Due to a surge of RSV infections, rising Covid numbers and an increase in flu cases, it seems like everyone is sick. And because of increased demand, Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin have suffered a shortage on store shelves.
Now, CVS and Walgreens will be limiting purchases of children’s pain relief medicine, according to CNN. CVS is restricting both in-person and online purchases to two children’s pain relief products. Walgreens has limited online purchases to six over-the-counter fever reducers per transaction, but it does not have an in-store purchase limit.
“Due to increased demand and various supplier challenges, over-the-counter pediatric fever-reducing products are seeing constraints across the country,” Walgreens said in a statement. The limits were put into place “in an effort to help support availability and avoid excess purchases.”
CVS acknowledged increased demand for Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin and said they’re collaborating with suppliers to meet the demand and ensure continued access. The new limits were put in place to “ensure equitable access” for all customers, according to a statement from CVS.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association said sales of pediatric pain relievers are up 65% from this time last year.
“Supplies of these products are being replenished as quickly as possible, and there is not a widespread shortage in the US. However, with demand for children’s pain and fever medicines reaching unprecedented levels following this early and severe flu season (along with cases of RSV and COVID), we understand why some retailers have adjusted to impose limits on purchases,” the group said in a statement.
“While CHPA member companies are running manufacturing facilities 24-7 to meet demand, we will continue to encourage consumers to buy only what they need, so other families can find and purchase the medicines they are seeking.”
Weekly RSV hospitalizations have dropped dramatically over the past month – but even with the improvements, hospitalizations are still higher than normal. Though RSV hospitalizations are going down, flu activity remains high, and Covid-19 cases are increasing across the country.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association said that during this period of high demand, parents who are concerned about their child’s need for pain relief medication should “contact their pediatrician or another healthcare provider for additional guidance, especially when it comes to an appropriate amount of medicine needed to get them through this flu season.”
What to do if you can’t find Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Motrin
- Look for a generic or store brand. Store brand versions typically have similar formulations and dosing, and are fine to use, doctors note. Look for children’s acetaminophen (generic Tylenol) or children’s ibuprofen (generic Motrin or Advil).
- Check smaller stores. If the big box stores near you are out of stock, try seeking out a smaller pharmacy instead.
- Call your child’s pediatrician. They might have samples on hand or suggestions about where to find more medication, in addition to being able to call a compounding pharmacy for you, who could mix more medication.