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FDA reports shortage of popular prescription drug

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HOUSTON – A popular and widely used prescription drug is in short supply around the United States.

KPRC wanted to find out what was going on.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first reported the drug shortage of the beta blocker Atenolol on July 26.

They revivified and updated the information.

Atenolol is beta blocker used primarily in cardiovascular diseases.

Officials from three companies that make generic Atenolol (Sandoz, Teva, Mylan) reported they are behind on manufacturing because of a shortage of an active ingredient. Officials from a fourth company, Zydus, said they are having a shortage because of "increased capacity to support additional demand."

The brand name version of Atenolol, called Tenormin, costs $400, compared to about $4 for the generic versions.

People who use the generics are being told to consult with their doctors to see about being switched to another beta blocker.

Walgreens officials sent us this statement regarding the drug shortage:

"We currently have limited supply. In the event of a drug shortage, our pharmacists will work with the patient and contact their prescriber to discuss whether other alternatives might be available. In addition, our purchasing team is working closely with suppliers to support our customers’ needs."

Houston Methodist hospitals told us they are currently not having problems procuring the drug for patients.

Officials with one drug company, Teva, did report that they would have about 136,000 units ready later this week. The other companies don't have a projected date to release more drugs.

You can check the FDA's website any time for daily updates on the shortage.

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