Compare Atenolol vs. Norvasc

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

Tenormin
(atenolol)

Norvasc
(amlodipine)

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.Lowers blood pressure. Norvasc (Amlodipine) works well to lower blood pressure and prevent chest pain. You can't miss doses, and you might get persistent swelling.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.92Atenolol
Reviews for Atenolol
58%
of people (All ages) say Atenolol is worth it
48%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
457 reviews
Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Norvasc
58%
Same vs. Atenolol
50%
-2% worse vs. Atenolol
15%
-1% worse vs. Atenolol
443 reviews
Have you used Norvasc (amlodipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtenololNorvasc
  • Tiredness 13%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Low mood disorder 3%
  • Cold arms and legs 7%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Shortness of breath 2%
  • Light-headedness 3%
  • Leg pain 2%
  • Decreased energy 3%
More Atenolol side effects »
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 2%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation 5%
  • Flushing 3%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Drowsiness 2%
More Norvasc side effects »
How it works
AtenololNorvasc
Tenormin (atenolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart by slowing down the heart and making the heart pump better.Norvasc (Amlodipine) is a calcium channel blocker. It lowers blood pressure by slowing your heart rate and relaxing your blood vessels. Your heart gets more oxygen and doesn't have to work as hard to pump, which can relieve chest pain.
Type of medication
AtenololNorvasc
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AtenololNorvasc
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
AtenololNorvasc
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtenololNorvasc
  • Suddenly stopping Tenormin (atenolol)
  • Taking calcium channel blockers
  • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
  • Diabetes
  • Taking clonidine
Detailed Tenormin (atenolol) risks & warnings »
  • Age 65 years or older
  • History of heart problems
  • Liver disease
  • History of blood vessel disease
  • History of heart failure
Detailed Norvasc (amlodipine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Interactions
AtenololNorvasc
No interactions related info.
  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
Kidneys and liver
AtenololNorvasc
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Your body uses your liver to break down Norvasc (Amlodipine) and remove it from your blood. If you have liver disease you may not be able to remove Norvasc (Amlodipine) as quickly from your blood as someone with a healthy liver. You should increase the dose of Norvasc (Amlodipine) slowly and watch closely for how it is working in your body. Increasing the dose slowly will lower your chances of having side effects.
  • Might not be a good choice if you have liver disease.
Pain
AtenololNorvasc
No pain related info.
  • Worsening heart pain or increased risk of heart attack is possible when you first start taking Norvasc (Amlodipine). This can also happen after you increase the dose of Norvasc (Amlodipine). Notify your doctor immediately if you experience any heart pain, radiating jaw pain, crushing chest pain, or persistent racing heartbeat.
Upsides and benefits
AtenololNorvasc
  • 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.
  • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
  • Calcium channel blockers work especially well for African Americans to lower blood pressure.
  • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Prevents heart-related chest pain (angina) if you take it regularly.
  • Each dose lasts longer than other calcium channel blockers, which keeps blood pressure consistent without big ups and downs.
  • Particularly good at lowering systolic blood pressure (the top number), so it's a good option for older people who can commonly get high blood pressure only in the top number.
Downsides and risks
AtenololNorvasc
  • 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.
  • Calcium channel blockers can cause swelling in your limbs. If this happens for you, it probably won't get better over time, so talk to your doctor about alternatives if it bothers you.
  • Women are more likely to have side effects (especially swelling) from Amlodipine than men.
  • Some people might experience flushing with this medication.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Amlodipine suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • If you have severe heart disease, using Amlodipine might increase your risk of chest pain or heart attack during the time right after starting the medication or raising the dosage.
  • Might not be a good choice if you have liver disease.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AtenololNorvasc
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Raises good cholesterol.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice dark urine or yellowing in your eyes or skin.
  • 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.
  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
  • Can cause ankle or foot swelling.
  • Can cause gum overgrowth. Ask your dentist to check for this side effect.
Learn more
More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NorvascSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Norvasc (amlodipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it