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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Tenormin

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 06/3/2000]
Question: Is it possible for Tenormin to cause side effects such as joint pain,muscular pain, sore/cold back. Could tenormin cause bad blood curculation.
Thank you.

Answer: Not usually. Tenormin can decrease peripheral circulation in some, but not a common problem and would be usually in the feet, not the back.

[posted 05/4/2000]
Question: I'm a 33 yr.old female and I've been on Tenormin 50mg. for a little over a month. I've had 3 sore throats and a slight cold twice since then. Is there any connection? p.s. I had been on 25mg. I started getting migraines so my M.D. switched me to Inderal 80mg. but my cardiac "episodes" began recurring with more severity and frequency, so my cardiologist put me on the Tenormin 50mg. Other than the fact that I get very tired and fatigued, the "episodes" have become manageable again.

Answer: I doubt that there is a connection.

[posted 02/27/2000]
Question: I have been treated for MVPS for about 6 1/2 years - I take 25 mg. of Tenormin in the late evening. Since it started, the PVC's would almost disappear for months, then reappear. Lately they have intensified - the number of months PVC-free are lessening (I'm now 55).

My cardiologist has recently increased the Tenormin to 25 mg. twice per day. I have had many EKG's, echocardiograms (there is no actual mitral valve regurgitation), radio isotope stress test, Holter monitor, event monitor, blood tests. t ste is no blockage.

My question - finally! Now, even with the increased dosage of the beta blocker, I get the PVC's, especially when lying down to sleep - for the night or just to take a nap. Why is this starting to happen (sleep is not possible) and what can be done about it?

Thank you for your help.

Answer: I'd try a drug like verapamil or see an electrophysiologist. Also, ensure you are getting sufficient sleep and no caffeine, chocolate, tea or cold medications.

[posted 01/22/2000]
Question: taking tenormin 25mg daily for blood pressure is normal with drug therapy. After angioplasty I began lipitor 10mg daily which resulted in lowering all the bad cholesterol but i suffered hair loss. my therapy was changed to niaspan 1000mg HS and cholesterol increased from 150 to 240. Baycol .4mg HS was added, is this combination recommended? should niaspan be d/c ? Diet has remained the same I am a very lo-fat dedicated, heart patient

Answer: Beta blockers are notorious for causing hair loss. So, I suspect the hair loss is due to the tenormin, not the lipitor. You can combine HmgCoA Reductase drugs like Baycol(Lipitor also) with niacin, but you have to watch the liver enzymes a little more closely since there may be an additive liver toxicity effect. But, Baycol at .4 is a low dose and could be increased by itself. Also, the lipitor is probably not what is causing the hair loss.

[posted 10/18/1999]
Question: I have SVT and have taken Tenormin for many years. I wanted to try and save some money, so I switched to Atenolol.

I have only been on it for about a week, but seem to notice the SVT episodes more frequently now. I have my cardiologist if I would notice any difference and he said no.

I asked my pharmacists and she said she has had a few people complain that they can feel the difference. I would like to continue saving the extra money, and I am hoping that I will adjust to the Atenolol.

Your suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

Answer: Should be the same, you could increase the dosage slightly and see what effect there is.

Should I Blame Tenormin for the Ringing in My Ears
Question: I have been on tenormin 25mg for 15 years. This dosage has controlled my high blood pressure quite well. I have never had any side affects from taking this medication. I am concerned though that I may be developing a side affect. Recently, over the past 6 months I have had a ringing in my left ear. I have done some reading on the internet which states that some hypertension medication may cause tinitus. I have been to my doctor and an ear specialist but have been told to "Live with the Problem". Could the tenormin be causing this ringing in my ear ?

Answer: Not the tenormin or it would be both ears and wouldn't be expected after this amount of time on the drug.

Will Changing to Tenormin Alleviate Lopressor Side Effects
Question: I am a 53 yr old white male in pretty good health. I had a triple bypass last October and since then I have been taking Lopressor daily along with one baby aspirin. I take the former twice a day (breaking the tablet into 2 pieces). I get some depression and a fair amount of fatigue from the drug. I have read about Tenormin. Is it possible my doctor might switch me over to try the Tenormin to reduce these side effects?

Answer: Probably the same side effects unless your dosage can be lowered. Lopressor and Atenolol are very similar drugs. What is your dosage of Lopressor?

Tenormin and Mitral Valve Prolapse
Question: I am a 27 year old female who has been taking tenormin for 11 years. It has decreased my desire for sex. What do you recommend I take for my prolapse mitro valve/with an erratic heart beat?

Answer: There are two possibilities. First how symptomatic was the tachycardia/palpitations? If you weren't passing out and it is only for symptom relief you can stop the pill. Secondly, if you use different beta blockers, particularly short acting non-selective like regular propanolol, it might help. Take smaller doses less frequently and skip some days completely. On those days your sexual drive should improve. Then you can "schedule" your sex. Lastly, most patients have more trouble in the spring and fall. You might be able to taper/stop the drug during the winter/summer. Other drugs won't work very well with MVP, but you could try verapamil.

Question: What are the uses of the drug Tenormin and what are some side effects?

Answer: Tenormin(atenolol) is a selective beta-blocker. Itís usually used for hypertension and angina. But, beta blockers are also used for migraine prevention, anxiety disorders, tremors, stage fright, cardiac arrhythmias and thyroid disorders. They have a wide range of uses, as you can see. Common side effects are fatigue, slow pulse, nausea and sleep disturbances.

Tenormin and sleep
Question: I am 38 year old female. I have been taking tenormin for sixteen years. There have been virtually no side effects. However, I have a sleep disorder and was curious if the medication could possibly be related?

Answer: All the beta blockers potentially affect sleep. Usually described as nightmares. Some patients cannot take beta blockers as a consequence, and most have a minor problem. The only way to know is to stop it (gradually) for 2 weeks or so and see if there is a difference. It certainly could be contributing.

Question: I have been taking Tenormin for a period of ten years. Recently, I have had severe bouts of numbness and tingling in my feet. This comes on about six to eight hours after I take the Tenormin (25mg) and goes away after another six or eight hours. The same reoccurs daily and is quite a problem. My Physician is hesitant to change to another medicine since the Tenormin seems to be doing the job. However, the apparent Neuropathy seems to be getting worse and almost unbearable. Can we be right in assuming the problem is caused by the Tenormin?

Answer: I know of no reason why a beta blocker should cause a peripheral neuropathy. Has your physician checked you for diabetes, B12 deficiency, or thyroid problems? These all can cause peripheral neuropathy and are easily treated. Nerve conductions should also be performed with a neurologist to follow if you can't find the answer. Itís not the tenormin.

Question: My friend is on tenormin, and went off to a conference forgetting his medication. He decided not to bother to do anything about it for the four days he is away, because he "feels fine". (this is only day 2 without the tenormin). He is 39 years old. Can this be dangerous?

Answer: Beta Blockers are common drugs used to treat many different problems. They are very effective in treating hypertension, angina, rapid heart beats, preventing migraine headaches, and have been used to treat stage fright and occasionally anxiety. They also have similar side effects. Beta Blockers come as selective and non-selective. The non-selective beta blockers can cause some bronchospasm and asthma. The selective blockers can also, but much less frequently. Tenormin is a selective beta blocker. Common side effects to both selective and non-selective beta blockers are fatigue, slow heart rate, nausea, nightmares and difficulty sleeping, impairment of insulin release, depression, and occasional skin rash. These drugs should never be stopped abruptly and require a tapering if discontinued. However, it is less of a problem if one is younger and not taking the medication for angina pectoris.

High Blood Pressure
Question: I have high blood pressure and have been prescribed 100mg Tenormin daily. I was on Lotensin and Tenormin but they took the Lotensin away last month and increased the Tenormin from 75mg/day to 100mg/day. My question is, I experience memory loss of the short term type. I can remeber last year very good, but last night not so good. Also I have lost the desire for sex, not just physical but mentally. Is there another hypertension drug without these severe effects. I am a 47 year old white male, I have had surgery to repair and popiteal aneurysm in my left leg and am now diagnosed with lymphadema. ps I have been married for 26 years to the same woman, she understands that sex maybe won't come back.

Answer: Blood pressure pills are notorious for decreasing both sexual drive and sexual performance. Although men get more publicity, there is lots of research showing that women have nearly identical problems. The best advice is to substitute different blood pressure pills until your blood pressure is controlled with no effect on your sexual performance. The class of drugs that generally causes fewest side effects are the ACE(angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors-like Lotensin. Calcium channel blockers also generally have less depression of sexual performance. I'd discuss this very frankly with my physician-generally patients and doctors avoid this issue and focus only on the blood pressure numbers.

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