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Local pharmacist says no need to panic as some experience shortage of Amoxicillin

"Case by case, we're running into scenarios here where some pharmacies may not have it in stock and so we're having to be a little bit creative to help a patient in need," said Diane Harpell
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(stock photo)

Some Nova Scotia pharmacies are experiencing shortages of a popular antibiotic for children with respiratory illnesses, but a local pharmacist says there's no need to hit the panic button.

Diane Harpell, a board member at Pharmacy Association NS and owner of Dartmouth's Medicine Shoppe Canada, said Amoxicillin is an antibiotic used to treat many different bacterial infections in adults, especially children.

But lately, Harpell told CityNews Halifax pharmacies in the province are starting to run into scenarios where they're short on the medication.

"Case by case, we're running into scenarios here where some pharmacies may not have it in stock and so we're having to be a little bit creative to help a patient in need," said Harpell.

That means pharmacists are reaching out to each other to see if they have the antibiotic in stock at their pharmacies.

According to Harpell, there are scenarios where they can't get a hold of the antibiotic which means they have to start using alternative medications.

"This is the first line antibiotic for a lot things, but that doesn't mean it's the only antibiotic that's out there," she said. "We have to look at alternatives, switching the medication to something else, seeing what the second line would be, communicating with the prescribers or working with the pharmacy to ensure they get the treatment that they need."

Harpell said pharmacists have been running into shortages with several different things during the pandemic, including Amoxicillin, but she adds there's no need to panic.

"This is something that your pharmacy teams deal with on a regular basis," said Harpell. "It's something that we're experts in doing, so don't panic if we run into a scenario where it's truly that antibiotic we need for your child. We will work on the best way to find that for your child."




Chris Halef

About the Author: Chris Halef

Chris is a reporter for HalifaxToday.ca and NEWS 95.7. In 2018, he won the RTDNA Dave Rogers Award for best short feature.
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