KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A surge in respiratory illnesses in children is causing a shortage of medications used to treat them; doctors say it’s mostly impacting those used for illnesses like RSV.
According to Children’s Mercy, Tamiflu, amoxicillin, and even common drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen are in short supply.
It’s a difficult time for families with sick children like Megan Swaim. Her 19-month-old son Hudson has been battling RSV for almost two weeks.
“It’s terrifying, it’s so scary,” Swaim said.
He has congenital heart disease, making this time of year even scarier for their young family.
“It’s hard because I don’t want to take him outside because he just catches everything, and his poor little body just has such a hard time fighting it off,” Swaim said.
With Hudson’s condition, he can’t take the usual breathing treatments or steroids used for RSV, but Megan says the medicine shortage is still troubling with another young child in kindergarten.
“It’s scary to know that as a mom you can only do so much and as a pharmacy you can only do so much,” Swaim said. “If you’re shorthanded, you’re shorthanded.”
Pharmacist Michael Fink with Pharmacy of Grace said with more people getting sick, they’ve seen more demand for medicines used to treat viral infections.
He said if you’re met with empty shelves at your pharmacy, talk to your pharmacist or doctor to help find a substitution.
“There’s always a way to treat something since not everything is in shortage, we have some recommendations that we can make,” Fink said.
Fink says there’s no timeline for when the medicine shortage will end, but hopes production will ramp up soon.
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