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Amoxicillin shortages having negative impact on parents

Parents are having to stay home from work to tend to their sick children.

BELTON, Texas — There is still a shortage of amoxicillin available across the United States, and it's having a direct effect on parents who want their children to be safe.

A Belton parent of a six and four-year-old has missed over a week of work because of the lack of access to amoxicillin for her children.

"I went to the doctor this week and the doctor told me to take my child to the ER because they didn't have what he needed. I cannot afford to go to the ER and the lack of needed medicine is affecting me being able to work," Parent Jamie Lynn explained. 

Amoxicillin is described as a drug used to treat some bacterial infections. These include strep throat, ear infections and pneumonia.

McLane Children's Hospital Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Dominic Lucia, says there are some recommended alternatives to amoxicillin but there becoming scarce in demand as well.

"Something like Augmentin or Cefdinir that obviously should be discussed with the pediatrician or the family medicine physician that's taking care of the child as far as alternatives amoxicillin is available," Lucia mentioned.

The reasoning behind the shortage is explained by the Food and Drug Administration as "demand increase for drugs." 

Lucia says the increase in respiratory viruses including RSV, COVID-19 and the flu has had a large impact on the shortage.

He also wants parents to consult their doctor so they'll be able to prescribe the appropriate medicine to their children because not all illnesses require taking amoxicillin.

"There's multiple reasons for that. One being the shortage, but also the idea of we want to protect against antibiotic resistance. This happens when you prescribe antibiotic's when they're not needed and that's unfortunately still very common," Lucia said.

He also highly recommends parents to not give children old amoxicillin pills as this can make them even sicker.

The shortage is expected to continue for the next few months.

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