenolol Sandoz 50mg - 50mg atenolol.
- maize starch
- sodium lauryl sulfate
- magnesium carbonate hydrate
- magnesium stearate
- lactose monohydrate
- titanium dioxide
- macrogol 4000.
Sandoz Pty Ltd
ABN 60 075 449 553
54 Waterloo Road
Macquarie Park NSW 2113
Tel: 1800 726 369
Novartis New Zealand Limited
PO Box 99102
Newmarket, Auckland 1149
Tel: 0800 354 335
This leaflet was revised in November 2018.
Australian Register Number
50 mg tablets: AUST R 101462 (blister)
Published by MIMS January 2019