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High Blood Pressure

Being weaned off atenolol

08/14/2006

Question:

I need to stop taking atenolol because I don`t have the money to pay for it anymore. I have asked my doctor to wean me off it but the doctor just gives me the ridiculous answer that, "You just have to find the money" -- which I am unable to do. I also want to stop taking atenolol because I`ve been reading articles that say it really is a waste of time to take it. Obviously, I do not have the money to consult another doctor, or I would. Please tell me how to wean myself off atenolol.

Answer:

High blood pressure should not be left untreated, because it causes vascular disease and increases your risk of heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

If you take atenolol for high blood pressure, it would indeed be harmful to go off the drug without taking anything else.  It doesn't matter whether you stop it at once or whether you wean yourself off gradually.

There are less expensive alternatives to atenolol.  You may ask your doctor if you could take a diuretic (like hydrochlorothiazide or chlothalidone) instead.  Diuretics are as effective as atenolol and cost a lot less.

For more information:

Go to the High Blood Pressure health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati