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11/21/22 blog post

where did all the medicine go?


in this article:

It is likely that as this point, you or your child has experienced one (or two!) respiratory illnesses this season. At Dayton Children’s, we are seeing a record number of kids in our emergency departments, urgent cares and Kids Express locations seeking care for RSV, flu and several other respiratory illnesses. To add to an already stressful situation, families are now running into issues finding medication for their child to help treat some of these illnesses.

The pharmacy team at Dayton Children’s is here to share guidance about the different medication shortages and what patient families should do if they are running low or cannot find a medication.


It is hard to believe, but because of the surge in respiratory viruses there has been an unusually high demand for Tylenol, also known as acetaminophen, resulting in a shortage at some retail clinics and pharmacies.

Alternatives to the liquid form of acetaminophen for younger kids include chewable tablets or suppositories.  Acetaminophen tablets or capsules are available for children who are able to swallow a pill.


Amoxicillin is most commonly used in kids to treat bacterial infections including ear infections, pneumonia and strep throat.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, high demand is responsible for the shortage of the liquid form of amoxicillin. While there are no direct substitutions for amoxicillin, there are some other antibiotics that can be used in place of amoxicillin. If you have trouble finding amoxicillin, your or your pharmacy may contact the doctor to prescribe an alternative antibiotic.

Most common infections in young children are caused by viruses and do not require antibiotics. Amoxicillin will not treat viral infections such as the common cold, influenza or RSV, but it can treat bacterial infections that are sometimes caused by these illnesses.

Your child’s doctor will help determine whether their respiratory infection may or may not benefit from antibiotics.


While unrelated to the surge in respiratory viruses, Adderall is another medication that is becoming harder for families to find. Adderall is commonly used to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Teva, the largest manufacturer of generic Adderall, is experiencing ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays. Other manufacturers continue to produce generic Adderall, yet there is not a sufficient supply to meet U.S. market demand. On top of the manufacturing delays, there has been an increase in the diagnosis of ADHD during the past couple of years. Experts believe this may be due to children being home with their family more during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing families to notice the signs of ADHD and leading them to follow up with their providers for treatment.

Patients who are running low on medication should reach out to their provider to discuss options. There are different versions, such as extended release, and other medications but your child’s provider should weigh in on whether those are right for your child.

If a child stops taking their Adderall, families can expect symptoms to return. If a child was highly hyperactive and impulsive, the child will return to exhibiting these same symptoms when the medication is not taken.  The most common side effects of a patient stopping Adderall include trouble sleeping, fatigue and/or nausea.

The pharmacy team at Dayton Children’s will continue to navigate these unprecedented drug shortages and work to ensure that every child who requires medication has access.