Shortage of supply of some children’s Tylenol products is a concern for some parents

Allison Wolinsky, a mother of three, estimates she has visited 10 different pharmacies in Vancouver over the past six months looking for children’s Tylenol tablets.

Commercial drugs are often recommended by doctors to reduce fever in sick children, but supply problems have left many store shelves empty of the product.

For Wolinsky, the problem arose a few weeks ago when her daughter caught COVID-19.

“She had a high fever and we had to give her Tylenol to bring the fever down and she refused the liquid [Tylenol]. In fact, when we gave it to her, she threw it up. So we had to go to a family member to get the pills he had left,” she said.

The Retail Council of Canada (RCC), which deals with supply chain issues on behalf of retailers, says the Tylenol shortage can be attributed to the brand’s popularity and a poor cough and cold season. linked to the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“The demand is unprecedented for these cold and cough products, especially for children’s products,” said Greg Wilson of the RCC’s Pacific office.

“Talk to your pharmacist, talk to your doctor, see what other products are applicable. Some retailers will have introduced different products to manage the [shortage].”

A message on Tylenol’s website acknowledges customer frustration, citing “record demand” for the products.

“…Although we are producing and shipping at an all-time high, we are experiencing a temporary shortage in some areas of Canada,” the message read.

In a statement to CBC, Tylenol, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson, said, “We are taking all possible steps to ensure product availability.”

Erin Aubrey says her young daughter was given children’s Tylenol at BC Children’s Hospital when she caught a croupy cough. Upon discharge, doctors advised giving it every four to six hours. Unable to find any in several stores, Aubrey ended up substituting a different drug.

“Not having the option to give it to him as an option was kind of scary. I thought we were going to end up in the hospital and hopefully they will,” she said.

Wolinsky says she, too, reluctantly resorted to another brand of children’s medication.

“I just think Tylenol is safer for bringing down a fever,” she said.

Wilson says the Tylenol shortage is being felt across Canada. He says he expects the situation to improve during the summer months, when the disease is generally less prevalent in the general population.

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