Pharmacies across the United States are reporting a shortage of oral amoxicillin suspension. The shortage is evolving and may extend to other oral formulations. The FDA reports the shortage may be in part, due to increased demand. This coincides with a rise in the number of children sick and or/hospitalized with respiratory viral infections, such as RSV and influenza. Though supportive care is the mainstay of treatment for viral infections, antibiotics may be indicated for the treatment of superimposed bacterial infections, including pneumonia and acute otitis media. While alternative antibiotics may be available depending on the indication, many have a broader spectrum of activity, increased toxicity, and excess cost relative to amoxicillin. Furthermore, it is anticipated alternatives may soon become in short supply as well, given increased usage.
The Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) encourages the judicious use of antibiotics, including prescribing antibiotics only when bacterial infections are confirmed or strongly suspected. SIDP also supports the use of the shortest, effective duration of therapy, along with watch-and-wait strategies when appropriate.
Since respiratory viruses, such as RSV and Influenza, spread through respiratory droplets, SIDP suggests following appropriate precautions to reduce spread by handwashing, covering coughs/sneezes, and avoiding close contact with sick people. SIDP also suggests up-to-date vaccination for respiratory viral illnesses, including influenza and COVID-19.
Antibiotic Awareness Week is November 18-24, 2022. We invite patients and health care providers to join us in fighting against antimicrobial resistance and in optimizing use of antibiotics through antimicrobial stewardship by viewing available resources on our website at: https://sidp.org/Antibiotic-Awareness-Week.