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Generic Name: atenolol
Product Name: Tensig

Indication: What Tensig is used for

Tensig is used to:

  • Lower high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension;
  • Prevent angina (chest pain);
  • Treat irregular heart rhythm or beat such as arrhythmia;
  • Treat or prevent heart attacks, or reduce your risk of heart complications following a heart attack;
  • Widen vessels in the heart which have narrowed.

Tensig helps prevent these conditions from occurring.

Tensig may be either used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat your condition.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.

Tensig is not recommended for use in children, as there have been no studies of its effects in children.

This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.

There is no evidence that Tensig is addictive.

Action: How Tensig works

Tensig belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers. It works by affecting the body’s response to certain nerve impulses, especially in the heart. As a result, it decreases the heart’s need for blood and oxygen and therefore reduces the amount of work the heart has to do. It widens the blood vessels in the body, causing blood pressure to fall. It also helps the heart to beat more regularly.

Each Tensig tablet contains 50 mg atenolol as the active ingredient.

In addition, each tablet contains microcrystalline cellulose, carbomer 974P, calcium hydrogen phosphate, croscarmellose sodium, colloidal silica – anhydrous, purified talc, hydrogenated vegetable oil, magnesium stearate.

Tensig does not contain lactose, sucrose, gluten, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.

Dose advice: How to use Tensig

Before you take it

When you must not take it

Do not take Tensig if:

  • You have an allergy to Tensig or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet, or to any other beta-blocker medicine;
  • You have asthma, wheezing, difficulty breathing or other lung problems, or have had them in the past;
  • You have the following conditions:
    • A history of allergic problems, including hay fever;
    • Low blood pressure (hypotension);
    • A very slow heartbeat (less than 45-50 beats/minute);
    • Certain other heart conditions;
    • Phaeochromocytoma (a rare tumour of the adrenal gland) which is not being treated already with other medicines;
    • Too much acid in your blood, also called metabolic acidosis;
    • A severe blood vessel disorder causing poor circulation in the arms and legs;
  • You are receiving:
    • Certain anaesthetics for medical or dental procedures;
    • Certain heart medicines, called calcium channel blockers or calcium antagonists, such as verapamil;
    • Emergency treatment for shock or severely low blood pressure;
  • You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Like most beta-blocker medicines, Tensig is not recommended for use during pregnancy;
  • You are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Tensig passes into breast milk and therefore there is a possibility that the breast-fed baby may be affected.

If you are not sure whether any of these apply to you, check with your doctor.

Do not take Tensig if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.

Do not take Tensig if the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack has passed. If you take this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.

If you are not sure whether you should start taking Tensig, contact your doctor.

Before you start to take it

Tell your doctor if:

  • You have any allergies to:
    • Any other medicine or other beta-blocker medicines;
    • Any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes Tensig may make allergies worse or make them harder to treat;
  • You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant;
  • You are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed;
  • You have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
    • Heart problems;
    • Diabetes;
    • An overactive thyroid gland called hyperthyroidism;
    • Kidney problems;
    • Circulation problems.

If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you take Tensig.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

Some medicines and Tensig may interfere with each other. These include:

  • Verapamil, a calcium channel blocker or calcium antagonist which is used to treat high blood pressure and angina;
  • Clonidine, a medicine used to treat high blood pressure;
  • Certain medicines used to treat abnormal or irregular heartbeat, for example, disopyramide, quinidine;
  • Insulin and tablets used to treat diabetes;
  • Certain medicines used to treat arthritis, pain, or inflammation, for example, indomethacin and ibuprofen;
  • Digoxin, a medicine used to treat heart failure;
  • Medicines commonly used during surgery or in emergency situations such as dopamine, adrenaline, noradrenaline and certain anaesthetics.

These medicines may be affected by Tensig, or may affect how well it works. You may need to take different amounts of your medicine, or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.

Your doctor and pharmacist may have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking Tensig.

How to take it

How much to take and how to take it

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained here.

If you do not understand the instructions on the box, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.

Certain people (e.g. elderly patients or those with kidney problems) may require lower doses.


Adults – The usual daily dose is between 50 mg (1 tablet) up to 200 mg (4 tablets). If your dose is 100 mg or less, take your dose once a day. If your dose is greater than 100 mg, take half of your dose in the morning and the rest in the evening.

Angina or arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)

Adults – The usual daily dose is between 50 mg (1 tablet) up to 100 mg (2 tablets), which can be taken as a single dose or half the dose in the morning and the rest in the evening.

Heart attack

The usual dose is 50 mg (1 tablet) to 100 mg (2 tablets) daily for 1 – 3 years following a heart attack.

The doses mentioned may be given after the condition (e.g. arrhythmia, heart attack) is brought under control.

Tensig is not recommended for children.

When to take it

Swallow Tensig with a glass of water.

It does not matter if you take it before or after food.

Take your tablet(s) at the same time every day.

How long to take it

Tensig helps control your high blood pressure, angina and irregular heartbeat, but does not cure it. Therefore Tensig must be taken every day. Continue taking it for as long as your doctor prescribes.

Do not stop taking Tensig without checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount of Tensig you are taking 2 weeks before stopping completely. This may help reduce the possibility of your angina worsening or other heart complications from occurring.

If you forget to take it

If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your tablets as you would normally.

Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.

If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.

If you take too much (overdose)

Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26), or go to casualty at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Tensig. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention. Keep these telephone numbers handy.

If you take too much Tensig, you may feel faint or dizzy or you may find it difficult to breathe.

While you are using it

Things you must do

Be sure to keep all of your doctor’s appointments so that your progress can be checked.

Tell all the doctors, dentists and pharmacists that are treating you that you are taking Tensig.

If you become pregnant while taking Tensig, tell your doctor immediately.

If you have a severe allergic reaction to foods, medicines or insect stings, tell your doctor immediately. If you have a history of allergies, there is a chance that Tensig may cause allergic reactions to be worse and harder to treat.

If you feel light-headed, dizzy or faint when getting out of bed or standing up, get up slowly. You may feel light-headed or dizzy when you begin to take Tensig. This is because your blood pressure is falling suddenly. If this problem gets worse or continues, talk to your doctor.

To avoid symptoms of low blood pressure, here are some hints that may help:

  • Stand up slowly from a sitting or lying position to help your body get used to the change in position and blood pressure;
  • If you feel dizzy, sit or lie down until you feel better;
  • If you feel faint, bend forward with your head between your knees;
  • Take extra care when exercising, driving or standing for long periods, especially in hot weather. Drink plenty if fluids, especially if you sweat a lot.

Make sure you drink enough water during exercise and hot weather when you are taking Tensig, especially if you sweat a lot. If you do not drink enough water while taking Tensig, you may feel faint, light-headed or sick. This is because your blood pressure is dropping suddenly. The recommended healthy minimum water intake is 6 – 8 glasses daily.

If you plan to have surgery (even at the dentist) that needs a general anaesthetic, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Tensig. Your blood pressure may drop suddenly.

If you have to have any medical tests while you are taking Tensig, tell your doctor. Tensig may affect the results of some tests.

If you are about to be started on any new medicines, remind your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Tensig.

If you are being treated for diabetes, make sure you check your blood sugar level regularly and report any changes to your doctor. Tensig may change how well your diabetes is controlled. It may also cover up some of the symptoms of low blood sugar, called hypoglycaemia, such as fast heartbeat. Tensig may make low blood sugar last longer. Your doses of diabetic medicines, including insulin, may need to change.

Things you must not do

Do not stop taking Tensig without checking with your doctor.

Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount of Tensig you are taking before stopping completely. This may help reduce the possibility of your angina worsening or other heart complications from occurring.

Do not give your medicine to anyone else even if they have the same condition as you.

Do not use it to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.

Things to be careful of

Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Tensig affects you. As with other beta-blocker medicines, Tensig may cause dizziness, light-headedness, tiredness and drowsiness in some people. Make sure you know how you react to Tensig before you drive a car, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or lightheaded. If this occurs do not drive. If you drink alcohol, dizziness or light-headedness may be worse.

Dress warmly during cold weather, especially if you will be outside for a long time (for example, when playing winter sports). Tensig, like other beta-blocker medicines, may make you more sensitive to cold temperatures, especially if you have blood circulation problems. Beta-blockers tend to decrease blood circulation in the skin, fingers and toes.

After using it


Keep your tablets in the pack until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the pack they will not keep well.

Keep the tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25 degrees Celsius. Protect from light. Do not store Tensig of any other medicine in the bathroom or near the sink. Do not leave Tensig in the car or on window sills. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.

Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one -and – a -half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.


If your doctor tells you to stop taking Tensig or the tablets have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over.

Schedule of Tensig

Tensig is a Schedule 4 medicine.

Side effects of Tensig

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Tensig.

If you get any side effects, do not stop taking Tensig without first talking to your doctor.

All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.

Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:

  • Stomach upsets such as diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain or heartburn (indigestion);
  • Dry mouth, change in taste sensation;
    Dizziness, headache or buzzing or ringing in the ears;
  • Slow or irregular heart beat;
  • Dry eyes, problems with vision;
  • Runny or blocked nose;
  • Difficulty sleeping, nightmares;
  • Skin reactions (e.g. rash, itching, worsening of psoriasis);
  • Cold fingers and toes;
  • Increased hair loss;
  • Tingling, ‘pins and needles’ or walking unsteadily;
  • Sexual problems.

These are the more common side effects of Tensig. For the most part, these have been mild.

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Confusion or disorientation;
  • Depression or mood changes or a worsening of these 
  • Unusual thoughts, hallucinations (seeing, feeling or hearing things that are not there);
  • Light-headedness or fainting which may be due to low blood pressure;
  • Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (jaundice).

These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.

If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to casualty at your nearest hospital:

  • Shortness of breath, sometimes with tiredness, weakness and reduced ability to exercise, swelling of the feet or legs due to fluid buildup;
  • Chest pain, changes in heart rate (fast, slow or irregular), palpitations;
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing, which may be signs of a serious allergic reaction;
  • Chest tightness, wheezing, rattly breathing;
  • Bleeding or bruising more easily than normal.

These are very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are rare.

For further information talk to your doctor.


  1. Tensig Consumer Medicine Information (CMI). Cremorne VIC: Arrow Pharma Pty Ltd. February 2018. [PDF]
  2. Tensig Product Information (PI). Cremorne VIC: Arrow Pharma Pty Ltd. February 2018. [PDF]

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Posted On: 22 July, 2003
Modified On: 3 April, 2018
Reviewed On: 3 April, 2018


Created by: myVMC