Over the last decade or so, the United States has been increasingly plagued with drug shortages. Sometimes the scarce medications are pricey brand-name products, but frequently enough hospitals and pharmacies run low on common generic medications. One reader has encountered an atenolol shortage.
How Will an Atenolol Shortage Affect You?
Q. I recently tried to refill my prescription for atenolol and was informed there was a nationwide shortage. My drugstore was out of it.
Years ago, after trying many other prescriptions, atenolol was the only thing that worked to control my elevated blood pressure. As a side benefit, it also toned down my essential tremor.
I am loath to switch to metoprolol and hope I can find more atenolol soon. Too much adrenaline causes my elevated blood pressure. Will metoprolol act on adrenaline?
Is there any indication when this atenolol shortage will end?
An End to the Atenolol Shortage:
A. Drug shortages have become commonplace, even for old generic drugs like atenolol. The FDA anticipates that atenolol should become available again in February, 2018.
In the meantime, metoprolol might substitute, though your doctor will need to make that determination. Atenolol and metoprolol are both beta-blockers, which means that both block excess adrenaline. Both medications are used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain (angina) due to clogged coronary arteries. They are not identical, however, and your physician would need to determine an appropriate dosage of the metoprolol if that is what you must take until the atenolol shortage has eased.