||This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2010)|
|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
|Licence data||US FDA:|
|Pregnancy cat.||C (AU) D (US)|
|Legal status||℞ Prescription only|
|Routes||Oral or IV|
Lactic (In lactiferous females)
|Mol. mass||266.336 g/mol|
|(what is this?)|
Atenolol is a selective β1 receptor antagonist, a drug belonging to the group of beta blockers (sometimes written β-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 β-blockers in the United Kingdom and was once the first-line treatment for hypertension. The role for β-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.