CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A lot of people are sick right now, so the demand for Amoxicillin is high.
The FDA announced there is a shortage of amoxicillin oral powder, a key ingredient in making the syrup children take. But the Vice President of Pharmacy Services at Carle Hospital says there is no reason to panic.
If you or your child gets an ear infection, pneumonia or strep throat, pharmacist Tony Jones says you’ll probably be prescribed amoxicillin.
“Amoxicillin is a newer form of penicillin,” said Jones. “It has a better range of action against bugs.”
Right now, there’s a nationwide shortage of the catch-all drug, and that is being felt across Central Illinois.
“I’ve got a little bit on the shelf but that can disappear in just a minute,” said Jones. “I probably have enough for one prescription.”
So, what do you do if there is none left at your pharmacy?
Linda Fred, Vice President of Pharmacy Services for Carle Health, says don’t fret.
“Drug shortages are something we’ve been dealing with for decades now,” said Fred. “Your pharmacies are very practiced at working with your doctors to figure out if we don’t have the preferred product what’s our second choice.”
Amoxicillin won’t treat viral infections like the flu, colds, RSV or Covid. But Fred says there are things you can do to protect yourself from bacterial infections.
“One of your first lines of defense is really your hand washing and your general hygiene and protection against infection,” said Fred, “and vaccinations are certainly a big part of that.”
The good news? Fred doesn’t think this shortage will last forever.
“We expect that we’ll see the return of this product within a few weeks,” said Fred. “We’re not expecting this to be a lengthy shortage.”
And Jones says there are lots of variations of the drug.
“Ear infections, upper raspatory infections that are bacterial in nature usually respond well to any of these,” said Jones.
If you are concerned, both Jones and Fred say to talk to your pharmacist. They can help you do some of the leg work, so you aren’t driving to a bunch of places to see who has amoxicillin.