Pediatricians across Texas are struggling to find antibiotics in the midst of shortages.
The Texas Pediatric Society reported that pharmacies and pediatricians across the state are being impacted by a shortage of medications such as amoxicillin and Adderall.
American Society of Health System Pharmacists reported that at least three drug manufacturers are experiencing shortages of amoxicillin. This particular shortage impacts oral suspension products typically used for pediatric patients.
Amoxicillin is a “penicillin-like” medication used to treat bacterial infections. The medication is used to treat infection-based illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis, as well as ears, nose, throat, urinary tract, and skin infections.
This medication, however, is not effective in treating viral infections such as the common cold or influenza.
“We started to begin noticing that it was beginning to be difficult to get it about two months ago. And that’s right about the time an increase in infectious diseases was happening,” said Angela Solis, Director of Clinical Services at Martin’s Wellness Dripping Springs Pharmacy, according to KXAN.
Solis has been dispensing partial quantities of prescriptions in order to give her time to find the remainder of the required medicine.
“If a child’s supposed to take it for 10 days, and I have only a five-day supply, then I dispense the five-day supply and start looking really hard to find another bottle, so I can complete their prescription without an interruption in therapy,” Solis said.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries reported shortages in 12 oral amoxicillin products, Hikma Pharmaceuticals reported 14 shortages, and Novartis generics division, Sandoz, reported 18. Aurobindo is another provider but has not yet provided information on its stock.
Hikma is rationing its amoxicillin resources only to current customers to meet demand.
“A lot of our bandwidth in the last couple of months has been about calling around to different pharmacies to try to source these important medications for our patients,” said Jason Terk, a pediatrician at Cook Children’s Health Care System, according to Axios.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that these shortages are largely due to increased demand for products.
The FDA also reported shortages in the nation’s supply of amphetamine mixed salts, sold under the brand name Adderal, an FDA-approved treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. According to the FDA, Teva has been having “ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays” of the drug, and while other companies continue to make amphetamine mixed salts, the current supply is not sufficient to meet demand.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the current shortage is expected to last several months.