SAN DIEGO — If your child is sick and requires some over-the-counter relief, you may have to visit multiple pharmacies to find them the medicine they need.
Pharmacies are limiting the purchase of children’s pain relief medication as respiratory illnesses continue spreading.
Several children’s over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol and Ibuprofen are getting harder to find.
Supplies of these pain and fever reducers at many pharmacies are dramatically low or out of stock.
According to health officials, the supply impact is due to the early and severe flu season, as well as an increase in other respiratory illnesses like RSV and COVID-19.
A supply chain expert at the University of San Diego said this is not a supply chain issue.
“The supply chains for this particular situation are not broken,” said Professor Joel Sutherland. “There is not an ingredient shortage that I’m aware of like it was with baby formula. No one was forecasting the spike in demand that we’ve seen in the last few months because of these various viruses that are affecting children.”
Doctors have been warning about this situation, some even referring to it as a “triple-demic.”
CVS Pharmacy has put a two-product limit on purchases of all children’s pain relief products in stores and online as it works with its suppliers to ensure continued access to the medicines.
Walgreens, meanwhile, is limiting customers to six purchases of pain medication for kids online, but there is no limit at retail stores.
FOX 5 spoke with people who have children in their families like Ashanti, from San Diego, who has a little brother.
“I think two packets is not enough because you never know how sick the person or the kid might be,” Ashanti said.
Matteo Gonzalez says he is not overly concerned because his family often resorts to using natural remedies.
“I just notice at least within my family, we usually just use tea, lemon and honey and it solves the trick, at least for flu season,” Gonzalez said.
Doctors suggest looking for generic medication, sometimes those medications will be found on store shelves than the name brands. Another recommendation is to try home remedies like tea and honey, but doctors warn about giving children adult medicine.
“What I would say is be careful adult medicines don’t go to give them adult medicines because those are very different dosages and for sure don’t do aspirin,” said Dr. Mario Bialostozky from Rady Children’s Pediatrician.