Health

What Parents Should Know About The Amoxicillin Shortage?

What Parents Should Know About The Amoxicillin Shortage

Following the spike in Respiratory Synciatic Virus (RSV) and flu infections among young children and infants in the US, there is a reported shortage in the availability of Amoxicillin, a commonly used antibiotic in the treatment of bacterial infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the sudden shortage could have been caused by an increase in demand.

As the cold and flu season has started and with the news of RSV cases rising, the demand for the drug must have shot up. It is to be noted that Amoxicillin is not effective for RSV or common flu as both of them are viral infections and not bacterial infections.

What Does Amoxicillin Mean For Children And Parents?

FDA had flagged the shortage on their website citing that the oral solution of the drug, which is being used commonly in infants and young children was in short supply. 

What Does Amoxicillin Mean For Children And Parents

It was reported that about 70 percent of pediatric hospitals in the US were up to their capacity by last week and most of this has been due to the RSV virus outbreak. Experts say that this sort of surge has happened because of a pandemic “immunity gap” as kids born during the pandemic and lockdowns were not exposed to these viruses before.

Usually, the RSV virus hits during winter and so the US healthcare system wasn’t prepared for such an early strike by RSV. Pediatric emergency rooms are facing a heavy rush because of the multiple infections that are affecting children and some of them are being admitted to ICU because of complications in breathing as RSV can cause inflammation of the airways and even lead to pneumonia in certain cases. 

At the same time, health experts say that there is no reason to create panic as there are some more stocks of amoxicillin available as of now and there are other alternatives too for the drug if your child needs an antibiotic prescription. These would be prescribed by a practicing healthcare professional as they know what is best for your child. It is to be noted that self-medication is not advised at any cost as it can put your child’s health in danger.

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If your child has been prescribed amoxicillin, first contact your nearest pharmacy and confirm the availability of the drug. If the drug is not available and if it’s a case of emergency then the prescription can be transferred to other pharmacies where there is amoxicillin stock. If both of these don’t work then contact your child’s doctor and ask for an alternative drug for amoxicillin.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, federal health officials are aware of the shortage and they are working towards a solution.

At the same time, CDC and healthcare professionals are urging people to take the necessary precautions for preventing infections. Wearing masks, washing hands, using sanitizers, maintaining proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, and staying indoors if your child is sick are some of the safety precautions that can be taken. These are specifically important for immunocompromised groups like premature babies, infants under 6 months of age, and kids with weak immunity or pre-existing health conditions. RSV or other types of viral infections can cause complications for these groups like causing bronchiolitis, pneumonia, etc.   

With Covid cases on the rise due to new omicron sub-variants. RSV and common flu also add to the crisis, it is always best to follow the safety protocols recommended by health officials and healthcare professionals. The habit of wearing a mask both indoors and outdoors should be practiced especially around vulnerable children and adults. Also, take your covid vaccine shots and flu shots at the earliest so that we can prevent the spread of infections from adults to children.

Reference:  

🔵mayoclinic.org(2022)Amoxicillin (Oral Route).Available(online)at.https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs./amoxicillin./drg-20075356?p=1

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