Jan 11, 2023 - News

Painful search for children's Tylenol

Empty shelves at CVS during a shortage of kid's pain medications.

Shelves at a CVS on Nogalitos Street were picked clean of children's Tylenol and Motrin yesterday. Photo: Madalyn Mendoza/Axios

San Antonio is not immune to the shortages of children's Tylenol and Motrin affecting the rest of the U.S.

Why it matters: Parents navigating waves of respiratory viruses are being met with empty shelves across the city.

What's happening: Unlike last year's baby formula shortage, the decimated medicine aisle is not due to a broken supply chain, but the result of unexpectedly high consumer demand, writes Axios' Tina Reed.

  • National sales for children's medicine in November were up 65% compared to 2021.
  • December sales data are not yet available.

Zoom in: Yesterday afternoon, shelves at a CVS, Walgreens and H-E-B stores near downtown were wiped clear of name brand and generic pain relief medication for children.

  • H-E-B tells Axios San Antonio in a statement that stores are "working hard" to provide the items and are restocking weekly.
  • CVS is rationing the medicines to two units per customer.

What they're saying: Rachel Pearson, a local pediatrician with UT Health San Antonio, tells Axios that doctors and their patients are also facing a shortage of the antibiotic medication amoxicillin, commonly used to treat strep throat and pneumonia.

  • She warns parents of the overdose dangers tied to cutting down adult doses of medication to give to children.
  • "Don't take the risk of trying to give them an adult dose or figure out a dose, especially for a small kid. It's just not safe," she said.
  • Pearson says at-home remedies like cold baths, warm blankets and plenty of fluids can help parents navigate less-serious discomfort.

What to watch: RSV has been on the decline since November, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show. Similarly, the last few CDC reports about the flu show the outbreak has peaked in most areas.

Yes, but: COVID is on the rise again, and there are other illnesses beyond the big three spreading among kids.


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