One of the most commonly used antibiotics for children in the US, amoxicillin is facing a shortage, reveals the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On a similar note, the shortage in supply has hit America amid the respiratory illness surge among children across the country.
Because of the shortage, parents filling their children’s prescriptions may need to try a few pharmacies or end up with a different strength or form than what was prescribed, but pharmacists said amoxicillin is typically still available in some form. The liquid form is in the greatest demand, along with some chewable tablets.
Despite Increased Demand; There Is A Significant Amoxicillin Shortage In The US
The dramatic rise in RSV is putting a strain on pediatric wards at hospitals across the nation as the cold-like virus spreads quickly among small children, whose immune systems had minimal exposure to RSV during the first two years of the epidemic. The intense surge in demand for antibiotics reflects this.
Erin Fox, a senior pharmacy director at the University of Utah Health who watches prescription shortages, said that the suppliers were unprepared for the unexpected demand for amoxicillin that has arisen. “In terms of logic, it makes sense. People are going to get sick, and colds will return with a vengeance.”
According to statistics from manufacturers, the scarcity isn’t at a crisis level and could persist for as long as the illness season, according to Michael Ganio, senior director for pharmacy practice and quality at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Although amoxicillin does not help to cure the respiratory syncytial virus or RSV, nor does it treat the flu or covid, it is routinely used to treat bacterial infections.
According to specialists, children with RSV or the flu may experience symptoms that are difficult to distinguish from bacterial infections or may get a bacterial infection secondarily. As a result, doctors may occasionally advise amoxicillin just in case.
Around two weeks ago, Fox’s team first learned of potential problems from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, whose members monitor shortages. The shortfall was confirmed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday, with producers claiming increased demand.
Since a few weeks ago, the shortage has had an effect on pharmacies all around the country, according to Brigid Groves, senior director at the American Pharmacists Association.
According to her, the things people can purchase vary somewhat. Pharmacists have stated anecdotally that people can still obtain the medication; it may just be a little harder to locate.
Drug manufacturers said that they could fulfill the medication’s prearranged orders, but they are having difficulties keeping up with the rising demand.
Some claimed to be considering strategies to increase production, but that can’t happen right away.
Hence as the situation demands, experts advised people filling a prescription to phone ahead to make sure their pharmacy has the medication, check with several, get a prescription for a slightly different kind, or, in the worst case scenario, get a prescription for a different antibiotic.
Key Manufacturers Respond
The three key makers of the antibiotic, namely Hikma Pharmaceuticals, based in the United Kingdom; Sandoz, based in Switzerland; and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., based in Israel weren’t the first to respond initially. But soon after the incident gained seriousness, all of the manufacturers were responsible enough to inform their readiness in attending to the challenge and solving the status quo.
A Sandoz representative stated in a statement that the company is having difficulties meeting the unexpected increase in demand now that flu season has arrived. The spokesperson added that the problem is affecting certain of the company’s products in the United States, Canada, and parts of Europe and that supply chain problems make it more difficult to quickly ramp up production.
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