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Parents Frustrated by Shortage of Antibiotic Used to Treat Children’s Infections

Pharmacies across the U.S. are currently facing a shortage of the amoxicillin drug, which is commonly prescribed to treat childhood infections such as ear infections, strep throat, and pneumonia. This supply constraint is particularly problematic as children are heading back to school and illnesses are spreading. CVS Health, a pharmacy chain, has reported a nationwide shortage of certain doses of amoxicillin. CVS spokesperson has stated that they are working with manufacturers to replenish the supply as quickly as possible. When the drug is out of stock at a particular location, CVS pharmacy teams are helping patients find amoxicillin at nearby locations and working with prescribers to find suitable alternative drugs. Walgreens has not provided any comment on the drug shortage at this time.

The shortage is occurring as many children in the U.S. are returning to school, increasing the risk of infection. In Kentucky, two school districts had to close due to a surge in sickness within their communities. Magoffin County declared that all schools would be closed for two days due to widespread illness. Lee County schools also canceled classes after numerous students and staff fell ill with COVID-19, strep throat, flu, and other ailments. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first acknowledged the shortage of amoxicillin products last fall when they added them to their list of drugs in short supply. The FDA stated that increased demand and manufacturing snags were the main causes of the shortage. A congressional report on drug shortages in the U.S. also identified manufacturing issues, supply-chain disruptions, high consumer demand, and overprescription as factors contributing to drug shortages.

The liquid forms of amoxicillin, suitable for children who cannot swallow pills, are particularly affected by the shortage. These liquid forms are manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals and other companies. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has compiled a list of alternative antibiotic options for common pediatric conditions. If available, the best alternatives are other forms of amoxicillin, such as tablets, capsules, or chewable tablets. The tablets can be split or crushed and mixed with any liquid or semi-solid substance for oral consumption. Health systems, including hospitals, are also facing shortages of liquid forms of amoxicillin. As demand for amoxicillin is expected to increase during the fall and winter seasons, the supply situation may worsen. Other drugs, including children’s Tylenol and cancer medications, have also been experiencing shortages in the U.S.

Source: [usafinancetrends]

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