Anxiety drug shortage leaves patients with few alternatives  

An abrupt shortage of the anti-anxiety drug buspirone is complicating mental healthcare for many patients, reports The New York Times.

Unlike antidepressants, buspirone is in its own drug class, meaning there are no alternative medications that work the same way. Patients fighting anxiety or panic attacks are either rationing existing pills, going off the medicine entirely or switching to antidepressants, which can be a difficult transition.

"This is potentially messing with people's clinical stability," Dennis Glick, MD, a Maryland-based psychiatrist, told NYT. "When you have a patient with a complicated and balanced regimen, you really don't want to just arbitrarily have someone come off the medicine."

The shortage stems from production issues at Mylan Pharmaceuticals' drug plant in Morgantown, W.Va. The plant produces about one-third of the nation's buspirone supply. Mylan told the FDA the date it will resume buspirone production is "T.B.D.," according to NYT.

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