LifestyleYour Health Matters


Why is there an amoxicillin shortage?

Experts blame high demand, early respiratory season
Posted at 10:03 AM, Nov 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-19 10:03:56-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A drug commonly used to treat a variety of bacterial infections is in short supply. Parents in Central Indiana say they are feeling the strain.

Amoxicillin is used to treat illnesses like ear and sinus infections. The shortage is mainly impacting the liquid supply of the drug, which is most often prescribed to children.

“In my over 10 years in the pharmacy field, I have never seen an amoxicillin shortage. This is one of the drugs that you can always count on to be available from our wholesalers that we order from in the pharmacy and it's always on the pharmacy shelves,” Dr. Veronica Vernon with Butler University’s pharmacy department said.

Three weeks ago, amoxicillin oral powder was added to the Food and Drug Administration’s shortages list. The reason listed for the shortage is “demand increase for [the] drug.”

"This is the first time that I've actually seen a statement not due to the supply chain issues, but due to increasing demand. Some are saying in the medical community that it's likely due to the spike that we've seen in infections this fall," Dr. Vernon said.

She suggests parents speak with their child’s physician about alternatives if they are diagnosed with a bacterial infection. Vernon adds the problem is expected to last into early next year.

“It's all strengths, all formulations, which is concerning. We are seeing from some manufacturers, according to the American Society of Health System Pharmacists ... a shortage in some capsules as well [as] for amoxicillin. So it's not just liquid, it's mainly liquid, but it is extending it to other dosage forms,” Vernon said.