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A simple analytical method for quantification of atenolol in pharmaceutical formulations by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy is described. The method is based on the reaction, on the filter paper surface, between the drug and p-chloranil producing a colored compound. The best reaction conditions were obtained with 20 µL of atenolol solution and 20 µL of p-chloranil. All reflectance measurements were carried out at 550 nm and the linear range was from 1.13x10-2 to 7.88x10-2 mol L-1 (r = 0.9992).doi:10.1590/s0100-46702008000400001 fatcat:gjafxg7icvdjveswm4l6u4byue