Compare Norvasc vs. Atenolol

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

Norvasc (Amlodipine)

Prescription only

Tenormin (atenolol)

Prescription only
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.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 443 reviewsforNorvasc
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
Upsides
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
443 reviews so far
58%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Norvasc (Amlodipine)?

Leave a review
457 reviews so far
58%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?

Leave a review
Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Fatigue
    5%
  • Nausea
    3%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
See more detailed 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
Risks and risk factors
  • Low blood pressure
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Heart attack
    • History of heart problems
  • Special dosing requirements
    • Liver disease
  • Foot and leg swelling (edema)
    • History of blood vessel disease
    • History of heart failure
    • History of kidney disease
    • Obesity
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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