Atenolol (Tenormin) Nursing Considerations

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Generic Name


Trade Name



Hypertension, angina, prevention of MI


Blocks the stimulation of beta1 receptors in the SNS with minimal effect on beta2 receptors

Therapeutic Class

Antianginal, antihypertensive

Pharmacologic Class

Beta blocker

Nursing Considerations

• Contraindicated in CHF, pulmonary edema, cardiogenic shock, bradycardia,
heart block
• Monitor hemodynamic parameters (HR, BP)
• May cause bradycardia, CHF, pulmonary edema
• Masks symptoms associated with diabetes mellitus
• Advise to change positions slowly to prevent orthostatic hypotension
• Instruct patient on how to take blood pressure

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Hey guys, let’s talk about Atenolol also known as Tenormin. This is an oral or IV medication, and you can see an example of the oral form here in the picture. So remember that this therapeutic class is what the drug does in the body and the pharmacologic class is the actual chemical effect. So the therapeutic class of Atenolol is it is an antianginal an anti-hypertensive. The pharmacologic class is, it is a beta-blocker. So remember this class of medication ends in OL just like atenolol. So the mechanism of action of atenolol is it blocks the stimulation of beta-1 receptors, which are primarily present in the heart with minimal effect on beta-2 receptors, which are primarily present in the lungs. So an easy way to remember this is you have one heart and two lungs. So one for beta-1 receptors, two for beta-2 receptors. Atenolol is indicated for the treatment of hypertension, angina and the prevention of an MI or myocardial infarction. 

So some common side effects of Atenolol include bradycardia, dizziness, drowsiness, and hypotension. And typically these are related to the dosage of Atenolol. Okay? Okay, guys, let’s look at some nursing considerations for the beta-blocker, Atenolol. Monitor your patient’s heart rate and blood pressure. Atenolol can lead to pulmonary edema and CHF, or congestive heart failure. It’s contraindicated in patients with heart failure, pulmonary edema, cardiogenic shock, bradycardia, and heart block. Atenolol has a known interaction with calcium channel blockers verapamil and diltiazem them as they can together. Cause heart block. Remember to teach your patient to change position slowly on this medication to prevent orthostatic hypotension. Atenolol can mask diabetic symptoms in patients. And finally teach your patient how to take their blood pressure, whether it’s at home or even at the pharmacy. And as a surgical nurse, we are always wanting to know if the patient is on a beta-blocker and when they last took the medication, as it is important to know while under anesthesia. So keep this in mind in case you ever work in surgery. That’s it for atenolol or Tenormin. Now go out and be your best self today. And as always happy nursing.

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