4 things to know about the atenolol shortage

Atenolol, a beta blocker used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain and heart attacks, has been in short supply since July.

Here are four things to know about the ongoing shortage.

1. Atenolol is commonly prescribed to patients with high blood pressure because it is inexpensive, only needs to be taken once a day and has fewer side effects than other beta blockers like metoprolol tartrate, metoprolol succinate and bisoprolol.

  1. Four generic drugmakers — Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Zydus Pharmaceuticals and Sandoz — reported decreased inventory levels of atenolol to the FDA's drug shortage database July 26.

  1. Mylan, Sandoz and Teva cited the lack of an active ingredient as the main reason for the shortages, while Zydus cited increased demand.

  1. Zydus increased manufacturing capacity and said atenolol was readily available for distribution as of Oct. 19. Teva has a limited atenolol inventory and will allocate the drug as necessary through the fourth quarter of 2017. Mylan, who also has a limited supply of the drug, expects to achieve normal inventory levels in February 2018. Sandoz has not said when it will be able to resupply the drug.

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