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Pharmacies facing nationwide antibiotic shortage

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Antibiotic shortage leaving pharmacy shelves empty

After a surge of respiratory illnesses (especially within children) hit, pharmacies are finding it hard to keep up with the growing demand for different antibiotics and medicines.

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Pharmacies across the nation are facing a shortage of antibiotics.

After a surge of respiratory illnesses (especially within children) hit, pharmacies are finding it hard to keep up with the growing demand for different antibiotics and medicines.

"The children's supply has been limited, sporadic. It goes out quickly, so we've had to adjust dosages, suggest alternatives to the prescribers, that type of thing," says Rogers Pharmacy Pharmacist Rex Robinson.

"With the exception of the Tamiflu, which is an antiviral medication, we've been able to maintain a steady supply to our clients," Robinson continues.

Pharmacies are having to prescribe alternative medications in order to try and to fulfill the critical need for these medicines.

"We get a few and each day -- they're usually gone by noon -- and then you're on your own trying to find it elsewhere, because there's really not a reasonable substitute for that antiviral, but there are antibiotics that are available that have not been affected," says Robinson.

There are many different medications being affected from antibiotics to inhalers.

"The main ones are amoxicillin, the bubble gum stuff that people remember from when they were kids, and cefdinir, which is kind of a cousin to penicillin," Robinson informs.

This nationwide shortage has even our local pharmacies looking for answers.

"It's nationwide, it really is, and it's not just antibiotics. And the thing that's so perplexing about it is it's basically antibiotics that have been available for 50 years, and nobody can tell you why they're not available anymore," says Robinson.

Officials saying that the early respiratory virus season is mostly to blame and pharmacies are doing everything they can to subdue the issue.

Doctors recommend keeping up on vaccines, making well-check visits, as well as practicing good hygiene.