Shortage of Common Antibiotics Is Impacting Children amid Rise of Respiratory Illnesses

The FDA has reported shortages of vital medications used to treat the common illnesses among children, including the flu, ear infections and sore throats

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Pharmacists across the country are experiencing shortages in vital medications used to treat common illnesses among children, including the flu, ear infections and sore throats.

The FDA and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists have reported shortages in common antibiotics like Tamiflu, amoxicillin, and augmentin.

"Right now, we are having severe shortages of medications. There's no Tamiflu for children. There's barely any Tamiflu for adults. And this is brand-name and generic," Renae Kraft, a relief pharmacist in Oklahoma City, told CNN. "As far as antibiotics go, there's not a whole lot."

Michael Ganio, senior director of pharmacy practice and quality for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, told the outlet that the shortages are not a manufacturing problem, but "it's just increased demand ahead of schedule and higher than usual."

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that flu season arrived over a month earlier than usual this year, and the country has seen a dramatic rise in respiratory illnesses. The agency also revealed that several states have experienced an increase of pediatric hospitalizations.

With a shortage of medications, pharmaceutical companies have been forced to speed up production.

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

The FDA has reportedly issued guidance to pharmacists for filling medications for children amid the shortage.

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