Pharmacists are asking parents not to stockpile the limited supply of children's pain and fever medications that arrived on store shelves in Canada over the last week.
The federal government imported one million units of children's acetaminophen — commonly known as Tylenol — as emergency relief amid a shortage coupled with soaring rates of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV.
It wouldn't take long for that supply to run out given the high demand at stores across Canada, Jen Belcher of the Ontario Pharmacists Association said Friday.
"It's not like everybody got a skid full and was able to restock their shelves," she said from Kingston, Ont.
Some smaller community pharmacies may only have been allocated 10 or 12 bottles, Belcher said.
Many pharmacies and retailers are keeping the medication behind the counter or imposing quantity limits to try to ensure enough for all children who need it, she said.
"The interim supply is a good thing. It's a million more bottles than what we had just (at) the beginning of last week," Belcher said.
"But you know, given the level of demand out there and the frequency with which we're having people really searching, the recommendations obviously are still not to go to multiple retailers and try to stockpile."
Although the federal government has distributed children's Tylenol to retailers, it has also imported children's ibuprofen — commonly known as Advil — but so far has only sent it to hospitals, according to Health Canada.
More imported pain medication is on its way and is expected to arrive in the coming days, Health Canada said Friday in an emailed statement.