The article basically says that atenolol was no better than a placebo. And, it concludes:
"Atenolol should not be a first-line drug for hypertension," said Carlberg, adding that it should also not be used as a comparative drug in studies to test the effects of new blood pressure-lowering drugs.
"The main finding was that atenolol could not be shown to have the same preventive effects on cardiovascular disease as other common anti-hypertension drugs," Dr Bo Carlberg, who worked on the study, said in an interview
I wonder what the "other" drugs Bo is referring to here. Did he read studies on these "other" drugs that he assumes work well ?
(what passes for publishable research is getting less and less demanding these days!LOL)
I've always felt atenolol is good for nothing but angina.
Here's more, but what's REALLY FUN is what AstraZeneca's spokesman Gary Burrell has to say now that atenolol has gone generic!:
The investigators also reviewed five studies comparing atenolol with other blood pressure drugs, including diuretics, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and the angiotensin II antagonist, losartan.
In these studies, atenolol appeared to be not as good as these other drugs in preventing death, Carlberg said.
..."Whether other beta blockers are as ineffective as atenolol is not known, Carlberg noted. "Our hypothesis is that atenolol is different from other beta blockers," he said. Carlberg doesn't believe other beta-blockers have the same problem as atenolol.
"Atenolol is a widely used drug," Carlberg said. "But the documentation about its effects on cardiovascular disease is weak. We suggest that it shouldn't be a first-line drug. There are many more effective antihypertensive drugs with much better documentation."
Carlberg added that atenolol should not be used as a reference drug in clinical studies, because it can make the test drug look more effective than it may really be.
"We don't promote atenolol," said Gary Burell, a spokesman for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, which makes atenolol under the brand name Tenormin. "Atenolol has been out for a number of years, and you get new and improved molecules like Toprol-XL that show advantages over earlier drugs."
Toprol-XL is a new beta blocker that is being promoted by AstraZeneca for treating high blood pressure.
Burell noted that because atenolol is available as a generic drug, AstraZeneca no longer actively promotes it, although it still manufactures the drug. "There is no problem with atenolol," he said. "But there are no trials that show benefits that are seen with newer beta blockers like Toprol-XL."
Roughly translated: "Hey guys, Let's push the more expensive stuff now..no $$ in that ol' generic crap..."
But, why would you want to take Toprol XL, either? At least this one has the important information right on the label...
The combined endpoints of all-cause mortality plus all-cause hospitalization and of mortality plus heart failure hospitalization showed consistent effects in the overall study population and the subgroups, including women and the US population. However, in the US subgroup (n=1071) and women (n=898), overall mortality and cardiovascular mortality appeared less affected.
And, then look at that little graph. It shows that mortality actually favored the placebo for folks living in the US. Also, it didn't do much for females.
So, as I interpret it, it's really only beneficial to males who don't live in the US. And, if you are a woman living in the US, you're really screwed.
Last edited by Palamedes; 12-02-2004 at 02:41 PM.
So basically atenolol has no effect on B/P. The only thing that is helping it would be the Lotrel, like I thought. The only thing that Atenolol has done for me is give me a lot of side-effects. Very interesting reading.
Actually, it said that BP was well controlled. But, it didn't improve outcomes. The link I orginally posted doesn't work anymore. Apparently, they only keep those stories for 30 days. Here's another link:
Interesting abstract... But by the way, I've often gone to the NCBI PubMed site myself...but do you know how to USE it, other than just getting the abstracts? I haven't been able to figure it out. If I want to read that entire article/text of anything, how do I get there?
It depends on the article. Many of them have links to the full article. Others do not. I suspect it has to do with copyright issues. The abstract is usually good enough to get an idea of what's in it. And, then you have to go and hunt it down. Sometimes, you find that it costs big $$$ to get the actual article. For instance, that article was published in "The Lancet". And, you have to be a subscriber to read the full text of it.
Makes me feel better actually. Thought I was missing something.
I've noticed same with JAMA publications.
Actually, I thought I had registered with JAMA and kept getting these wonderful email notifications with clickable links to what's coming up in the next issue. Every time I'd click, I'd be told I was "only" a registered visitor which allows me free access to some stuff but never the ones I REALLY wanted without having to pay thru the nose.
I'll stick to the abstracts and keep googling.
Atenolol has been out for a number of years, and you get new and improved molecules like Toprol-XL that show advantages over earlier drugs."
New-Improved molecules that cause all kinds of side-effects?
They should inform the medical community, because my doc. switched me from Toprol to Atenolol. I have had 2 EKGS this year & both have been fine. My resting heart rate on the med ranges from 50-66 or so. If it doesn't help with mortality & doesn't really help that much with blood pressure than what is the point in this drug???? To keep your pulse down.