Common Antibiotic Shortage Spurs Concern

( – For the better part of the last year, patients and pharmacies have had to deal with an of one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics on the market—Amoxicillin.

Amoxicillin is frequently used to treat common childhood ailments, such as strep throat, ear infections, and pneumonia. The liquid form, frequently known to children as “the pink stuff,” is suitable for children who are too young to swallow pills. The shortage is frustrating many parents as they prepare to send their children back to school—when children are often at highest risk of catching illnesses.

The Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged the shortage, saying that an increased demand is the reason behind the shortage.

While the liquid form in pediatric doses is the only form of Amoxicillin that is considered in short supply, other drugs have been experiencing shortages as of late. Children’s Tylenol and Motrin have been in short supply over the last year, as well as a common form of Penicillin known as Bicillin. The Bicillin shortage is due to a increase in , as Bicillin is the most common drug used to treat Syphilis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there has been a 75% increase in cases of Syphilis from 2017 to 2021.

Healthcare workers have offered advice for parents dealing with the shortage. Some have recommended getting your prescription on paper rather than digitally sent to the pharmacy, because if your preferred pharmacy is out of the dose you need, it is easier to take the paper prescription to another pharmacy that may have it in stock. Others have suggested that you can talk to your pharmacist about switching the dosage or the drug itself.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has also of alternative medications available. While the liquid form is difficult to find currently, Amoxicillin does come in tablet, capsule, and chewable pill form. If a child cannot swallow a tablet or capsule, parents can crush up tablets or open capsules and mix them with applesauce, ice cream, or other semi-solids.

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