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

Pharmacies across the U.S. are dealing with a shortage of the amoxicillin antibiotic, commonly prescribed for childhood infections such as ear infections, strep throat, and pneumonia.

The shortage is impacting drugstores as children go back to school and infections spread. CVS Health, a pharmacy chain, confirmed that there is a nationwide shortage of certain doses of amoxicillin and they are working with manufacturers to replenish the supply as quickly as possible.

When the drug is not available at a particular location, CVS pharmacy teams are assisting patients in finding amoxicillin at nearby locations and working with prescribers to identify suitable alternative drugs.

Walgreens did not provide an immediate response to the request for comment on the drug shortage.

This shortage is occurring as children return to school, which increases the risk of infection. Two school districts in Kentucky had to close due to a surge in illnesses within their communities.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first acknowledged the shortage last year, attributing it to an increase in demand for the drug as well as manufacturing issues and other disruptions in the supply chain.

Liquid forms of amoxicillin are especially scarce, including those suitable for young children who cannot swallow pills. These are manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals and other companies.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has compiled a list of alternative antibiotics for common pediatric conditions, with other forms of amoxicillin being the preferred choices if available.

Health systems, including hospitals, are also experiencing shortages of liquid amoxicillin. Demand for the antibiotic is expected to rise further during the fall and winter seasons.

Other drugs, including children’s Tylenol and cancer medications, have also recently experienced shortages in the U.S.

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