Pharmacists in the Heartland feeling the impact of the amoxicillin shortage

Pharmacies across the Heartland are reporting one of the most commonly used antibiotics is in short supply
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 6:11 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Pharmacies across the Heartland are reporting one of the most commonly used antibiotics is in short supply. Amoxicillin isn’t always available for patients.

For Cape Girardeau Pharmacist Elizabeth Pham, the nationwide amoxicillin shortage is creating big challenges.

“We’re trying every day just to monitor what our wholesaler has in stock and just order it so that we can have something on hand to be able to provide for our community, but unfortunately our primary wholesaler and our secondary wholesaler are out,” said Pham.

Pham says due to the short supply of the antibiotic, some patients may be turned away.

“Unfortunately if I’m not able to get more in stock as the demand rises we probably are going to have to do that or at least to try and figure out if there’s another pharmacy in the area that does have at least enough to provide for that patient,” Pham said.

Over in Carbondale, Ill., at Shawnee Healthcare Same Day Clinic, Nurse Practitioner Jessica Baine says getting their patients the medication they need is a struggle.

“I had someone positive for strep throat the other day and they had to wait three days for an antibiotic. It’s 24 hours of antibiotics before their not contagious anymore so I mean they’re going four days without something before they can even go back to school,” said Baine.

Baine says alternatives are available.

“But the reason that we prescribe certain medications is that they work best. If I’m gonna prescribe something I want to give the best antibiotic on the market to that patient I don’t want to give just second third line treatment just because and that’s kind of what it’s gonna come down to if we don’t have enough antibiotics,” Baine said.

Pham says she’s not sure how long the shortage will last but she’s hopeful it will end soon.

“I’m sure all the moms out there are very worried especially one with little babies so please as a reminder if a mom doesn’t want you to touch their baby please do not touch the baby RSV has made a huge comeback this year and with the shortage of amoxicillin we want to try and make sure all of our babies are safe,” Pham said.