Canada

Canada expecting 1 million bottles children’s Tylenol, Advil next week

The federal government says more children’s Tylenol, Advil will start appearing on store shelves across Canada starting early next week.

Amid an ongoing shortage of kids’ fever and pain remedy, Health Canada says it’s secured a large foreign supply.

“After next week, more than one million bottles of product will have entered Canada to supply hospitals, community pharmacies, and retailers,” Health Canada Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Supriya Sharma said Friday, adding liquid versions of these medications will also be available.

She admits the country is still trying to tack down other alternatives and more foreign shipments. In addition to an ongoing shortage of children’s pain and fever medication, Sharma notes there is also a shortage of “certain formulations of amoxicillin” — an antibiotic used to treat different bacterial infections.

“I would like to reassure you that Health Canada has been working very closely with the manufacturers, the provinces and territories, and stakeholders, including the Canadian Paediatric Society, to assess the supply situation and discuss mitigation strategies. This includes looking at potential alternatives or foreign supply,” Sharma explained.

“The information gathered to date indicates that amoxicillin is available, so supply to pharmacies may be impacted here and there as measures are taken to equitably distribute inventory, but alternatives also remain available.”

The ongoing shortage of children’s medications in Canada has become much more urgent as respiratory illnesses have ripped through homes and schools, leaving parents scrambling to find any kind of fever and pain remedy.

The shortage has left many store shelves mostly bare, pushing families and caregivers to look elsewhere for supply.

The shortage of infant and children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen has been an issue since the spring. However, the situation has become much more problematic in recent weeks as respiratory illnesses have surged.

Respiratory illness update Canada

The “tripledemic” is now becoming a major challenge. as the flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID-19 not only affect homes and classrooms but also put pressure on pediatric hospitals.

“Nationally, there is continued variability … and across COVID-19 activity indicators, including case counts, percent positivity, and waste water signals,” explained Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam Friday.

“SARS-CoV-2 virus is still circulating across the country, while other respiratory virus activity, including influenza and [RSV] is above expected levels for this time of the year.”

She notes the positivity rate of influenza and RSV is having “a large impact on children,” adding “the proportion of influenza detections among children and teenagers is unusually high.”

While there are no vaccines against RSV, Tam says there are shots available for children six months and older to protect against serious illness from influenza.

“Getting kids vaccinated with the vaccines we have available for them is an important measure we can take to protect them from severe illness,” Tam explained, adding personal protective measures, like wearing a mask and frequently washing hands, can also reduce overall spread.

She also urges people to stay home when they’re feeling sick.

As ERs fill up and as it remains difficult for many in parts of Canada to access clinics and family doctors, parents have been snapping up the meagre supply of children’s meds, trying to manage symptoms like high fever at home.

Some online parents groups have been buzzing, with members sharing information on where and when kids’ Tylenol or Advil shows up.

The federal government says it’s working with provinces, territories, and other stakeholders to ensure an adequate supply is available to meet demand.

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