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What should I do if I run out of blood pressure medication and it is no longer available?

Cardiology Health & Fitness Medication & Prescriptions

I am a 59 year old male. I have been taking Atenolol for over a year now and my blood pressure has stabilised to 127/60. I have just been informed that there will be no more stock of Atenolol available. I believe it is not a good idea just to stop taking it suddenly. What should I do?

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (2)

Atenolol belongs to a group of medication called Betablocker.

Besides atenolol, there are also other medications belonging to this group. Such as: bisoprolol,
metoprolol, nadolol, propranolol etc.
There is also eye drop preparation that contains betablocker such as timolol ophthalmic solution.

Beta-blockers are mainly used to treat the following conditions:

  • Angina, or chest pain
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive thyroid activity
  • Atrial fibrillation (a form of irregular heartbeat)
  • Myocardial infarction, or heart attack
  • Glaucoma

But beta blockers have their own downsides. It may cause (side effects) some problems for some people, in variable degrees. Such as:

  • cold feet and hands
  • fatigue
  • depression
  • slow heartbeat
  • weight gain
  • erectile dysfunction

As I see it, you are taking atenolol (a betablocker) for your high blood pressure. You can either asks your doctor to change to another type of betablocker (as given above), or even change to other group of anti-hypertensive agents such as Ace inhibitor, Angiotensin receptor blocker, calcium blocker or even diuretic.

Your family doctor is the best person who can advise you accordingly.

Dr Chee TS

197 views 19 Mar 2019

Hello,

No need to worry. There are alternative medications that can be used to
control your blood pressure.

Atenolol is just one of the many antihypertensive drugs.

Best Wishes

Dr Wong Siong Sung

139 views 3 Apr 2019
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