According to pharmacies across Saskatchewan, there is currently a shortage of acetaminophen in chewable, tablet, and syrup forms for children and infants, which has become a scary reality for parents.
Acetaminophen is an analgesic drug used to relieve mild or chronic pain and to reduce fever, often as an alternative to aspirin.
In Moose Jaw, the Co-op's Hillcrest Pharmacy has noticed a decline in those specific products, as well as what is being shipped to them.
“We have seen a shortage in the Tylenol brand. As well as Tempra,” says Hillcrest Pharmacy at Moose Jaw Co-op Manager, Pharmacist Whitney Striha. “However, we still have been receiving products from the pharmacy every week thus far. There is no need to panic-buy products. There are sufficient products available to meet the patient's needs.”
Striha adds that she’s not 100 per cent sure why there is a shortage, as the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition informed her that there was a shortage of specific products. At this time there is no specific timeline on when supply will return to normal.
Tylenol released a statement about the current shortage of their products. They said they are experiencing a record high demand for their product and even though production and record-high shipping are occurring shortages are continuing in parts of Canada.
Due to the shortage, the pharmacy is noticing purchasing increases with parents stocking up on Tylenol and Tempra products for more than just pain relief.
“There also has been an increase in cold/flu, covid and hand foot and mouth cases which may require Tylenol or Advil.”
If parents can’t find their usual Tylenol or Tempra brands Striha says that there’s no need to panic as they do have alternatives that will have the same effect.
“Parents can look for a different brand of Acetaminophen (Tylenol or Tempra) or use a different dosage form (liquid, chewables, dissolvable powder). You would just need to consult a pharmacist to make sure child/infant gets appropriate dose/conversion.”
Products such as Advil or Motrin are also alternatives that can be used for fever or pain, but Striha advised consultation with a pharmacist to discuss the proper use before making the switch due to additional drug interactions.
Striha concluded by saying that if parents need further assistance or have any questions regarding their child or infant’s medication, not to hesitate and ask the pharmacists at CO-OP's Hillcrest Pharmacy.