Children’s Tylenol shortage claims need context

High demand is causing Tylenol for children to run out of stock this cold and flu season. But there is no widespread shortage of over-the-counter drugs.

Respiratory illnesses, such as the flu, RSV, and COVID-19, are now on the rise in the United States as it enters winter. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the spike in viral infections has largely affected infants and young children.

On Twitter, former TV presenter Meghan McCain recently declare “There is a shortage of Tylenol for children in the country.” Online searches show many people are wondering if this is true.


Is there a Children’s Tylenol shortage in the United States?



This needs context.

There are no widespread pediatric Tylenol shortages in the United States. But Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, which makes Tylenol, told VERIFY that the over-the-counter drug “may be less available in some stores” due to high consumer demand during “extreme cold and flu season difficult”.


According to Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, the Consumer Health Products Association (CHPA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States does not experience a widespread pediatric Tylenol shortage. .

In a statement, manufacturer Tylenol Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health told VERIFY that it is currently experiencing “high consumer demand due to an extremely difficult cold and flu season.”

A Johnson & Johnson spokesperson said: “While products may be less available in some stores, we are not experiencing widespread children’s Tylenol shortages. “We recognize this can be a challenge for parents and carers, and we are doing everything we can to ensure everyone has access to the products they need.”

The spokesperson explained that Johnson & Johnson “did not face any supply chain challenges or materials issues”. They added that the company is operating its manufacturing facilities “24 hours a day, 7 days a week and constantly shipping products out.”

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The Consumer Health Products Association (CHPA) is a trade association representing manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, such as Johnson & Johnson. In November, the CHPA published a letter on its website stating that the manufacturers it represents “are not currently experiencing widespread shortages” of children’s pain products in the United States. Ky

“The reason for the scarcity of OTC pain relievers for children at certain retail locations is a direct result of the recent and rapid increase in demand due to the number of respiratory illnesses in children,” the CHPA said. including influenza, COVID and increased RSV”.

On December 16, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha, MD, addressed the shortage claims during an interview on the “Today” show.

“(The Food and Drug Administration) and (the Department of Health and Human Services) are watching this very closely,” Jha said. “The good news here is that we have a lot of supply. Manufacturers, they are working 24/7. Supply actually increased. The challenge is the need.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists drug shortages in its database on its website. Acetaminophen, the generic name for children’s Tylenol, was not on the agency’s database as of December 20.

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To help parents get the over-the-counter medicines their kids need this cold and flu season, CVS Health has placed a two-product limit on all children’s pain relief products purchased. through pharmacies or online. Walgreens is also limiting customers to six times buying online over-the-counter fever-reducing products for children. This limitation does not apply in stores.

If you’re having trouble finding pain relievers for kids, Baton Rouge General, a medical center in Louisiana, recommends trying these tips:

  • Buy together If you haven’t done this already, this is a good time to start. The active ingredients are the same, and you save money.
  • Try chewable tablets instead of liquids They’re usually recommended for kids ages 2 and up, but many parents are so used to the liquid version that they stick with it for much longer. You can even crush them and mix them into apple sauce or pudding, just confirm with your pediatrician before using.
  • Shopping around – Try smaller local pharmacies instead of big box retailers. Of course, this is not convenient for busy families, but for now you may have to try a few places until you find the medicine.
  • Fever does not always require medication Fever is part of a response from the body’s immune system as it fights an infection. If your child is fine – functioning normally, eating and drinking – he may not need medication.

Baton Rouge General says on its website: “Every child and situation is different, so always consult your child’s healthcare provider for advice.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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