SickKids recommends getting a prescription for children’s pain and fever meds

Due to a shortage at some pharmacies, SickKids advised patients and families with young children that a prescription may be required to procure pediatric liquid acetaminophen and ibuprofen. These recommendations are not for the general public, the pediatric hospital clarified after its advisory caused some confusion about accessing these medications.

The recommendation was made in Monday’s “Dear Caregiver” letter, which is routinely distributed to patients and families to keep them up-to-date with clinical activities at the hospital that may affect them.

“While some retail pharmacies may have adequate supply of these over-the-counter medications, other pharmacies may only have them available in large quantities that must be dispensed by a pharmacist,” SickKids later explained in a statement posted on its website. “For this reason, the medication may require a prescription.”  

“The letter was not intended as a recommendation for the general public,” the statement clarified.  

The letter to parents and caregivers also provided suggestions for the use of other forms of acetaminophen and ibuprofen (like in chewable form) but says these should only be used under the guidance of a health-care provider or pharmacist to ensure accurate dosage.  

SickKids also assured parents if a child is staying overnight at the hospital they will receive the medication they require for pain or fever.

The Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) says, in general, getting a prescription for those medications is a good idea, though not mandatory. 

The shortage comes a month after the Ontario Pharmacists Association warned that heightened demand and supply chain constraints were fueling a shortage of cold and flu medication.

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