Pharmacists Offer Tips for ‘Unprecedented’ Children’s Medication Shortage
If you’ve had a hard time getting your hands on children’s fever-reducing medication, you’re not alone. The Food and Drug Administration says a nationwide shortage of pediatric ibuprofen and acetaminophen supplies continues to persist
The FDA says the increase in demand for pediatric medication goes back to last fall. It coincides with an increase in respiratory illnesses in children.
“So we had COVID, flu and RSV hit earlier than typically, and it’s been with us for quite a while,” said Tara Tindall, a pharmacy supervisor with Hennepin Healthcare. “So the manufacturers couldn’t keep up with demand. That’s what we hear from them is increased demand. However, typically they pre-plan for the season, but I think with the three viruses it’s been really difficult for them to keep up.”
Tindall is a pharmacist from the Hennepin Healthcare Clinic in Brooklyn Park. Like other pharmacies, the clinic has had a hard time keeping medications in stock.
Tindall uses the word ‘unprecedented’ to describe the shortage of liquid Tylenol and liquid ibuprofen, and it’s uncertain when inventory will get back to normal.
Hennepin Healthcare advises patients to talk to their pharmacist to see if there are alternatives — such as chewable medication or suppositories — in case they can’t find exactly what they’re looking for.
“I wouldn’t recommend doing this at home using adult versions, but a pharmacist can take the weight, the age of the child, and recommend crushing or cutting adult doses in half,” Tindall said. “But again, definitely talk to your doctor or pharmacist before doing that by yourself.”
Other options for child fever reduction, according to Tindall, is to have your child take a lukewarm bath, dress the child in loose clothing, or to keep the room cool with a fan.
Meanwhile, in December, Walgreens had implemented an online purchase limit for over-the-counter fever reducing products to prevent excess purchasing. But the company decided to remove that purchase limit this week due to improved inventory.