Would you believe … a triamterene shortage

36 thoughts on “Would you believe … a triamterene shortage”

  1. I was told the same thing. And the new drug that they have given me, Maxzide, is making me sooo sleepy that I can’t keep my eyes open. I am looking for information on why the shortage on the triamterene. Have you found out anything else on this? I would greatly appreciate additional informaition.


    1. I’d like more info too. That one ASHP note was all I could find about it. Everything else appeared to be sites selling the stuff online. I find the lack of information very strange, almost conspiratorial.

    2. Now is 2013, again there is shortage of triamterene, Maxzide which I have been on for many years. There is no explanation given by the pharmaceutic companies for the shortage, nor is there an expected date for availability. No regulatory agency knows anything about the current shortage either.
      Could someone who experienced this shortage in 2011 or current shortage let me know what alternatives do I have to survive this shortage crisis? thank you for kind reply. Kay

  2. It could be any of the reasons you mentioned in your post. Believe me, it drives pharmacists up the wall, too. I’ve actually written about shortages for ASHP, the group you linked to. http://www.ashpintersections.org/2010/12/pharmacists-successfully-managing-drug-shortages/

    In other news, you don’t get charlie horses from that drug? My old doc used to prescribe it for monthly, pre-menstrual water retention, and about three days of that was all I could take. I’d get the most horrible cramps in my calves and feet. More power to ya if you can handle it, because it’s good at what it does.

    1. I figured you’d know about this if anyone did. I’m not satisfied with “no explanation,” but it seems I’m stuck with it. You don’t get a byline for stories like that? Sure makes it hard, later, to show it in a portfolio and say you wrote it. I had the same problem when virtually none of my in-house writing had a byline. My name was on the masthead, but that didn’t prove anything.

      I’m guessing your leg cramps were because the drug strips a lot of potassium. Doctors often tell me to drink a lot of orange juice with it to compensate.

      1. Update: The pharmacy was able to get some pills that are double my prescribed strength. They had to get my doctor’s permission to dispense them (probably to make sure I’m responsible enough to follow instructions!), and I’ll have to cut them in half to get the proper dose.

  3. I’m glad to see this post. My pharmacist told me the triamterene/hctz is back ordered, my doctor’s office said they had stopped manufacturing it. I take it to help with my vertigo and there aren’t alot of good options pill wise for me. I’m fascinated why I can’t seem to find practically any information at all. I was thinking all the things that you wrote about.

  4. Thanks for posting this information. I just got a refill, and was up against the same problem: no pills in my strength. They gave me the double-strength but since the pharmacy computers wouldn’t process it, they had to change my prescription, too. They said that they will change it back when they get the smaller dose back in, but I’m not sure if they will.

    This is a recipe for overdoses, isn’t it? And what happens if there is none next month? My pharmacy won’t allow me to buy my medicine in advance. Grrrrr… I hate Big Pharma.

    1. Check with your doctor, your pharmacy, and your insurance company. You may be able to get your prescription changed to a three-month supply. I did, and it’s certainly more convenient.

      Yes, I thought I’d easily remember to break the tablets in half, since I already do so with another med. I’d almost swallowed a whole one before I remembered. Stopped right then and broke them all in half. Ugh. They’re a lot harder to swallow with corners and rough edges.

  5. Just got back from Target and also was told no Triam/HCTZ 75-50mg. I do get a three month supply and typically use mail order via insurance but hate dealing with them! They called my dr. who switched me to Spirono/HCTZ 25/25 (gen. for Aldactazide) which was $30 rather than a $10 copay. I stupidly asked if there was a generic on this and the pharmacist (yes the pharmacist) said no, sorry. She also had no explanation for the shortage, no idea if it was a potential recall issue and no explanation for why I was not consulted before they called my doctor and changed my meds!!! As I left Target I wondered what was going on. When I got home I realized this is a generic so now am wondering whether the pharmacist was really a pharmacist or a tech. A bit too Twight Zone for me! I usually use Walmart or CVS but a few months ago had those darn transfer a script and get $10 Traget cards coupons 🙂

    1. If you have any doubts at all about the drug you were given or the person who gave it to you, call them for an explanation. I’m surprised they didn’t at least explain to you that they were giving you a different drug but had called your doctor for approval before doing so. You might also want to double check with your doctor, and tell him/her that you’d like to be called/consulted the next time they change your meds for any reason.

    2. I too take the generic dyazide from Mylan who gets its supply from SANDOZ. Since the shortage started my intuitive voice has been telling me this is not the same chemical make up in the little green and yellow capsule that I used to get before the recall. I noticed a difference right away with the white and black striped capsule during the waiting period for the green and yellow capsule. My return to the green and yellow capsule (as of 2011) have the same negative results for me as the white/black capsules. When complaining to my pharmacist they would only say it was the same ingredient. I am so unsatisfied with what I am starting to notice as negative side effects that are becoming more prominent that I am going to ask that my current prescription capsules be diagnosed for ingredient content.

  6. When i first went for a refill for the generic, Triamt/Hctz I was told the previous ones were no longer available. Then when I needed a new refill I found this one to be different also. they said the previous one was also unavailable. After taking these piills for over 20 years ( one a day ) I never thought the dosage changed and i was not informed any differently by the pharmasist, and I was unaware that they had called my Dr. to make the change.
    Needless to say I didn’t read the bottle as it was always the same dose. I was taking a double dose for about a month and found myself feeling terrible. I was tired, spacey, unsteady & loss of appetite. I still don’t feel well even though I had a change in medication. I called Walmart when I felt it had somethig to do with my pressure And checked the bottle, only to find I was to take a half Pill instead of a whole one. All I got was an apology for not informing me and an offer for a free refill. I called Mylan and Sandoz and got no satisfaction.
    I just found that there was a recall but can’t find much info. Does anyone know about this ?

  7. I tried to refill my prescription for triamterene 37.5 mg/HCTZ 25 mg. today, and was told the pharmacy
    couldn’t get it. I take it for blood pressure, not premenstrual problems, so it is critical for me. I’ve been
    taking it for years. I’m sure the pharmaceutical companies are trying to drive the price up or trying to
    force us to use newer meds that are still under patent. Whatever is the cause, and yes, I saw the NBC news about it tonight, I’m sick of the outright greed in this country. Aren’t these mega corporations rich enough? (I worked for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world before I retired). I’m disgusted with Wall St., the heads of these huge conglomerates, and politicians. It won’t surprise me if we wind up in another ‘French’ revolution before it’s over.

  8. I just tried to refill my prescription today and the pharmacy informed me that its no longer on the market. Great.

    1. I’d double check that. Make sure they are aware there’s a shortage. Ask if they checked around. And check around with other local pharmacies. As it happens, I just refilled my prescription yesterday — with no problem. It’s a generic 37.5-25 mg tablet (green) manufactured by Sandoz.

  9. I’m getting it today! Since May I had to substitute another diuretic that was NOT potassium-sparing like triamterene. I suffered foot, toe, ankle and calf cramps (charlie horses) all night (15 times), every night. I tried drinking tons of OJ, quinine, ate bananas, apricots, etc. to no avail. As soon as I stopped taking the drug, the cramps stopped.
    I was asking my dr. to prescribe a different potassium-sparing drug such as amiloride or spironolactone- but then I called my pharmacy to see if triamterene is now available – and YES!

  10. I had been taking the triamterene 37.5 mg/HCTZ 25 mg. capsules for about 4 years when suddenly they were unavailable. I was given the green tablet in it’s place which I have taken now for the last 5 months. I have to say that the tablets do not seem to be as effective as the capsules, at least for me. The swelling that I experience in my ankles doesn’t seem to completely subside overnight like it used to with the capsules. According to my Walgreen’s pharmacist, the capsules are not being manufactured anymore. 🙁

    1. i also had been on triamterene capsules for about 5 months for swelling in my ankles. my doctors could not find a reason for the swelling (heart,etc) and prescribed the capsules. the swelling went completely away and i felt great. then i went for a refill and was given the tablets. they do not work as well and i am back to having swollen ankles. we even increased the dose to two 37.5 mg a day and that has not changed anything except now i need to have blood work checked more often. did you find an answer to this problem????

  11. My 37 year old son was given triamterene 37.5 mg / HCTZ 25 mg capsules for Menieres; immediately he had psychotic episodes and seizures; unfortunately it took us almost 2 years to figure this out. Now he has side effects even though he no longer takes this medicine. Has anyone else had this reaction? We have had almost 2 1/2 years of living hell.

  12. I have taken triamterene 75/50 for many, many years and paid about $4.00 for a 90 day supply from my mail order pharmacy. All of a sudden my last refill in June 2012 cost me $19.00 for a 90 day supply. I called the pharmacy and they just said that they cost had increased so they had to increase my cost. I think it’s a ripoff for consumers.

  13. I’d been taking 1/2 of the 37.5/25 per day for years and it worked very well in conjunction with another BP pill. My mail order provider Medco has said it is on back order from Sandoz. They also mentioned something about capsules only instead of tablets which presents a problem cutting the dose in half. I agree with others that the cause is probably is about the low cost and margin. The unfettered greed of corporations and CEOs is going to destroy the USA and the world. If the price isn’t high enough then they reduce supply and drive up prices. The oil companies aren’t the only ones that will finagle supply and demand to increase profits.

      1. There must be a geographic element to this, or perhaps a distribution problem. I live in the Denver area and have always been able to refill my prescription — although at some point I was changed from the red and white capsules to tablets.

  14. This whole triamterene shortage thing was tied into the problems with a company called Novartis. They made generic drugs for Sandoz, including triameterene. The only reason I found out was because I was researching why Maalox is no longer available on the market. Novartis in Lincoln Nebraska is closed until further notice. Weird! I too went for several months having to take the non generic dyazide at 3 times the price because of the so called shortage.

    1. Diuretics may cause muscle cramps because they deplete your body’s potassium and can cause mild dehydration. Consult your doctor if you’re having side effects.

... and that's my two cents