Hialeah Gardens, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/07/2014 -- Atenolol is a heart medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as beta-blockers. It alters how the heart responds to signals from the nervous system in a way that slows it down and lowers blood pressure. The heart receives more blood and oxygen and can fill up with blood that it pumps out with each beat. Even though it is not approved for use in cats and dogs, it is used to treat high blood pressure, arrhythmias and coronary artery disease in them. Cats with enlarged hearts and dogs with a narrow valve have a difficult time pumping blood out to the body and will be prescribed atenolol. Cats that have hyperthyroidism often have heart disease that is hidden and this drug is often prescribed before treatment as a precaution.
The side effects of atenolol are lethargy, low blood sugar and dangerously low blood pressure. More serious side effects that require a call to the vet are diarrhea, vomiting, or dizziness. An allergic reaction to atenolol can occur. The drugs epinephrine, phenylpropanolamine, metaproterenol and terbutaline lower the effectiveness of atenolol. Never just stop giving the medication unless directed by a veterinarian because that can make the condition being treated worse.
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