HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The nation is facing a shortage of the antibiotic liquid amoxicillin due to a rush of sick children, but one Connecticut healthcare system said it has enough for now.
“It’s one of the most commonly used antibiotics in the United States,” said Eric Arlia, the vice president for pharmacy services at Hartford HealthCare. “It’s a first-line treatment for many pediatric bacterial infections.”
Liquid amoxicillin is easier to give to children because it is a liquid. Arlia said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will put out information on substitute medications that doctors can prescribe, like Augmentin, a brand of clavulanic acid.
The FDA will also work with manufacturers to see if they have the capacity to make more.
Arlia said that antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, not viral infections like a respiratory syncytial virus, which is better known as RSV. RSV cases are overwhelming pediatric intensive care units, but that bacterial illnesses like ear infections are keeping amoxicillin in high demand.
He urges families to listen to their pediatrician.
“If they don’t really think an antibiotic is warranted for your child if we are really going to be tight on inventory throughout the winter that we heed their advice and not insist on one,” Arlia said.
As of Thursday, he said Hartford HealthCare has a good supply of the drug.