Atenolol oral liquid: International supply issue

Supply issue Active

Registered atenolol oral liquid will be out of stock until at least early 2022. The alternative stock is now available.

Reason for supply issue

There is an international supply issue with atenolol oral liquid due to a quality assurance issue. There will be no stock of registered atenolol oral liquid for at least six months from August 2021. 

Alternative products

Atenolol liquid

We have listed an alternative brand of atenolol liquid, but it is not Medsafe-approved. This means it must be supplied under section 29 of the Medicines Act. This product is now available to be ordered.

  • Presentation: Oral liq 25 mg per 5 ml
  • Brand: Essential Generics
  • Supplier: Link Pharmaceuticals
  • P/code: 2617838
  • Price: $38.20
  • Unit: 300 ml OP 

Prescribing and supplying a medicine under section 29

Section 29 of the Medicines Act allows for medicines that are not Medsafe approved to be prescribed and supplied to people. The medicine must be prescribed by someone registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand – e.g., doctors. 

We know supplying a medicine under section 29 is not ideal. In this case, however, the alternative would be for patients to have no atenolol liquid. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. 

Prescriber and pharmacist requirements for section 29 medicines – Medsafe website(external link)

What patients need to know about section 29 medicines – Health Navigator website(external link)

Changing to a different treatment

We have received advice that patients may be able to transition to an alternative funded treatment. It is important that this is done under the supervision (or on the advice) of a relevant specialist.

Pharmacists: What you need to know

RxOne users: the new listings will be automatically updated by RxOne. If for some unforeseen circumstance it does not happen, please refer to the e-Noticeboard on the RxOne Home Screen for instructions. 

TONIQ users: the new listings will automatically be updated in Toniq medicine databases from the effective date.

Who to contact

If you have questions about the supply of atenolol, contact your wholesaler or the supplier.

If you have questions about transitioning patients to an alternative treatment, contact a relevant specialist in the first instance.

Starship Paediatric Cardiology Department can be contacted for support or advice about changing cardiology patients to an alternative treatment.

If you have funding questions, email