Compare Atenolol vs. Catapres

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

Tenormin (atenolol)

Prescription only

Catapres (Clonidine)

Prescription only
Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate.

Tenormin (atenolol) is good for controlling chest pain and treating a heart attack. It has fewer side effects than other beta blockers. You need to take it on an empty stomach and you can't skip doses.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 457 reviewsforAtenolol
Lowers blood pressure.

Catapres (Clonidine) is a good addition if you need more than one medicine to control your blood pressure, but it has a lot of side effects. You can't miss doses.

3.2/ 5 average rating with 78 reviewsforCatapres
Upsides
  • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
  • A first-choice treatment for heart attack recovery.
  • At lower doses, Tenormin (atenolol) has fewer side effects than other beta blockers because it targets the heart and not other parts of the body.
  • Can be added to other blood pressure-lowering medicines if you need additional blood pressure control.
  • Available in a weekly patch for people that aren't good at taking medicine by mouth.
  • Works in the brain, so it can help treat some nervous system and psychiatric conditions.
  • Under the brand name Kapvay, it's used to treat ADHD in children and teenagers.
Downsides
  • You need to take Tenormin (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 it might not go away for others.
  • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure unless you have heart disease. However, your doctor could add it to other medicines you're already if your blood pressure is still too high.
  • You can't miss or skip doses. If you stop Tenormin (atenolol) suddenly, it can cause your blood pressure to go up really quickly, raising your risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Tenormin (atenolol) can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
  • Has a lot of side effects compared to other blood pressure-lowering medicine because it works in the brain.
  • The pill form can make some people sleepy, dizzy, and have dry mouth.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Clonidine suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Patch
Price
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Reviews
457 reviews so far
58%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?

Leave a review
78 reviews so far
42%
saidit'sworth it
33%
saiditworked well
35%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Catapres (Clonidine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
17possible side effects
  • Tiredness
    26%
  • Dizziness
    13%
  • Cold arms and legs
    12%
  • Depression
    12%
  • Fatigue
    6%
  • Shortness of breath
    6%
  • Low blood pressure on movement changes
    4%
  • Slower heartbeat
    3%
  • Leg Pain
    3%
  • Light-headedness
    3%
  • Decreased energy
    3%
  • Vivid dreams
    3%
  • Diarrhea
    3%
  • Nausea
    3%
  • Wheeziness
    3%
  • Feeling off balance
    2%
  • Drowsiness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
17possible side effects
  • Erythema / pruritis
    26%
  • Dry mouth
    25%
  • Drowsiness
    12%
  • Localized vesiculation
    7%
  • Fatigue
    6%
  • Headache
    5%
  • Allergic contact sensitization
    5%
  • Hyperpigmentation
    5%
  • Lethargy
    3%
  • Sedation
    3%
  • Edema
    3%
  • Excoriation
    3%
  • Burning
    3%
  • Insomnia
    2%
  • Dizziness
    2%
  • Impotence/sexual dysfunction
    2%
  • Dry throat
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Heart attack or increased chest pain
    • Suddenly stopping Tenormin (atenolol)
  • Heart failure
  • Slowing heart rate
    • Taking calcium channel blockers
  • Increased risks during surgery
    • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
  • Masked symptoms of low blood sugar
    • Diabetes
  • Masked symptoms of overactive thyroid
  • Increased risk of rebound high blood pressure
    • Taking clonidine
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Withdrawal
    • Sudden discontinuation of medicine
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Low heart rate (bradycardia)
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Using other medicine(s) that slows the heart
See more detailed risks and warnings