A Children's Tylenol shortage currently affecting Canada has carried over into the United States, pharmacists in multiple American cities have warned. Pictured is a depleted store stock at a pharmacy in Florida earlier this week
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A Children’s Tylenol shortage currently affecting Canada has carried over into the United States, pharmacists in multiple American cities have warned.

The drug’s short supply, experts say, stems from a recent spike in pediatric sickness as seasonal bugs come back with a bang after being suppressed during COVID-related lockdowns.

Worsening matters is a simultaneous shortages of four key antibiotics and respiratory drugs for children, leading to a marked rise in kids being hospitalized with the debilitating respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

Now, in addition to reporting shortages of some of the world’s most widely used antibiotics, pharmacies across the US have reported that kids’ Tylenol too has become scarce.

The pain reliever is one of the most popular drugs in the county, and is used to quell youngsters’ fevers.

Across the country, pharmacy workers in states such as New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Michigan have seen their store stock dwindle – with photos showing barren shelves where the drug should be.

Pharmacist Don Arthur, who owns and operates a pharmacy in Buffalo almost completely depleted of its children’s version of the drug, said the shortage stems from increased demand. 

A Children's Tylenol shortage currently affecting Canada has carried over into the United States, pharmacists in multiple American cities have warned. Pictured is a depleted store stock at a pharmacy in Florida earlier this week

A Children’s Tylenol shortage currently affecting Canada has carried over into the United States, pharmacists in multiple American cities have warned. Pictured is a depleted store stock at a pharmacy in Florida earlier this week

The drug's short supply, experts say, stems from a recent spike in pediatric sickness as seasonal bugs come back with a bang after being suppressed during pandemic lockdowns. Pictured is a sign limiting one bottle per customer in Western New York

The drug’s short supply, experts say, stems from a recent spike in pediatric sickness as seasonal bugs come back with a bang after being suppressed during pandemic lockdowns. Pictured is a sign limiting one bottle per customer in Western New York

Pharmacist Don Arthur, who owns and operates a pharmacy in Buffalo, says his store is almost completely depleted of its children's version of the drug

Pharmacist Don Arthur, who owns and operates a pharmacy in Buffalo, says his store is almost completely depleted of its children’s version of the drug

‘Just too much demand for the current supply,’ Arthur, the proprietor of Brighton Eggert Pharmacy Inc. said. 

He added that the recent rise in RSV cases serves as part of the reason for that increased demand.

Last week, pediatric bed occupancy was the highest it’s been since the start of the pandemic, with roughly 75 percent of an estimated 40,000 beds filled with children – many of them afflicted with the virus.

Compounding the issue, Arthur said, is the uptick in illness Americans see every winter – which experts have said has worsened this year after lockdowns and mask requirements weakened Americans’ immune systems.

Among the most at-risk to fall victim to this recently surface phenomenon are children, who after years of remote learning and isolation are for the most part back to their typical day-to-day activities.

Pictured is a New Jersey store shelf left without any of the children's medicine. The pain reliever is one of the most popular drugs in the county, and is used to reduce fevers

Pictured is a New Jersey store shelf left without any of the children’s medicine. The pain reliever is one of the most popular drugs in the county, and is used to reduce fevers

‘I think unfortunately with RSV, every flu season we deal in our community with the common flu, we deal with colds, we deal with RSV, but we still have COVID in smaller levels,’ Arthur remarked. 

‘It’s still present, and now it seems we have a bit of a spike with RSV.’

One of the most common symptoms of RSV, as well as the common flu and cold, is fever – an ailment that Tylenol, the most popular brand version of the generic drug Acetaminophen, largely combats.

With that said, Arthur’s store is far from the only experiencing such shortages.

Close by in Western New York, several stores in Buffalo, Clarence, and Cheektowaga were without the drug. Last week, Arthur’s store had just four bottles of the drug on shelves.

Worsening matters is a simultaneous shortages of four key antibiotics and respiratory drugs for children, leading to a marked rise in kids being hospitalized with the debilitating respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV

Worsening matters is a simultaneous shortages of four key antibiotics and respiratory drugs for children, leading to a marked rise in kids being hospitalized with the debilitating respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV 

Shoppers across the country looking for the medicine, meanwhile, have snapped photos of empty shelves in nearby states like New Jersey and Detroit.

Many locales seeing shortages are close to the Canadian border, beyond which supply problems for the children’s medicine are even more pronounced 

‘Specific to Tylenol, it first appeared on our radar when we had patients calling us from over the border,’ Arthur said, adding that up north even the adult and liquid forms of the drug ‘are unavailable,’ in Fort Erie Niagara Falls even as far as Toronto.

Meanwhile, also affected by the burgeoning US shortage – which Tylenol maker Johnson & Johnson has dismissed as a non-issue – are stores as far south as Florida.

And as as respiratory viruses spike due to aforementioned antibiotic shortages, demand has continued to rise – as well as reports of Americans unable to find the drug.

One of the most common symptoms of RSV, as well as the common flu and cold, is fever - an ailment that Children's Tylenol largely combats

One of the most common symptoms of RSV, as well as the common flu and cold, is fever – an ailment that Children’s Tylenol largely combats

 Children’s Tylenol works to bring down a fever and relieve pain in children, and serves as an alternative for the adult version, which can prove harmful to children under 11 .

‘Children under the age of six months should not be receiving ibuprofen,’ Dr. Kathleen Grisanti, pediatrician, Pediatric & Adolescent Care of West New York said this week. 

She added that the popular over-the-counter medicine ‘is important to keep the fever under control, to make the children feel much more comfortable when they are ill.’

Despite the slew of reports, Johnson & Johnson denied that a shortage was taking place in the US, asserting that it currently is only affecting Canada – where parents have resorted to traveling across the border and engaging in almost-illicit drug deals with the few who have the stuff in their possession.

Compounding the issue is the uptick in illness Americans see every winter - which experts have said has worsened this year after lockdowns and mask requirements weakened Americans' immune systems

Compounding the issue is the uptick in illness Americans see every winter – which experts have said has worsened this year after lockdowns and mask requirements weakened Americans’ immune systems

The company told DailyMail.com in a statement: We are not experiencing shortages of Children’s Tylenol in the United States. 

‘There is increased consumer-driven demand for our children’s pain reliever products in certain regions and we’re taking all possible measures to ensure product availability.’

Arthur, however, says that there is ‘absolutely there is a shortage,’ but has urged American parents not to panic as stores will likely regain their stock in the coming months.

‘We’re having a difficult time getting it. Every day we check what we have on these two shelves and we take a look at what’s available from the manufacturer and our distributors and we buy what we can,’ Arthur remarked.

Dr. Asha Shajahan, a pediatrician in Michaigan, has also encountered parents complaining of Tylenol shortages, which she said likely stems from the recent rise in RSV and other illnesses treated by antibiotics that are now in short supply.

Children's Tylenol works to bring down a fever and relieve pain in children, and serves as an alternative for the adult version, which can prove harmful to children under a certain age

Children’s Tylenol works to bring down a fever and relieve pain in children, and serves as an alternative for the adult version, which can prove harmful to children under a certain age

‘It is possible that it’s happening here with so many cases of RSV and flu,’ the doctor said earlier this week as reports and photos of empty shelves in her state and others across the country became more and more prevalent on social media.  

Desperate parents report spending hours going from pharmacy-to-pharmacy to track down the antibiotics for their children.

Health officials have declared a shortage of amoxicillin, a vital antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia, respiratory infections and strep throat. 

But doctors on the ground are also reporting dwindling stocks of Augmentin – a antibiotic drug that uses amoxicillin alongside clavulanic acid – Tamiflu, the most commonly used flu medication in US hospitals, and albuterol, an inhaler for asthma and to relieve other lung symptoms.

Several children’s hospitals have already hit 100 per cent capacity as rates of RSV and flu – both of which are deadly for youngsters – surge to their highest level in a decade for this time of year.

A wave of lockdowns in 2020 as well as mitigation measures such as masking and isolation contributed to an unexpected drop in the rate of circulating viruses like flu and RSV. 

Many people’s immune systems have not been primed for viruses such as RSV meaning infants born in the past two years are likely being confronted with the pathogen for the first time ever, making them very susceptible to severe illness.

More than 15,000 cases of the flu were recorded during the week that ended on November 12, a new high for this flu season, the CDC reports. More than 14 per cent of tests for it were coming back positive

More than 15,000 cases of the flu were recorded during the week that ended on November 12, a new high for this flu season, the CDC reports. More than 14 per cent of tests for it were coming back positive

Four US states are reporting the highest levels of flu activity, according to the CDC - Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In total, 14 states are recording at least 'very high' flu activity or more as the recent 'tripledemic' continues in the US

Four US states are reporting the highest levels of flu activity, according to the CDC – Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In total, 14 states are recording at least ‘very high’ flu activity or more as the recent ‘tripledemic’ continues in the US

Amoxicillin, one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics to fight post-virus bacterial infections, is in short supply in the US. Some blame over-prescriptions for the shortage. (file photo)

Tamiflu is one of the most commonly used drugs to fight the flu used in hospitals. Amid a surge of both the flu and RSV, it is now in short supply in the US (file photo)

Amoxicillin, one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics to fight post-virus bacterial infections, is in short supply in the US. Some blame over-prescriptions for the shortage. Tamiflu is one of the most commonly used drugs to fight the flu used in hospitals. Amid a surge of both the flu and RSV, it is now in short supply in the US. (file photos)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 8,987 new cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) last week, with 17.7 per cent of swabs coming back positive.

RSV usually causes just a mild cold in more people, but the virus can be especially harmful to young children. The CDC reports around 500 pediatric deaths from it each year. 

During the week that ended on November 5, a seasonal high of 15,476 RSV cases were reported, a new seasonal high.

The agency also reported 15,308 flu cases last week, the most of any week this flu season. Just under 15 per cent of PCR tests for the flu are coming back positive. 

Combined with Covid, the current situation with all three viruses circulating has been described as a ‘tripledemic’ by some experts. 

Dr Stacene Maroushek, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Hennepin Healthcare in Minnesota told CNN: ‘In my 25 years of being a pediatrician, I’ve never seen anything like this.

‘I have seen families who just aren’t getting a break. They have one viral illness after another. And now there’s the secondary effect of ear infections and pneumonia that are prompting amoxicillin shortages.’ 

Dr Renae Kraft, an Oklahoma pharmacist, told CNN that both generic and brand name versions of Tamiflu are in short supply in her area.

She said her rural area pharmacy had 20 people come to have a Tamiflu prescription filled. The pharmacy did not have any on hand and Dr Kraft was forced to refer patients to a local Walmart.

This year’s flu season started earlier than usual and hit Americans fast. Experts warned in September that the nation was already recording figures that would usually not be seen until the late-December peak.

Experts are describing the situation as the worst flu season since the 2009 Swine flu pandemic. 

Children are left waiting for 15 HOURS in emergency rooms due to Amoxicillin shortage caused by COVID restrictions

A shortage of the common antibiotic Amoxicillin continues across the US as an increasing number of kids are diagnosed with seasonal illnesses and more parents are forced to call out of work to care for them.

As pharmacies struggle, due to an ongoing shortage that the FDA warned about several weeks ago, to keep up with the demand from parents for Amoxicillin, more and more Americans have been required to stay home from work to tend to their sick children.

More than 100,000 Americans missed work last month – an all time high – because of child-care problems, many of which come down to sick children and sick daytime caregivers.

The FDA initially blamed a surge in demand for the shortage, as the numbers of respiratory syncytial virus cases skyrocket to unseasonably high figures alongside the seasonal surges of strep throat, ear infections and other respiratory illnesses.

Infectious-disease specialists say a number of factors but primarily weakened immune systems from the pandemic are contributing to the recent spike in viral infections.

‘Pandemic babies,’ who were guarded against respiratory pathogens because of measures like social distancing are also now getting sick and the easing of mask mandates in schools makes it easier for viruses to spread, especially among those with weakened immune systems.

GoodRx.com – a telemedicine platform that tracks prescription rates in America – reports that prescriptions for Tamiflu have reached 10-year highs for this point in the year.

Americans are six-times more likely to be using the drug now than they were in mid-November of 2019, the last pre-pandemic flu season.

Antibiotic drugs, often used to fight bacterial infections that come as a result of the flu rather than the disease itself, are running short as well.

These drugs, like amoxicillin and Augmentin are not effective against viruses themselves, but children are at risk of suffering serious infection from bacteria after they recover from a virus.

Amoxicillin is a stronger version of the well-known drug penicillin. It is one of the most frequently prescribed drugs to children during flu season.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned in October that the drug was in low supply, pointing to the surge of flu and RSV cases as the culprit.

Augmentin is an antibiotic that combines amoxicillin with another penicillin-derived drug clavulanate. It is similarly used to treat post-viral bacterial infections that emerge in some children.

It has been hard to obtain because of the amoxicillin shortage.

Pharmaceutical companies will often prepare their production of these antibiotic drugs well before flu season, when hospitals put in orders for them at the start of the year.

In times when the demand for them far outweighs available supply, there is little that can be done to quell the issues.

Some have also said that many of these prescriptions are inappropriate and should not have been written by doctors, making the shortage worse.

‘Anytime respiratory viruses kick up, people start prescribing antibiotics, even inappropriately, and that’s created a lot of demand,’ Dr Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University, told CNN.

‘That wasn’t anticipated by the manufacturers of amoxicillin, so that’s led to shortages.’

Teva, an Israeli company that manufactures amoxicillin said production of the drug will return from early-December to February.

Hikma, based in the UK, told CNN that it is currently working to boost production of the antibiotic.

It comes as four states — Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia — all report the highest level of flu activity, according to most recent CDC data.

These surges have filled children’s hospitals across these states. The Children’s Hospital of Alabama, the state’s largest pediatric hospital located in Birmingham – 91 per cent of beds are filled, according to official figures.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which includes the largest children’s hospital in Tennessee, is at 98 per cent capacity as of Tuesday.

In total, 14 US states are recording ‘very high’ flu activity or higher according to most recent CDC data. 

Some experts are hopeful that this surge will taper off, though. 

Dr James Antoon, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee told DailyMail.com last week this surge could soon run out of steam.

He said Vanderbilt is experiencing a leveling off of RSV cases, with the flu now replacing it as the primary threat. 

He does warn that weekly flu cases will likely continue to rise as America approaches the end of the year, though.

Dr Patrick Jackson, an assistant professor of infectious disease at the University of Virginia, added last week that while things may get worse in the immediate future, the virus’s will eventually burn through the population.

‘There’s only so many people in the population that are vulnerable,’ he said.

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