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Efficacy of Blood Pressure Drug Questioned

Atenolol (brand name Tenormin) is a leading drug used by millions of people to lower blood pressure. However, it does not prevent deaths from heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems as well as other treatments, according to research just released.

Atenolol belongs to a class of drugs known as beta blockers that are prescribed for high blood pressure, angina and to prevent repeat heart attacks. The drugs are supposed to help relieve stress on the heart and slow its beat.

Swedish scientists have questioned atenolol's benefits after reviewing the results of nine previous studies of the drug.

They found that the drug was no better than a placebo in reducing deaths from heart attacks or heart disease. Moreover, atenolol did not have the same preventive effects on cardiovascular disease as other common anti-hypertension drugs.

Most cases of high blood pressure can be effectively treated with natural therapies, including supplements, dietary modifications, exercise and other lifestyle modifications. For more information, see our high blood pressure page. If you are now taking Tenormin or any beta blocker, call one of our clinics. We have services and therapies that are a healthier approach to dealing with high blood pressure.

Source: Carlberg, B et al, Atenolol in hypertension: is it a wise choice?, Lancet 2004; 364:1684-89