General Description: Atenolol is a beta-blocker used in dogs and cats to slow and regulate the heart to make it work more efficiently. It is also used to lower blood pressure and treat various heart diseases. Atenolol is available in bottles of 25 mg tablets or capsules.
What is this drug?
Atenolol is a beta-blocker
Atenolol is given by mouth or topically
Reasons for prescribing:
Used to treat some heart diseases (ex. irregular heart beat)
Slows and regulates the heart rate and causes the heart to work more efficiently
Used to lower blood pressure
Used to treat an enlarged heart (cats)
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
Pets with heart block, bradycardia (slow heart rate) and some types of heart failure
Use with caution in diabetics or those with kidney disease
Use with caution in animals with some types of lung disease (ex. asthma)
Pets known to have had an allergic reaction to atenolol or any other beta-blocker
Atenolol may be given with or without food.
If using the transdermal gel, apply to the skin as directed by your veterinarian.
Give medication as directed by your veterinarian. This medication is usually given once or twice daily to dogs and once daily to cats.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed.
Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.
If this medication was specially compounded by a pharmacist for your pet, please be observant of the container’s expiry date.
Do not discontinue the drug abruptly or without directions from your veterinarian, as your pet’s condition may worsen.
This drug will likely need to be taken for the rest of your pet’s life. It will be very important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions regarding recheck appointments.
Call ahead for refills.
What if dose is missed?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
When will your pet need to be rechecked
What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
Risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medicines can be given together.
If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:
Store medication in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
Potential side effects:
Tiredness, difficulty exercising
Low blood pressure which would cause fainting, weakness or dizziness
Loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea
May constrict the bronchi, causing coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing
An improper dose can cause the heart rate to be too slow
Low blood sugar
If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian
Can this drug be given with other drugs?
Yes, but possible interactions may occur with albuterol (Ventolin), anesthetic agents, cimetidine, epinephrine, furosemide, hydralazine, insulin, metaproterenol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (ex. aspirin, carprofen), other heart medications (digoxin, diltiazem, verapamil), phenothiazines (tranquilizers), phenylpropanolamine, prazosin and terbutaline
If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet eats more than the prescribed amount.
What else should I know?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, atenolol should only be given to the dog/cat for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
It is likely that your veterinarian will want to monitor your pet’s condition periodically.
This is just a summary of information about atenolol. If you have any questions or concerns about atenolol or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.