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he Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that the U.S. is facing a shortage of the antibiotic amoxicillin, citing an increase in demand and manufacturing issues as reasons for the medication’s short supply.
In an Oct. 28 announcement, the regulator said the shortage applies to “amoxicillin oral powder.” Pharmacists use the powdered form of the antibiotic to prepare a liquid version that is easier to administer to young children. An FDA spokesperson explained that such supply issues can occur for many reasons – including manufacturing, quality problems, delays and discontinuations.
“This shortage is a challenging one as some of the commonly prescribed strengths and forms of the medication are not available,” said Michael Ganio, senior director of pharmacy practice and quality for the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists. “Patients and providers may find that they have to call around to multiple pharmacies to find available supplies.”
Ganio remarked that the shortage appears to be caused by a rise in demand “likely tied to the increase of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases and other respiratory illnesses reported nationwide.”
According to the New York Post, children’s hospitals have been recently flooded with cases of RSV. While amoxicillin isn’t used to treat RSV, the illness does predispose some young children to secondary bacterial infections, such as ear infections, that are typically treated with amoxicillin.