Thank you for writing to JustAnswer Health with your question.
I am familiar with your condition and understand how fearful it can be to try new things.
Atenolol is one in a class of medications called Beta Blockers. It works to slow down the heart. It is an adrenoreceptor blocking agent, so it decreases the effects of adrenaline (the chemical your body releases when anxious) thus decreasing your anxiety. Inderal is the name of the first Beta Blocker. Atenolol was made to replace Inderal. Atenolol does not cross the blood brain barrier, which keeps it from giving one certain CNS side effects such as drowsiness, which can occur with Inderal.
Normal starting dose is 25mg to 100mg, so you are getting the smallest amount that is prescribed.
It's peak effect is felt in 2 to 4 hours, so you may gradually feel it's action take effect, and the strongest effect should come at 4 hours. The dose effects last for 24 hrs.
It is eliminated through the kidneys, so it has no effect on other other drugs eliminated through the liver.
It is contraindicated in those who has asthma or diabetes.
Unlike Xanax, which one will gain a tolerance to, and one has to be carefully weened from to prevent withdrawal side effects, one does not form a tolerance to Atenolol, so the dose will not need to be increased, unless it is found that your starting dose needs to be higher, and it is not addictive.
As far as how the atenolol will make you feel, it may be very suttle, and you are likely just to notice a lack of anxiety rather than any type of feeling.
I hope this helps you. This is a good method of treating anxiety that your doctor has prescribed for you, and this drug is considered safer than Xanax (xanax is a controlled substance, atenolol is not).
But because xanax has a quick onset, and atenolol slower, there is no problem for you to take them together.
There are also many methods you can learn to help with your anxiety as well. If you have never tried these, or even if you have, you should read about these and practice them over and over as they take practice before one really gets proficient at them. If you look at the end of this article, you will find several relaxation techniques, probably some you have not heard of.