Bumetanide shortage: important consideration for community heart failure teams

By Dr. Jonathan Shurlock

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued a medicine supply shortage notification for Bumetanide oral tablet preparations (1mg and 5mg) on 12th October 2023.

Bumetanide 5mg tablets will be out of stock until March 2024. Bumetanide 1mg tablets will be available until the end of October and then out of stock until January 2024.

The notice is important for community heart failure teams. Alternative loop diuretics (furosemide) will be available and in adequate supply to manage increased demand. The equivalent utility of the different loop diuretics has been explored both historically and more recently, with the TRANSFORM-HF trial. The important takeaway being that while extra consideration must be given to absorption, dosing and clinical response, there are alternatives available throughout this period of shortage. While the DHSC notice specifically mentions furosemide, any loop diuretic available through local formularies should be seen as appropriate.