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My cardiologist thinks Tablet Atenolol for hypertension is useless . . . what do you say sir ?

Posted Oct 31 2012 12:30pm

This was question thrown at me in one my patient -Physician meet .

I am a 58 year old business man . I am taking tab Atenolol 50mg for over  6  years .I am comfortable with that .My  BP hovers around 130 /80 mmhg .My heart rate is 64/mt . I have recently  moved to a popular city in south India  . Now , my cardiologist thinks Tablet Atenolol  for hypertension is useless  . . . what do you say sir ?

My answer went on like this  . . . causing much  displeasure  to my  colleagues !

Atenolol  is a  wonder drug for management of both hypertension and angina for more than 2 decades .  It is  still useful in majority of patients with HT .

The reason for  current generation of cardiac physicians   shunning  away  from this drug  is  largely  for  non academic reasons A drug which is  in market for more than  a decade ,  generally becomes a generic one. Generic drugs are  like  orphan drugs !   and patients  who consume generics are inferior ones .This is how market economics want us to think .

Physicians are sincere followers of  science and science is not sacred ,  often times  . . .  it is the creation  of   corporate gimmicks .

Few small  studies ,  one major publication  , few guideline   from  influential    scientific bodies  , cocktail of   seminars  , symposiums   all that  is required to disseminate  a concept !

The second major reason is every physician wants to behave in unique way . He fears loosing  his prestige and  charm  if  he  continues the same drug prescribed by another physician  . Many patients also do not like to continue the same drug for long time  !

Atenol and Metoprolol : The curious  companions .

Both being   closely related beta blockers ,  what makes  Atenolol  to be frowned  upon   and  still   Metoprolol  is  alive and kicking  !

 My final answer to your question !

Atenolol is still useful in the management  of HT. If your BP is well controlled ,  and you have no side effects,  there is absolutely no need to change  the drug   . . .  if  you are  insisted  , you may consider  changing  your doctor   . . . . . .  rather !


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