Nationwide shortage on popular blood pressure medication

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GENESEO, Illinois - People that use the popular medicine called Atenolol might have a hard time getting their prescriptions refilled.

What was once cheap and easy to get a hold of is now becoming scarce.  Atenolol the commonly used generic medicine to maintain low blood pressure is running out.

"It`s been awhile since it`s been gone that`s been a little surprising that it`s been months since we`ve been able to get any," said Nate Vorac, pharmacist and owner of Vorac Pharmacy.

Vorac Pharmacy in Geneseo only has a few bottles left and Vorac isn't sure when they'll get more.

"When I ordered I noticed that the counts of the wholesaler kept going down, so I just ordered as much as I could get my hands on," said Vorac.

The manufacturers for the drug blame it on an increase in demand.

Jim Perry the owner at District Drugs and Compounding Center in Rock Island has been making the medication to fill the need.

Perry says he's been getting calls not only from doctors but veterinarians looking to get their hands on the medicine for their patients.

"That`s what compounders are out there for to help meet that demand of medications that for some reason is not available or might have been discontinued," said Perry.

Perry says he worries the shortage could mean something else, "We may see a price increase is what I`m fearful of just because that`s what the general trend has been and these cheap medications are becoming very, very expensive."

Whatever the reason may truly be, time is running out at Vorac's and the patients it serves.

"We`re starting to get a little low, so I`m getting nervous that we`re going to run out before this gets resolved," said Vorac.

Pharmacists say patients switching to other generic brands is possible but could cause new risks for people.