Laboratoire Riva, a maker of generic and private label drugs, reported a shortage of paracetamol chewable tablets for children on Tuesday.
The Quebec-based company cites increased demand, according to DrugShortagesCanada.ca, a Health Canada website for drug sellers to report when they can’t meet demand.
A nationwide shortage of children’s liquid Tylenol for months due to a combination of supply chain issues and unusually high demand led Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children to inform caregivers and patients Monday about potential challenges accessing liquid acetaminophen and ibuprofen, along with a recommendation to get a prescription from your SickKids care provider to help ensure access.
Ottawa’s CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) has also said it is taking steps to ensure there are no supply issues for its patients.
The Canadian Pharmacists Association also clarified in a declaration Wednesday that you don’t need a prescription to buy liquid Tylenol or Advil and that it was a “recommendation” by SickKids to their patients’ caregivers. The organization also urged everyone “not to buy larger quantities than they need, so that all caregivers can access what they need, when they need it.”
Tylenol is the brand name for acetaminophen, while ibuprofen is also known under the brand names Advil and Motrin.
An Ontario-based pharmacist who works for a national network told CTVNews.ca that the suspension version of over-the-counter Tylenol has been pending since around May or June.
The pharmacist said that even the generic store brand for liquid acetaminophen has been out of stock for months, adding that the large 500ml bottles of acetaminophen stored behind the counter and used for prescriptions are not typically stocked regularly in most of stores and are currently also available. pending order
The SickKids letter also suggested using alternative forms of the medication, including chewable tablets, but emphasized the importance of speaking with a pharmacist or health care provider to ensure the correct product and dosage are safely administered.
the Drug shortage in Canada reports issued on Tuesday were for the 80mg, 24 tablets and the 160 mg, packs of 20 tablets of paracetamol chewable tablets manufactured by Riva. The company did not immediately respond to inquiries by phone or email.
Separately, Paladin Labs Inc. also reported a shortage of its 80mg drug. Infant Tempra Drops of acetaminophen in 15-mL and 24-mL bottles on Wednesday due to a “drug manufacturing halt,” according to the drug shortage reporting website. The drugmaker had previously reported a shortage of its 100ml paracetamol. Tempra Infant Syrup July 27th.
“We know there are challenges within the global supply chain with drugmakers trying their best to catch up,” Justin Bates, executive director of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, told CTV News Channel on Wednesday. “But the raw materials, the sourcing and the combination of all of this has created challenges with regards to maintaining and maintaining the supply of these products.”
“And on top of that, we have unprecedented demand due to both cold and flu and fever and pain that we haven’t normally seen this time of year.”
Some of Canada’s largest pharmacy chains did not immediately respond to inquiries about the shortage and the outlook. Loblaws, owner of Shoppers Drug Mart, directed inquiries to Bates.
“Manufacturers have not yet indicated when this will be restocked,” Bates said.
“We are monitoring the situation closely. They are working very hard to make sure the shelves are stocked and our hope is that by the fall, when we see the peak of cold and flu season, we will have more supply on the shelves.”
Some parents, worried about the drop, are stocking up.
“A lot of families are very stressed about this. We’re heading into what we’re worried might be a really crazy viral season,” Toronto pediatrician Dr. Dina Kulik told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.
The shortage began in early spring, Kulik said, and continues in some parts of the country.
“Viruses have been very high all year. We usually don’t see as many viruses this time of year, but going into… [the] viral season, many of us are concerned that children don’t have access to the pain and fever medications they need to feel better when they’re sick.”
SickKids said that while some retail pharmacies may have an adequate supply of the over-the-counter versions, other pharmacies may only have them in large quantities that must be dispensed by a pharmacist.
“For this reason, the medication may require a prescription. As a result, SickKids reminds patients and families who have visited the hospital and need a liquid form of pain reliever or fever medication for home use to obtain a prescription from their SickKids care provider to help ensure access,” SickKids spokeswoman Sarah Warr said in a statement emailed to CTVNews.ca. She added that the letter was not intended as a recommendation to the general public.
OPA’s Bates says it’s not required, however, and caregivers can still talk to their pharmacist, who can dispense from the large bottles to smaller-volume containers with proper labeling and dosing.
Historically, doctors haven’t had to write prescriptions for these kinds of over-the-counter medications, Kulik noted.
“If there is a real shortage, we may all have to write prescriptions,” he said, adding that doctors will usually provide prescriptions over the phone for certain illnesses.
“I hope most doctors feel comfortable giving acetaminophen or ibuprofen over the phone, through a virtual visit.”
While it’s unclear how long the shortage will last, health professionals recommend against hoarding.
“I know there’s a lot of anxiety out there. We want to prevent hoarding and so we’re rationing this in regards to having a prescription that allows coverage from private drug plans as well as public drug plans, and like, well, make sure that all who need it get it,” Bates said.