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Tenormin vs. Zebeta: Which Should I Take?


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With so many treatment options available for managing anxiety, finding the right medication for you can be overwhelming. Anxiety can present itself in many different forms, and there are a number of different medications that target specific symptoms you may be experiencing. 

In this article, we will discuss two medications, Tenormin and Zebeta, giving a side-by-side comparison so that you can be better informed before discussing treatment options with your healthcare provider. 

If you are unhappy with your current anxiety medication regimen or believe you may benefit from anxiety treatment but have not yet started the process, let Klarity help. Klarity offers quality care for your mental health from the comfort of your own home. Schedule an appointment today and we will connect you with a licensed healthcare provider in your state within 48 hours.   

Zebeta and Tenormin are the Same Class of Drugs (Beta-Blockers)

Zebeta and Tenormin are two medications that belong to the same class of medications called beta-blockers. Beta-blockers are used for a number of conditions, including the treatment of physical symptoms of certain anxiety disorders. 

What are Beta-Blockers?

Beta-blockers are a large class of medications that are commonly prescribed for a number of health conditions but are most notably used to treat high blood pressure or hypertension. The generic drug names of these medications end with “-lol.”  

Due to their cardiovascular effects, beta-blockers are primarily used to treat the following: 

  • High blood pressure 
  • Arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythm
  • Chest pain 
  • Ventricular dysfunction after experiencing a heart attack 
  • Migraine headaches 
  • Essential tremor 

How Do Beta-Blockers Work?

Beta-blockers are named after their function and can also be referred to as beta-adrenergic blocking agents. Epinephrine or adrenaline is released when the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated, primarily when you are stressed and can be referred to as the “fight or flight” response. 

Beta-blockers bind to beta receptors throughout the body to block their typical effects, including blocking the release of epinephrine or adrenaline. By blocking these stress hormones, the smooth muscle within the walls of blood vessels relaxes, causing vasodilation throughout the body, and the heart beats at a slower rate. 

Due to these cardiovascular effects throughout the body, beta-blockers are primarily used for the treatment of high blood pressure and to decrease the heart rate in patients with abnormal heart rhythms, called arrhythmias.  

Zebeta and Tenormin Can Treat The Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

When someone is experiencing a panic attack or anxiety associated with social situations or delivering a presentation, the body responds to the increased stress by activating the sympathetic nervous system, increasing the release of adrenaline or epinephrine throughout the body.  

Anxiety can be defined as uncontrollable or unwanted thoughts or fears that are out of proportion to the given situation. Individuals who suffer from anxiety are thought to have an overactive or imbalanced nervous system response to stressors. 

Some of the most common physical symptoms associated with anxiety include:

  • Increased or irregular heartbeat
  • Increased rate or work of breathing
  • Tremor 
  • Temperature imbalances, including sweating or hot flashes 
  • Headaches
  • GI upset or an uneasy feeling in your stomach
  • Feeling restless or unable to sit still

What Else Does Zebeta Treat?

Zebeta is also known by its drug name, carvedilol. The only FDA-approved use for Zebeta is for high blood pressure or hypertension. This medication can be used by itself but is often used in combination with other antihypertensive medications. 

Off-label Uses for Zebeta  

The term off-label is used to describe any use for a medication that has not been approved by the FDA. This does not mean the medication is not effective in off-label use, but it simply has not gone through the FDA-approval process. 

For a drug to be approved by the FDA for a specific condition, there is a lengthy and expensive process that requires a great deal of research and resources. This often presents itself as a major barrier for drug companies to get multiple conditions FDA-approved for a single medication. 

Some common off-label uses for Zebeta include: 

  • Physical symptoms associated with anxiety 
  • Angina pectoris or chest pain 
  • Atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter 
  • Ventricular arrhythmias 
  • Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction
  • Prevention of heart attacks or stroke, especially used patients who have previously had a heart attack 
  • Migraine headache prophylaxis 

What Else Does Tenormin Treat?

Tenormin is also known by its drug name, atenolol, a beta blocker that is FDA-approved to treat cardiovascular issues, specifically hypertension, chest pain, and to protect the heart from further damage in patients after having a heart attack.  

Off-label Uses for Tenormin 

As previously described, off-label uses for a medication does not mean it is not effective for a specific condition, but simply that it has not received FDA approval. Similar to Zebeta, there are a number of off-label uses for Tenormin as well.

Some common off-label uses for Tenormin include: 

  • Physical symptoms associated with certain anxiety disorders 
  • Atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter
  • Ventricular arrhythmias 
  • Supraventricular tachycardia
  • Thyrotoxicosis 
  • Marfan syndrome with aortic aneurysm 
  • Migraine headache prevention

Doses, Dosage Form, and Side Effects of Tenormin 

Common Tenormin Doses and Forms

Tenormin is the name brand for the drug name atenolol and is available in tablet form only. Like most beta-blocker medications, the medication is started at a low dose and then increased on a weekly basis until the desired dose is reached. The typical maximum dose is around 200 mg by mouth daily. 

Tenormin tablets are available in the following forms: 

  • 25 mg 
  • 50 mg 
  • 100 mg

Common Tenormin Side Effects

As with any medication, it is important to weigh the risks and benefits before starting a new drug. Most of the side effects associated with Tenormin are mild and may improve after continuous use. 

Some of the most common side effects of Tenormin include: 

  • Fatigue or increased tiredness 
  • Dizziness 
  • GI upset, including nausea and vomiting
  • Increased nervousness, anxiety, or depression
  • Sexual dysfunction, including loss of interest, inability to maintain an erection, or difficulty achieving orgasm 

There are a few serious side effects that may occur when taking Tenormin, and you should contact your healthcare provider immediately or seek emergency medical care if you experience any of the following side effects: 

  • Severe shortness of breath or bronchospasm 
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Dangerous drops in blood pressure 
  • Irregular heartbeat 

Common Tenormin Drug Interactions

There are a number of medications to avoid while taking Tenormin due to the potential interactions between drugs. It is important to discuss all medications you are currently taking with your healthcare provider, including all over-the-counter medications and supplements. 

Some common drugs that interact with Tenormin include: 

  • Other hypertensive medications, including certain diuretics such as Lasix, Norvasc, & Hydrochlorothiazide
  •  Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors 
  • Stimulants, such as Adderall and diet supplements
  • Certain diabetic medications 
  • Antipsychotics
  • Some antibiotics, such as Ampicillin & Bacampicillin
  • Duloxetine or Cymbalta 
  • NSAIDs

How Much Does Tenormin Cost?

Tenormin or atenolol is a relatively affordable medication. The cost of Tenormin varies based on your dosage, which pharmacy you use, and your insurance coverage. Tenormin is typically covered by most health insurance plans that have medication coverage. 

Without insurance, the cost can be significantly reduced with the use of generic atenolol and coupon codes, which are available at most large pharmacies. The average cost of Tenormin with a coupon code ranges from $1-10 for a 30-day supply. 

Doses, Dosage Form, and Side Effects of Zebeta   

Common Zebeta Doses and Forms

Zebeta is the name-brand form of the drug bisoprolol fumarate and is also only available in tablet form. The medication is typically started at a low dose and can then be increased on a weekly basis until the desired effective dose is achieved. Zebeta is typically taken once a day, and a daily dose should not exceed 20 mg per day. 

Zebeta tablets are available in the following dosages: 

  • 5 mg 
  • 10 mg 

Common Zebeta Side Effects

As with most medications, there are some potential side effects associated with Zebeta. Most of these adverse effects are mild, but it is important to keep in mind that you may notice some changes when starting the medication, and if you begin to experience severe or serious adverse reactions, contact your prescribing provider immediately or seek out urgent medical care. 

Some common side effects of Zebeta include: 

  • Fatigue or increased drowsiness
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness upon standing 
  • GI upset, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Dry mouth 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Weakness 
  • Runny nose 
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
  • Increased anxiety or feelings of restlessness
  • Muscle or joint pain 
  • Sexual dysfunction, including loss of interest in sex and inability to achieve orgasm 

If you begin to experience any of the following serious side effects, seek out urgent medical attention: 

  • Chest pain 
  • Severe shortness of breath or increased work of breathing 
  • Irregular heartbeat 
  • Drops in blood pressure or heart rate, which can result in falls, loss of consciousness, or confusion

Common Zebeta Drug Interactions

There are some drug interactions associated with Zebeta to keep in mind and avoid. As always, it is important to disclose all current medications you are taking with your healthcare provider, including over-the-counter medications and supplements. 

Common drug interactions with Zebeta include: 

  • Other blood pressure and antiarrhythmic medications 
  • Insulin or other diabetic medication 
  • Asthma or other breathing medication 
  • Clonidine
  • Digitalis 
  • Rifampin 
  • Guanethidine 
  • Disopyramide 

How Much Does Zebeta Cost?

Zebeta is covered by the majority of health insurance coverage plans. If you do not have insurance, the use of generic formularies and coupon codes significantly reduce the cost of the medication. 

The cost of Zebeta widely varies based on your insurance coverage, the dosage, and which pharmacy you use. On average, the cost of a 30-day supply of Zebeta is around $6-10 with the use of coupon codes, which are available at most major pharmacies. 

Do I Need A Prescription for Zebeta or Tenormin?

Yes, both Zebeta and Tenormin are prescription medications and will need to be prescribed by your healthcare provider. If you are in need of an experienced provider who specializes in mental health care, schedule an appointment on Klarity today. 

Beta Blocker Drug Warnings

Although beta-blockers are considered a relatively safe medication, they have a few warnings to be aware of. Beta-blocker medications may not be the right choice for everyone, and your healthcare provider will help decide if this medication would be beneficial for you. 

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding on Beta-Blockers

Overall, beta blocker medications are considered to be relatively safe medications to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. In fact, beta-blockers are considered first-line treatment for hypertension in pregnant patients. Although, when comparing different beta-blockers, some may be safer for use than others. 

Comparing Tenormin and Zebeta, Zebeta is considered to be a safer alternative than Tenormin during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This is due to the fact that higher levels of Tenormin is found in the transfer of cord blood from mom to baby and in breast milk. 

It is important to mention that these are still in negligible amounts and rarely cause negative health outcomes in the baby. Your healthcare provider will monitor you and your baby throughout pregnancy and up to 48 hours after birth, assessing for fetal growth, hypoglycemia, and depressed respiratory drive in the baby. 

Tenormin and Zebeta Frequently Asked Questions

Comparing two medications from the same drug class can be confusing. We also went over a lot of information, and you may have additional questions. Below we have listed some of the most frequently asked questions about Tenormin vs. Zebeta, and if you would like more information, head over to Klarity to learn more about anxiety treatment.

What is Tenormin?

Tenormin or atenolol is a beta-1 receptor selective medication that is most commonly used for its cardiovascular effects, such as hypertension and chest pain, and to protect the heart from further damage after having a heart attack. It can also be used for a number of off-label uses, including treatment of the physical symptoms associated with certain anxiety conditions.  

What is Zebeta?

Zebeta or bisoprolol is also a beta-1 receptor selective beta-blocker medication that is primarily used for the treatment of high blood pressure. Similar to Tenormin, there are a number of off-label uses for Zebeta, which include treating the physical symptoms of specific anxiety conditions.  

Are Tenormin, Zebeta, and other Beta-Blockers the same drug?

No, although both medications belong to the same class of medications called beta-blockers, Tenormin and Zebeta are two different medications. The two medications share some similarities but also have key differences. 

What’s better for anxiety? Tenormin or Zebeta?

While neither medication is considered first-line treatment for anxiety, they can be effective at treating the physical symptoms associated with specific anxiety conditions, such as panic attacks, social anxiety, or presentation anxiety. 

When comparing the two medications, Zebeta tends to be more cardio-specific than Tenormin and, therefore, could be more beneficial for those who experience racing or irregular heartbeats while experiencing anxiety. But overall, the two medications are relatively equal with regard to treating anxiety. 

Can I drink alcohol on Tenormin or Zebeta?

It is recommended that you avoid alcohol while taking any beta blocker medications, including Tenormin and Zebeta. This is due to the fact that alcohol can cause an increase in adverse effects of the medications and may also cause dangerous changes in blood pressure. 

Does it matter what time of day I take Tenormin or Zebeta?

There are different dosing, frequency, and timing of when you should take your medication based on your symptoms. Some may take their medication at the same time every day, while others may use the medication as needed, such as before a stressful event or situation, to prevent physical symptoms from occurring. 

Your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions on how and when to take your beta blocker medication. It is important to take your medication as prescribed and do not abruptly discontinue your beta blocker medication. 

Klarity Will Help You Find Effective, Non-Habit-Forming Anxiety Medication Alternatives Online

Living with anxiety can be very challenging and even debilitating. Don’t let your symptoms control your everyday life. If you are struggling with symptoms of anxiety, let Klarity help. 

At Klarity, we offer affordable telehealth care at your convenience. We will connect you with a licensed healthcare professional in your state who is experienced in anxiety treatment. Together, you will discuss your symptoms, arrive at an accurate diagnosis, and develop an individualized treatment plan that works best for you. 

Schedule an appointment or simply start by taking our free 2-minute self-assessment to get started today. 

Start today, and discuss your symptoms with a specialist who can help.

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