Atenolol vs Bystolic – Uses, Side Effects, Differences


It is a beta-adrenergic blocking agent which works by blocking the effects of adrenergic chemicals – epinephrine or adrenaline, that are released by nerves of the sympathetic nervous system.

This drug is commonly used in combination with other hypertension drugs, like – diuretics, especially when the use of one medication by itself is not sufficient to control blood pressure.

It was first approved by the FDA in 1976 and it is sold under the brand name Tenormin.


It is typically used for relieving chest pain caused by a reduced blood flow to the heart and the lowering of high blood pressure, an asymptomatic condition of persistently elevated blood pressure that affects more than 76 million people in the United States and 1.14 billion people worldwide (with about 7.5 million deaths).

This drug is also used after a heart attack to lower the chance of death. Also, lowering high blood pressure may reduce kidney problems.


For high blood pressure, the initial dose is 25-50 mg per day which may be increased to 100 mg per day if the desired response is not achieved in 7 to 14 days.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • tired feeling;
  • dizziness;
  • depression;
  • lightheadedness;
  • anxiety;
  • nausea;
  • mild shortness of breath;
  • nervousness;
  • sleep problems;
  • problems having an orgasm;
  • erectile dysfunction;
  • decreased sex drive;
  • slow heart rate.

Rare side effects may include:

  • slow heartbeat;
  • swelling in the arms or legs;
  • unexplained weight gain;
  • shortness of breath;
  • feeling cold;
  • passing out.

Some people may experience an allergic reaction, with symptoms including:

  • swelling of the mouth, tongue, face, lips, or throat;
  • peeling skin;
  • unusual hoarseness;
  • trouble breathing;
  • tightness in the chest;
  • rash.

To make sure that this drug is safe for you, tell your healthcare professional if you have:

  • coronary artery disease (occurs when the arteries which supply blood to the heart muscle become narrowed and hardened);
  • thyroid problems, especially hyperthyroidism;
  • congestive heart failure;
  • pheochromocytoma (too much epinephrine and norepinephrine);
  • bronchitis, asthma, emphysema or other lung problems;
  • an allergic reaction to any type of medication;
  • kidney problems;
  • very slow heartbeats;
  • liver problems;
  • been scheduled for surgery;
  • taken medicine to lower high blood sugar;
  • are breastfeeding since there are no conclusive clinical studies if this drug passes into your breast milk;
  • are pregnant since it is not known precisely if this drug is safe for an unborn baby;
  • peripheral vascular disease (problems with blood flow in the legs and feet);
  • AV block (a type of heart block in which the conduction between the ventricles and atria of the heart is impaired).

If your healthcare specialist decides you should no longer use this medicine, he may direct you to slowly decrease the dose over 7 to 14 days because some individuals who have suddenly stopped taking beta-adrenergic blocking agents have experienced a heart attack, chest pain, and irregular heartbeat.


Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages while you are taking this drug since they could increase dizziness and drowsiness.


It is the brand name for the generic drug nebivolol, which belongs to a group of drugs called beta-blockers. It works by affecting the response to nerve impulses in some parts of the human body. As a result, the heart beats slower which leads to a lower blood pressure.

This drug is produced by Mylan Bertek Pharmaceuticals (a global healthcare company with headquarters in Sugar Land, Texas, United States) and was first approved by the FDA in 2007.


It is used to treat hypertension. Lowering the blood pressure will considerably help you to reduce the chance of having a heart attack or stroke.


The usual recommended dose for adults is 5 mg which is taken once a day. It is best taken at about the same time each day. If a higher dose is required, your healthcare professional may increase the dose, up to a maximum of 20 mg taken once per day (not to exceed 40 mg per day).

Side Effects And Precautions Of Nebivolol 

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness;
  • headaches;
  • slow heartbeat;
  • tiredness;
  • sleep problems;
  • fatigue;
  • shortness of breath;
  • nausea;
  • fluid retention in the legs;
  • rash;
  • a cold feeling in the hands and feet;
  • diarrhea;
  • stomach pain.

Rare side effects may include:

  • feeling dizzy;
  • chest discomfort;
  • tightness in the chest;
  • wheezing;
  • sudden weight gain.

To make sure you can safely take this beta-adrenergic blocking agent, tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart failure;
  • slow heart rate;
  • severe liver disease;
  • sick sinus syndrome;
  • asthma, emphysema, bronchitis;
  • kidney or liver disease;
  • if you have recently had a heart attack;
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus;
  • pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland);
  • Raynaud’s syndrome (a condition in which spasm of arteries causes reduced blood flow);
  • a history of allergies;
  • a thyroid disorder.

Atenolol vs Bystolic – Which Is Better For High Blood Pressure?

Atenolol is a type of drug called a beta-blocker that reduces the pressure at which blood is pumped out of the heart and around the body. Also, this medicine is used in combination with other drugs in order to treat angina and hypertension.

Bystolic is the brand name of a drug called Nebivolol which also belongs to the class of medications called selective beta-blockers. It can be used alone or with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or water pills to treat mild to moderate hypertension.

According to studies, nebivolol is the better choice whenever beta-adrenergic blocking agents have to be used in lowering high blood pressure.

The problem is that both drugs have plenty of side effects and they don’t treat hypertension.

6 Natural Remedies For Hypertension

#1 Omega-3 Rich Foods

Consumption of healthy foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like chia seeds, flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, broccoli, and red cabbage, will reduce inflammation levels in the body. Also, reduce your intake of vegetable oils, animal products, and trans-fats.

#2 Garlic

It can lower blood pressure because of its high content of allicin, a plant compound that has anti-hypertension, anti-blood coagulation, anti-cancer, and anti-microbial properties.

#3 Cinnamon

According to a study issued in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming this spice daily may lower high blood pressure, particularly in individuals with diabetes mellitus.

#4 Hibiscus

Drinking hibiscus tea has been linked with reduced diastolic and systolic blood pressure.

#5 Exercise

Moderate physical exercise helps make the heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood. Aim for at least 90 minutes of walking per day.

#6 Foods Rich In Potassium

Eating high-potassium foods helps counteract the effects of sodium and guards against high blood pressure. Foods rich in potassium include – beet greens, spinach, pistachios, plums, red kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, oats, cauliflower, and broccoli.

Images credit – Shutterstock & Getty

READ THIS NEXT: Roxicodone vs Oxycodone


Leave a Comment