Compare Atenolol vs. Bisoprolol

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

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Tenormin (atenolol)

Prescription only

Zebeta (Bisoprolol)

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.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 457 reviewsforAtenolol
Lowers blood pressure.

Zebeta (Bisoprolol) is usually given to people who have taken other blood pressure meds unsuccessfully or have recently had significant heart problems.

4.0/ 5 average rating with 18 reviewsforBisoprolol
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.
  • Good for protecting the heart and lowering blood pressure if you've had a heart attack.
  • Available in a generic version.
  • Also comes in combination with other medications to lower blood pressure.
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.
  • This isn't a first choice medication to lower blood pressure.
  • You can't stop taking it suddenly, or else you're more likely to have a heart attack or other problems with your heart.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
457 reviews so far
58%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?

Leave a review
18 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
61%
saiditworked well
28%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zebeta (Bisoprolol)?

Leave a review
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
The Zebeta (Bisoprolol) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Masked symptoms of low blood sugar
    • Diabetes
  • Masked symptoms of overactive thyroid
  • Heart attack
    • Coronary artery disease
  • Increased symptoms of heart failure
    • Heart failure
  • Increased risks during surgery
    • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
See more detailed risks and warnings