Nov 08, 2022

By Jane Brown

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In addition to shortages of children’s Tylenol and Advil, there are concerns around a shortage of the antibiotic amoxicillin.

A Health Canada statement says four pharmaceutical companies are reporting shortages of drugs that contain amoxicillin, which is considered the go-to medication when treating a range of illnesses in children.

Justin Bates is the CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association says there has been unprecedented demand for over the counter medications and now amoxicillin.

“Upwards of 300-percent over normal seasonal consumption patterns has led to what we call demand driven shortage and now it’s hitting children’s liquid formulation of amoxicillin and we’re going to have to look at ways to mitigate that and ration supply as well as come up with alternatives for parents,” Bates told CP24.

If a child is dealing with a chest infection, for example, doctors and pharmacists could look to a different class of antibiotic, such as azithromycin or clarithromycin.

The antibiotics shortage comes amid an unseasonably early surge in illnesses among children, with pediatric hospitals in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal reporting a high number of visits to emergency rooms.

The issue is not unique to Canada, as the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. is also reporting a shortage of amoxicillin due to an increased demand for it.

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