Compare Norvasc vs. Atenolol

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

Norvasc
(Amlodipine)

Tenormin
(Atenolol)

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.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.09Norvasc
Reviews for Norvasc (Amlodipine)
58%
of people (All ages) say Norvasc (Amlodipine) is worth it
50%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
443 reviews
Have you used Norvasc (Amlodipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tenormin (Atenolol)
58%
Same vs. Norvasc (Amlodipine)
48%
-2% worse vs. Norvasc (Amlodipine)
16%
-1% worse vs. Norvasc (Amlodipine)
457 reviews
Have you used Tenormin (Atenolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NorvascAtenolol
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
How it works
NorvascAtenolol
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.Tenormin (Atenolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart by slowing down the heart and making the heart pump better.
Type of medication
NorvascAtenolol
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
NorvascAtenolol
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
NorvascAtenolol
Risk factors for serious side effects
NorvascAtenolol
  • Age 65 years or older
  • History of heart problems
  • Liver disease
  • History of blood vessel disease
  • History of heart failure
  • History of kidney disease
  • Obesity
Detailed Norvasc (Amlodipine) risks & warnings »
  • Suddenly stopping Tenormin (Atenolol)
    • Taking calcium channel blockers
    • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
    • Diabetes
      • Taking clonidine
      Detailed Tenormin (Atenolol) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy

      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.

      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.

      Interactions
      NorvascAtenolol
      • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
      No interactions related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      NorvascAtenolol
      • Might not be a good choice if you have liver disease.
      • 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.
      No kidneys and liver related info.
      Pain
      NorvascAtenolol
      • 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.
      No pain related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      NorvascAtenolol
      • 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 and risks
      NorvascAtenolol
      • 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.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      NorvascAtenolol
      • 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.
      • 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.
      Learn more
      More about NorvascSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Norvasc (Amlodipine)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Tenormin (Atenolol)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it