Amid sporadic supply disruptions across the country, pharmacists say Ontario drugstores are facing shortages of common children’s pain relievers, including brands like Tylenol and Advil.
“I don’t really know what it’s going to be like, to be honest with you. I hope she doesn’t get sick,” says Kingston parent Kyle Jackson.
It’s a sentiment shared by many parents, as the Ontario Pharmacists Association says the province is seeing an “extensive” shortage of over-the-counter children’s pain relievers that contain acetaminophen.
Med+ Pharmacy owner and pharmacist Manoj Gajera has taken Tylenol off his shelves and is selling bottles one at a time to stop bulk panic buying.
“I urge everyone to not panic, there are solutions or options available,” Gajera says. “Try and help out other families if you have enough Tylenol with you. Share it with some people if they desperately need it.”
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Gajera says there are alternatives available. Some pharmacies can offer liquid over-the-counter medication on a prescription basis, or offer a smaller dosage of adult medication for children in emergency situations.
“Make sure if you have to really go that route, parents, reach out to the family physician or the pharmacist and see if they can help you out that way,” says Gajera.
Manufacturers are chalking the shortage up to unseasonably high demand, creating headaches for parents with children in need.
“You have to call to make an appointment that’s probably two weeks ahead of time, and then how long is your kid sitting there sick without medication?” says Jackson. “Your kid is probably going to get better over the sickness or your body is going to build up immunity and fight off the sickness before you even get the medication that you needed.”
At Med+, there are very few bottles remaining of children’s acetaminophen and no real answers as to when the store will be restocked — a tough pill to swallow for parents.