Atenolol and Xanax: Can you use these two together? (3+ disturbing side effects) 

By

Author bio

Page last updated: 23/09/2022

In this blog post, we are going to talk about the concomitant use of Atenolol and Xanax. Both of these meds are prescription medications and should not be taken without your doctor’s prescription. 

This blog will cover when it is suitable to take these two meds together and how you can ensure the proper use to maximise the beneficial effects and minimise the side effects. 

Can you use Atenolol and Xanax together? 

Yes, you can use Atenolol and Xanax together, but only if prescribed by your healthcare provider. Both of these medications are associated with some terrible side effects and they should never be used unless it is absolutely necessary to take these two together. 

What are the risks of taking Atenolol and Xanax together? 

As stated earlier, Atenolol and Xanax can cause a number of side effects when they are used together. Some of them include:

  • Serious hypotension 
  • Dizziness 
  • Low pulse rate 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Blackouts 

These side effects can vary from person to person. Some people are sensitive to medications and can be affected much more than the others. Several surveys have revealed that some people experienced dangerously low blood pressure and heart rate. 

When your heart rate drops, the heart starts to beat a lot faster to make up for the oxygen that your body needs. This can make you breathless. If you already have some underlying health condition, either related to your heart or lungs, it can cause life-threatening complications for you. 

Make sure you only take these two if prescribed by your healthcare provider. When it is recommended by your doctor, he or she usually adjusts the dose so that you won’t be subjected to disturbing side effects. 

What is the difference between Atenolol and Xanax? 

Atenolol and Xanax are two different medications which are intended for entirely different health conditions. Atenolol is a beta-blocker or beta-adrenergic blocker. 

They basically inhibit the effects of epinephrine, an excitatory chemical that can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Xanax, on the other hand, is a benzodiazepine called Alprazolam. It is one of the most commonly used benzodiazepines and has a rapid onset of action. 

It basically mimics gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain. This is how Xanax controls your anxiety and insomnia.

Atenolol and Xanax: Can you use these two together? (3+ disturbing side effects) 

 

Uses of Atenolol 

Atenolol can be used for the following health conditions:

Cardiovascular diseases 

Atenolol is well known for its benefits in patients suffering from different cardiovascular diseases including:

  • High blood pressure 
  • Angina pectoris
  • Management of congestive heart failure 
  • Arrhythmia or irregular heart beat
  • Myocardial infarction 
  • Tachycardia 
  • Coronary artery diseases 

Migraine

Atenolol can also be used as part of a first line treatment regimen to help relieve the painful symptoms of migraine. Various studies have revealed that Atenolol can significantly reduce the frequency of migraine attacks and the severity of headache.

Alcohol withdrawal 

Atenolol can be a good drug of choice to be used in people who are trying to cut back on alcohol. This is specific to those people who are returning back from alcoholism. Atenolol can manage the heart rate and blood pressure in such people, especially when they are trying to fight against the urge of drinking alcohol. 

Uses of Xanax 

Xanax can be used for the treatment of following health conditions:

Anxiety 

The primary use of Xanax is to cure anxiety as it actually is an anti-anxiety medication. It can control excessive neuronal activity in your brain that is the main cause of anxiety. 

Seizures

Xanax can also be used to tone down the intensity of epileptic seizures. However, other benzodiazepines like diazepam are preferred over xanax because of its shorter duration of action. 

Insomnia

Xanax can be used to treat insomnia or inability to fall asleep. As this medication acts on the inhibitory system in your brain, it reduces the frequency of muscle contraction and helps to relax them. 

This produces a calming and relaxing sensation that can induce sleep efficiently and help manage insomnia. However, it may cause residual drowsiness during the daytime and make daily activities a bit difficult for you. Make sure you use Xanax properly. 

What are the side effects associated with the use of Atenolol and Xanax? 

Both Atenolol and Xanax are associated with some side effects. Side effects of Atenolol include:

  • Lightheadedness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Depression 
  • Sleepiness 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Bradycardia 

Some serious and rare side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body, including tongue, lips, eyes, face, throat etc
  • Unexplained weight gain 
  • Blackouts

Xanax is also associated with some side effects. These include:

  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness or fatigue 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Muscle pain
  • Vision problems 
  • Headache 
  • Hypersomnia 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Troubled or intrusive thoughts
  • Impairment of motor coordination 
  • Constipation or diarrhoea 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Dementia 
  • Depression 
  • Abnormal behaviour
  • Blackouts 
  • Serious respiratory depression which lowers down breathing rate and can decrease the availability of oxygen in the blood. It could be life-threatening for people suffering from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

In case you suffer from an overdose, call a helpline as soon as you can. Inform them properly how much is taken and when. Make sure you keep these pills away for your children and pets, if any. In order to do that, keep the bottle out of their reach. 

Overdose can cause nerve-racking depression and may cause suicidal behavior in such people. If you have someone who shows suicidal behavior or you see hopelessness in them, make sure you keep an eye on them and get medical attention as soon as you can. 

What are the warnings associated with the use of Atenolol and Xanax? 

Both Atenolol and Xanax come with some warnings and they may cause complications in some people, even when used individually. Let’s look at these warnings to help you understand why people should not take these meds.

Important warnings for Atenolol 

Atenolol comes with some warnings. It is not recommended to stop this medication abruptly as it can dangerously cause an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. 

This withdrawal effect can lead to life-threatening conditions, especially in a heart patient. Atenolol should be used cautiously if you’re using it for non-cardiovascular diseases because it can dangerously lower your heart rate and blood pressure. 

Your healthcare provider might keep you on a low dose and monitor your heart rate from time to time. If you’re a diabetic patient, use Atenolol carefully as you may not be able to detect low blood glucose level because this med keeps your heart rate slow all the time. 

However, Atenolol and other beta blockers are completely contraindicated to be used by patients who suffer from chronic breathing illnesses, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. 

This is because Atenolol can cause bronchoconstriction (narrowing of airways) which make breathing even more difficult for such patients. Atenolol should also not be used during pregnancy as it may cause foetal side effects. 

Important warnings for Xanax 

Xanax is also associated with some important warnings. The proper use of these benzodiazepines is crucial because of its shorter duration of action. The effects of Xanax start to wear off in around 8 to 10 hours. 

This makes people want to take this medication again because of the calming effects it produces. It causes muscle relaxation and makes you feel at peace. 

Xanax should be used carefully in pregnant women. Several research studies have revealed that excessive use of Xanax, especially during the third trimester can cause foetal defects. It may also cause some addictive effects in the new born baby. 

Xanax should be used cautiously by breastfeeding women as it can be passed to the baby through breastmilk and may cause some disturbing side effects in the young one. 

Xanax is contraindicated to be used in patients with major respiratory illnesses. This is because it is capable of causing respiratory depression and it can lead to life threatening complications for people suffering from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), especially at higher doses. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the concomitant use of Atenolol and Xanax. You can use these two meds together, but only if prescribed by your healthcare provider. 

Both of these medications are associated with some terrible side effects and they should never be used unless it is absolutely necessary to take these two together. Atenolol is a beta-blocker and Xanax is a benzodiazepine. 

We have discussed the individual side effects as well as the combined side effects of these two meds. However, make sure you are using them properly and as directed by your healthcare provider. 

FAQs: atenolol and xanax 

Can you take Xanax with high blood pressure medication?

You can take Xanax with high blood pressure medication, but only if prescribed by your healthcare provider. Both of these medications are associated with some terrible side effects and they should never be used unless it is absolutely necessary to take these two together. Some of them include:

  • Serious hypotension 
  • Dizziness 
  • Low pulse rate 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Blackouts 

Does atenolol calm you down?

Atenolol can help you calm down a bit. However, this effect may take some time to kick in and it may not work out for every single individual. It is a known fact that every medicine causes different kinds of effects in different individuals. This is because our bodies respond differently when they are exposed to different types of meds. 

Does Xanax lower blood pressure and pulse?

Yes, Xanax can lower blood pressure and pulse. It usually works on the inhibitory system of your brain that not only slows down the neuronal firing rate, but also slows down your systems. Long term use of Xanax can slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. It can also slow down muscle contraction and cause respiratory depression. 

What should you not take with atenolol?

  • Antipsychotics
  • Controlled substances 
  • Some antidepressants, like Monoaminoxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) 
  • Analgesics 
  • Some anticancer drugs

What can I take instead of Atenolol?

You can take other beta blockers instead of Atenolol. They include:

  • Propranolol (Inderal) 
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor) 
  • Esmolol (Brevibloc) 
  • Sotalol (Betapace) 
  • Acebutolol (Sectral) 
  • Bisoprolol (Monocor) 
  • Nadolol (Corgard) 

If beta blockers do not suit you generally, there are several other classes of drugs which can help maintain your blood pressure and reduce your heart rate. These include:

  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors/ACE Inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Alpha blockers
  • Ivabradine 

References