Compare Atenolol vs. Propranolol

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

Tenormin
(atenolol)

Inderal
(propranolol)

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 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.
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Prices and coupon for 30 (25mg) tablets of atenolol
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Prices and coupon for 60 (20mg) tablets of propranolol
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.92Atenolol
Reviews for Tenormin (atenolol)
58%
of people (All ages) say Tenormin (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 Inderal (propranolol)
66%
+8% better vs. Tenormin (atenolol)
62%
+14% better vs. Tenormin (atenolol)
15%
+1% better vs. Tenormin (atenolol)
Have you used Inderal (propranolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtenololPropranolol
  • 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 »
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Constipation 3%
More Propranolol side effects »
How it works
AtenololPropranolol
Tenormin (atenolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart by slowing down the heart and making the heart pump better.Inderal (Propranolol) is an alpha and beta blocker. It lowers blood pressure by slowing heart rate, relaxing blood vessels, and lowering the body's fight-or-flight response.
Type of medication
AtenololPropranolol
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
AtenololPropranolol
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
Used for
AtenololPropranolol
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtenololPropranolol
  • Suddenly stopping Tenormin (atenolol)
    • Taking calcium channel blockers
    • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
    • Diabetes
      • Taking clonidine
      Detailed Tenormin (atenolol) risks & warnings »
      • Suddenly stopping Inderal (Propranolol)
        • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
        • Diabetes
          • Concurrent use of non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, digoxin or clonidine
            Detailed Inderal (propranolol) 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.

            Upsides and benefits
            AtenololPropranolol
            • 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 and risks
            AtenololPropranolol
            • 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.
            Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
            AtenololPropranolol
            • 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.
            • Can cause insomnia and fatigue.
            • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar. Be careful if you're diabetic.
            • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
            Learn more
            More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
            Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
            Worth itNot sureNot worth it
            More about PropranololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
            Have you used Inderal (propranolol)?
            Worth itNot sureNot worth it