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.
Treats migraine headaches. Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is an excellent choice for acute migraine relief, but you might need another medication to prevent headaches.
How it works
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.
Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.
› 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.
› Comes in several forms. Ask your doctor if you should use the pill, nasal spray, patch, or injection.
› A combination of forms can be used if symptoms do not improve.
› The nasal spray and injectable forms work very quickly.
› It's generally safe to use if you are pregnant.
› Comes in a generic form, so it can be pretty cheap.
Downsides and risks
› 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.
› The oral and nasal versions of Imitrex (Sumatriptan) have an unpleasant after-taste.
› Does not prevent migraine headaches; it only treats them once they start.
› Must wait 1 hour before using second injection.
› Can cause rebound (more) headaches if Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is used too often.
› Need to have your blood pressure checked often, especially if you're pregnant.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
› 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.
› Take it as soon as your headache starts.
› If you use the nasal spray, be sure to blow your nose before using it.
› If you use the patch, put it on a dry area free of scars, tattoos, or other cuts and scrapes. Be sure to press the button to activate it.
› If you use the injection, you can use a second injection if you still have a headache after an hour. If you have symptoms 2 hours after the injection, switch to the pill version.
› Imitrex (Sumatriptan) can make you drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
› Lie down in a dark room after taking Imitrex (Sumatriptan) to help ease the pain.