Amoxicillin is in short supply; what to do if you need it

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 11:03 AM CDT
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(CNN) - It’s a common antibiotic used to treat a broad range of conditions.

But the Food and Drug Administration said amoxicillin is in short supply across the U.S.

Some pharmacies are having trouble filling prescriptions for amoxicillin.

”Because of the surge in respiratory infections, we think it’s causing an increase in demand for the antibiotic amoxicillin and particularly the pediatric dosage forms, which include suspensions, a form of an oral liquid, or chewable tablets.”

Michael Ganio with the American Society of Health System Pharmacists said that while amoxicillin wouldn’t be used to treat a viral infection like RSV, some patients may develop secondary bacterial infections that require antibiotics.

If you can’t get your prescription filled, Ganio has advice: ”Work with a pharmacist there or with the prescriber to find another pharmacy that might have the drug in stock. There may be a different concentration or a dosage form that’s available, but there’s also several other options that can be used as far as antibiotics go.”

COVID-19 mitigation measures, like masking, lowered rates of other infections, so some drug companies said there had been little demand for the medicine during the height of the pandemic.

Since the antibiotic is made when there’s a demand for it, the companies need time to catch up.

”In this case, there are some allocations, meaning the pharmacies can’t order up more than what they normally stock, so that can make it difficult to meet the full demand that’s out there right now,” Ganio said.

Health experts say you can also call your pharmacy to check to see if they have the drug in stock at the strength prescribed before making the trip to the pharmacy.