Shortage of children’s pain relievers is crowding the ER — but there are solutions, doctors say – CBC

Relaxed COVID measures, flu season and panic buying are fuelling the shortage

Nov 04, 2022

After months of watching his toddlers suffer fever after fever — with limited access to pain and fever-reducing medications — it became almost unbearable, Washim Ahmed says.

“It’s absolutely devastating to see your child is going through pain and you’re completely helpless,” the Pickering, Ont., father of two said.

With the cold and flu season in full swing across the country, and new COVID variants arising worldwide, many parents are sharing in Ahmed’s frustration as pediatric pain and fever-reducing medications containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen have become all the more scarce after a six-month Canada-wide shortage.

A combination of factors has created the shortage, according to information from epidemiologists, emergency room doctors and Health Canada officials: a lack of raw ingredients to make the drugs has combined with an uptick in respiratory viruses fuelled by the relaxed COVID measures. And panic buying is depleting stock as soon as it comes in, pharmacists tell CBC.

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