‘It’s generally very readily available,’ doctors worry about Amoxicillin shortage

The shortage is concerning because flu, RSV, and COVID cases are surging
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 5:43 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2022 at 7:58 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The common antibiotic Amoxicillin is in short supply and the timing couldn’t be worse.

“The problem is if you don’t know until after you write the script, and somebody is at the pharmacy, and they find out there’s nothing available. You know that angst that a parent doesn’t need,” said Dr. Lucinda DeMarco of United Health Care for Medicare and Retirement.

Dr. DeMarco says parents should call ahead to see if their pharmacy has the drug in stock. The shortage is concerning because hospitals like Children’s Health Care of Atlanta are seeing a surge of respiratory viruses in kids.

Often with the flu and RSV children can develop a secondary bacterial infection that requires an antibiotic. Doctors like to prescribe the popular liquid form of Amoxicillin, but the FDA just added the powder that’s used to make it to its list of medications in short supply.

“It’s the great-tasting bubble gum stuff. You know it’s liquid. There are smaller children that don’t swallow, but there are older children that haven’t had the opportunity to learn to swallow pills,” said Dr. DeMarco.

Meanwhile, new data from the CDC just updated Thursday afternoon shows the flu skyrocketing in Georgia. The Peach State is in purple. Hospitalizations are up by 200%. Dr. DeMarco is urging everyone, including children, to get vaccinated for the flu and boosted for COVID-19. It’s one less thing to worry about. Plus, you’ll be helping yourself and others.

“It matters that you care about people. And at the end of the day, we’re all people, and peoples’ lives matter,” said Sarah Casey of Athens.

The FDA is working with manufacturers on supply chain issues, but so far there isn’t a clear timetable yet on when things will be back to normal.