LYNCHBURG, Va (WFXR) — The nationwide Amoxicillin shortage is causing stress at pharmacies for some families. The antibiotic is often used to treat common illnesses such as Strep throat, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Some parents around Lynchburg tell WFXR they had to contact multiple pharmacies to obtain the prescription.
Lynchburg parent, Len Stevens, tells WFXR he had to contact 5 pharmacies before he was able to locate an Amoxicillin prescription for his child battling a pretty serious case of Strep throat. He says it’s an unnerving situation for both parents and children.
Stevens’ son, Levi, says he was sent home early from daycare on Friday with a fever.
“My mom or dad came to get me, and we went home, took my temperature again and it was like 103 or something,” said Levi.
Levi Stevens was sick for a couple of days before doctors were able to diagnose him.
“Eventually we found out it was strep and that meant we could fix it right, but we had to go from pharmacy to pharmacy to find the Amoxicillin,” said his dad, Len.
Although relieved to know it was not a more serious illness– Stevens says he did not anticipate how difficult it would be to obtain Levi’s prescription.
“You start to wonder when you’re making the fifth call to that fifth pharmacy– how much are we going to have to do here, where is it, how long are we going to have to wait to get it to him and get him healthy again?” said Stevens.
Dr. Harb is a physician at Wiggington Family Practice in Lynchburg– he says one cause of the shortage is high demand.
“We’re just seeing this year and this winter a lot of RSV a lot of cold and flu, more than usual– less Covid– but more RSV, more cold and flu, so we’ve been prescribing more amoxicillin,” said Dr. Rank.
However, Dr. Rank says in many cold and flu cases antibiotics are not necessary and are often overprescribed, making it difficult for patients like Levi to get proper medication.
“Most patients who think they need these antibiotics, don’t really need them, and they can get better with lesser treatments like just fluid and rest that kind of thing,” said Dr. Rank.
Dr. Rank says they will always help patients get proper care– but he urges people to consider other treatments if antibiotics are not completely necessary.