Shortage of medication for fever: Health Canada in communication with manufacturers

Shortage of medication for fever: Health Canada in contact with manufacturers


For the past few months, the supply of Tylenol and Advil for children has become increasingly difficult due to higher demand, which is prompting Health Canada to work with the manufacturers of these types of products.

At a time when children's products containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen are increasingly rare on the shelves, the federal agency and even the Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos , increase communications with manufacturers and suppliers of these products to ensure collaboration and alleviate this shortage.

In a press briefing on Friday, Mr. Duclos assured that “all options” are “on the table” to resolve the shortage of drugs for children, an “urgent” problem that requires an “immediate” solution.

“I share the concerns of many parents about the difficulties in finding pediatric painkillers for infants and children,” he said.

He explains this shortage by an explosion in demand for these products during the summer.

“We are working hand-in-hand with manufacturers and suppliers to continue to increase supply to meet increased demand and to ensure families have access to essential medicines,” the minister added.

“Supply is increasing, but we still expect intermittent stock-outs of these products at retail outlets. We are working to get these drugs to everyone who needs them, and we are working especially hard to replenish supplies to children's hospitals,” Health Canada said in a statement released Friday.

Additionally, Health Canada recommends that parents discuss their child's condition with a healthcare professional, such as a pharmacist, to determine the appropriate medication.

“As the health of infants and children is our top priority, we are exploring all options to address this shortage. Health Canada will provide regular updates on the supply of acetaminophen and ibuprofen products for children in Canada,” added the federal agency.

Here is what Health Canada recommends to parents if their child has a fever:

• In case of fever, make sure your child feels as well as possible, use cold compresses , and make him drink plenty of fluids. Warm baths can help manage pain.

• If necessary, discuss your child's needs with a healthcare professional, such as a pharmacist, who will help you choose the right product from those available.

• Avoid using expired medicines , as they may be less effective than before their expiry date and may even cause side effects. Once the expiry date has passed, there is no guarantee that the medicine will remain safe and effective.

• Do not give children under 12 years of age fever and pain products intended for adults without talking to a healthcare professional. There is a serious risk of overdose, especially with the administration of acetaminophen, and a risk of liver damage in infants or children.

• Be sure to read carefully and follow the dosage of any products you administer.

• Do not obtain these products from unknown sources, such as online groups or other third parties.

• Make sure that your infant or child has received all recommended routine immunizations to reduce their risk of serious illness.