Despite Amoxicillin & Tamiflu supply shortage, local pharmacies and hospitals working to fill prescriptions

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 5:41 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Flu season is in full effect, as we’ve seen cases of flu and RSV on the rise.

Further complicating matters has been a shortage in medications, with two big ones being Amoxicillin and Tamiflu.

While local pharmacies have certainly been experiencing these shortages, they’ve been working together with doctors to ensure everyone can get the medication they need.

Shortages of Amoxicillin and Tamiflu really picked up across the country in the past month, largely as a result of increased cases of flu and RSV.

Clinics and pharmacies right here in Siouxland are feeling the effects.

”It’s a big problem right now,” said Liz Webb, a Staff Pharmacist at Drilling Pharmacy in Sioux City. “I’d say over the last month were having to make a lot more phone calls to doctor officers to either change antibiotic, change dosages to fit what we have in stock. But it’s a big problem for pharmacies in the area right now.”

The most difficult drug to find has been the liquid form of Amoxicillin, which is mainly prescribed to children who aren’t old enough or able to swallow a pill. It has a lot to do with children’s’ susceptibility to RSV and the infections that can result from it.

While Drilling and the MercyOne Health Clinic haven’t had to do this, some other doctors have had to prescribe tablet-form Amoxicillin to children who would normally use the liquid.

Despite these difficulties, local doctors and pharmacists have been working together to make sure everyone gets their prescriptions.

“What I would say to the parents is do not panic,” said Tonja Winkauf, Family Nurse Practitioner at the MercyOne Health Clinic. “We do have other antibiotics available for the treatment of bacterial infections. Just work with your provider in the clinic you attend to get those other options available.”

While Tamiflu has also been in short supply, staff at Drilling Pharmacy and MercyOne have said they’ve been able to fill prescriptions with no real issues so far. They recommend that if supply does become an issue, to reach out to other doctors and pharmacies in the area.

While doctors and pharmacists believe it’s likely that these drugs will continue to be in short supply through the winter, they’re hoping they’ll be easier to get once flu season is officially over.