Compare Atenolol vs. Bisoprolol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Tenormin
(Atenolol)

Zebeta
(Bisoprolol)

Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Tenormin (Atenolol) is good for controlling chest pain and treating heart failure and heart attack with fewer side effects than other beta blockers. You have to take it on an empty stomach, and you can't miss doses.Lowers blood pressure. Zebeta (Bisoprolol) is usually given to people who have taken other blood pressure meds unsuccessfully or have recently had significant heart problems.
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Reviews & ratings
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4.896860986547085Atenolol
Reviews for Tenormin (Atenolol)
57%
of people say Tenormin (Atenolol) is worth it
48%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Side effects
AtenololBisoprolol
  • Tiredness 13%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Cold extremities 7%
  • Low mood disorder 3%
  • Vivid dreams 2%
  • Shortness of breath 2%
  • Leg pain 2%
  • Nausea 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Fatigue 1%
More Atenolol side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Bisoprolol side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Bisoprolol »
How it works
AtenololBisoprolol
Tenormin (Atenolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart. It lowers blood pressure by slowing down the heart and making it less work to pump.Zebeta (Bisoprolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart. It lowers blood pressure by slowing down the heart and making it work less to pump.
Type of medication
AtenololBisoprolol
Antihypertensive
Beta blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Beta blocker
Prescription only
Available as
AtenololBisoprolol
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
AtenololBisoprolol
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtenololBisoprolol
  • Suddenly stopping Tenormin (Atenolol)
    • Taking calcium channel blockers
    • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
    • Diabetes
      • Taking clonidine
      Detailed Tenormin (Atenolol) risks & warnings »
      • Diabetes
        • Coronary artery disease
        • Heart failure
        • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
        Detailed Zebeta (Bisoprolol) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        AtenololBisoprolol
        DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        See the FDA package insert
        CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

        Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        AtenololBisoprolol
        • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
        • A first-choice treatment for heart failure and heart attack.
        • At lower doses, Atenolol has fewer side effects than most beta blockers because it targets the heart and doesn't cross into the brain and central nervous system.
        • Good for protecting the heart and lowering blood pressure if you've had a heart attack.
        • Available in a generic version.
        • Also comes in combination with other medications to lower blood pressure.
        Downsides and risks
        AtenololBisoprolol
        • You have to take Atenolol on an empty stomach.
        • Taking a beta blocker might make you feel more tired or out of breath during exercise or normal daily routines. This gets better for most people, but for some might not go away.
        • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure according to the latest guidelines, except if you have heart failure or heart disease. As a second choice, your doctor might add it to medicines you're already taking if your blood pressure is still too high.
        • You can't miss doses. Stopping Atenolol suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
        • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
        • This isn't a first choice medication to lower blood pressure.
        • You can't stop taking it suddenly, or else you're more likely to have a heart attack or other problems with your heart.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        AtenololBisoprolol
        • Take it on an empty stomach.
        • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
        • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
        • Can cause fatigue and insomnia.
        • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar. Be careful if you're diabetic.
        • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
        • Zebeta (Bisoprolol) can make you feel dizzy the first few days you take it, so be careful driving and quickly standing up until you know how your body reacts to it.
        • Don't stop taking it suddenly without talking to your doctor.
        • If you have diabetes, Zebeta (Bisoprolol) can make it difficult to tell if your blood sugar is low.
        • Can cause headache, fatigue, and make you more likely to get colds or the flu.
        Learn more
        More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about BisoprololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert