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BC Parents urged not to stockpile and panic amid painkiller shortages for children

Parents in British Columbia are stocking up on liquid ibuprofen and acetaminophen products for their kids in short supply. You are asked not to buy in a hurry.

In Vancouver, Dr. Anna Wolak said she recently observed more barren shelves than usual, including missing cold and flu medicines for her children.

"The first thing to do is not panic or stockpile," her family doctor and clinical assistant professor at Columbia University in British Columbia told Her News Global.

"What we are seeing are liquid formulations of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. There is no completely untreated acetaminophen and ibuprofen."

} Read more: Drug makers step up production of painkillers for children amid shortages: Pharmacists Group

According to Health Canada, Shortages affecting pharmacies in several states are due to both supply chain issues and demand "substantially higher than usual."

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Vancouver-based pharmacist Barbara Gobis says more children will have more children this summer than last summer. explained that they are out, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and more people are getting sick.

"The industry was unprepared for the unexpected demand," said Gobis, who is also director of the UBC Pharmacists Clinic.

"Typically, colds and flu hit in the fall when children return to school. Demand for children's products tends to increase at this time of year. I didn't expect it to happen so quickly."

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In an emailed statement, BC Children's Hospital said it was "aware of the limited supply of oral versions of acetaminophen and ibuprofen" but has sufficient inventory for patients. We understand that consumers are experiencing intermittent unavailability," the company wrote. "It discourages stocking up so supplies don't sell out completely."

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BC Children's Hospital, Wolak, All Gobis encourage parents whose children need medication to consult with their doctor or pharmacist before using alternatives.

READ MORE: Painkillers for some children are in short supply, but pharmacists say they don't need a prescription

Wolak and Gobis Aspirin is rarely associated with Reye's syndrome, which causes swelling of the liver and brain and can be fatal, so aspirin should be specifically avoided.

"We're just asking parents not to flap their wings. Pick up the phone and call your usual source of advice," Gobis said.

Parents can instead look for chewable ibuprofen and acetaminophen products for children, or opt for unbranded medications if brand names are out of stock, Wolak said. I can do it. She added that some pharmacists have large liquid bottles in the back of the shelf that can be transferred to smaller bottles upon request.

If none of these options are available. , she advised parents to consult a medical professional.

"These drugs are based on weight, not age," he explained. "Talk to your pharmacist or doctor and tell us how much your child weighs. Together we can calculate the dose your child can take."

It said it is working with territories, businesses and stakeholders across the supply chain to determine the details and circumstances of the shortage, coordinate information sharing and identify mitigation options.

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Regulatory action to speed up resupply was out of the question, he added.

BC Health Minister Adrian Dix said the state's public health system was "adequate".

"We're obviously watching very carefully, and the more supply, the better. Some health systems are having problems...not so far in BC." He told Global News.

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