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Atenolol and Depression

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Atenolol is well-known drug that belongs to the group of beta blockers, which typically, are used for the purposes of dealing with cardiovascular disorders. It rose to prominence among depression sufferers because of its seemingly very common trend of evoking feelings of depression as one of its major side effects.

Originally introduced in 1976, atenolol was created in essence to serve as a replacement for propranolol which treated hypertension. It works by decreasing heart rate and invariably lessening the amount of work that it has to do. However, unlike its predecessor, atenolol does not pass through the blood-brain barrier which means that doesn’t impact the central nervous system in the same dangerous way.

Atenolol is mostly recognized in United Kingdom where it was, at one time, recognized as a primary treatment option for hypertension. The distinction was notably reduced, however, in 2006 because newer more effective drugs seemed to spring up on the scene. That coupled with the observations that even fairly mild doses of atenolol could increase risk of type 2 diabetes severely cramped its usage.

The paradox: Depression as a side effect

Depression has been noted as a side effect of atenolol in up to 12 percent of people who took it. Although the rate of depression is especially high for atenolol users, it still has not been officially described as a problem. Some suggest that it is simply a combination of factors induced by atenolol that may lead to depression, while others note that atenolol brings on full blown depression. Either way, some semblance of a link undeniably exists and that no doubt has attributed to some of the backlash against the drug.

Anyone who thinks that atenolol is the right treatment option for them should consult with their regular physician before committing to it. Furthermore, people who find themselves dealing with depression shortly after beginning to take atenolol should similarly seek out professional mental health treatment.

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