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How the Children’s Medicine Shortage is Affecting Northeast Michigan

There’s a shortage of children’s medicine in America this cold and flu season, and northeast Michigan is no exception. The shelves at LeFave Pharmacy are also bare when you head over to the pain medication section.

“One of our technicians just visited a child in Washington,” She said they can’t get it there either, so it’s not just here, I know I’ve had people that have seen it on the shelf then shipped it to family members, cause it’s a ‘you buy it when you see it’ kind of thing,” says Jaime Bailey, a pharmacist at LeFave.

The medicines for children that have mainly been unavailable are Tylenol, Motrin, and ibuprofen, pain relievers that often help with fever. COVID, the flu, and RSV all can cause high fever.

“We’re checking daily, we’re getting what we can, but it’s very scarce, as far as Tylenol, Motrin, liquid versions,” said Bailey.

If you need these medicines but they are not available, there are alternative methods of reducing fever.

“Making sure the child stays hydrated, taking off layers of clothing to cool them down naturally, cool compresses, all those things can manage a low grade fever,” she said.

This shortage is unlike shortages before due to the multiple viruses spreading at one time right now, but LeFave has seen shortages before.

“It’s been a tough year as far as shortages, that’s our worst one and our most difficult one, but even antibiotics and Tamiflu, things like that have been extremely hard to come by this season. Probably, again, just due to the uptick in sickness this winter, and I don’t think they know why it’s such a bad season,” Bailey said.

They don’t know specific dates on when they’ll get these medicines back in, but as flu season progresses, they’re hoping it should be soon.