Compare Atenolol vs. Propranolol

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

Tenormin (atenolol)

Prescription only

Inderal (Propranolol)

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.

4.9/ 7 average rating with 457 reviewsforAtenolol
Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate.

Inderal (Propranolol) is good for treating many heart problems and other problems in the body, but it has more side effects than other beta blockers. You can't miss doses.

5.4/ 7 average rating with 61 reviewsforPropranolol
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.
  • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
  • A first-choice treatment for heart failure, heart attack, heart valve disorders, and abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Also treats and prevents many non-heart problems, such as tremors, anxiety, migraines, and liver disease symptoms.
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.
  • 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.
  • Has more side effects than some beta blockers because it crosses into the brain and central nervous system.
  • 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.
  • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Propranolol 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
  • Liquid
Price
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$4
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$9.99
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Reviews
457 
58%
think this treatment is worth it
48%
think this treatment works well
16%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?

Leave a review
61 
66%
think this treatment is worth it
62%
think this treatment works well
15%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Inderal (Propranolol)?

Leave a review
Side effects
10possible 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%
See more detailed side effects
3possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Fatigue
    5%
  • Constipation
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Heart attack or increased chest pain

    Suddenly stopping Tenormin (atenolol)

  • Slowing heart rate

    Taking calcium channel blockers

  • Increased risks during surgery

    Major surgery requiring anesthesia

  • Masked symptoms of low blood sugar

    Diabetes

  • Increased risk of rebound high blood pressure

    Taking clonidine

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Increased chest pain or risk of heart attack

    Suddenly stopping Inderal (Propranolol)

  • Increased risks during surgery

    Major surgery requiring anesthesia

  • Masked symptoms of low blood sugar

    Diabetes

  • Low blood pressure

    Concurrent use of non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, digoxin or clonidine

See more detailed risks and warnings