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amoxicillin, the main antibiotic prescribed to children, is running out

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Yasmina Kattou with AFP
2:30 p.m., November 18, 2022

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With winter fast approaching, amoxicillin, an antibiotic prescribed to treat bacterial infections, is starting to run out in pharmacies. The authorities are therefore making recommendations to limit this shortage. Should we be worried? Europe 1 takes stock.

In French pharmacies, some drugs are missing. The phenomenon is getting worse, now hitting certain antibiotics and requiring health authorities to take emergency measures. Main concerned: amoxicillin. This drug is, by far, the main antibiotic prescribed to children in France, to fight against a series of bacterial infections such as certain ear infections and pneumonia. However, it is now undergoing “strong supply tensions” in its most used form in children, the public drug agency, ANSM, noted on Friday, citing a situation that could last until March.

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The National Medicines Safety Agency reminds us that not all pathologies require the taking of antibiotics. She therefore recommends using rapid saliva tests to determine whether it is a bacterial or viral infection. When antibiotics are useful, Inserm wants doctors to reduce the doses prescribed to what is strictly necessary.

Under-regulated factories

It is powdered amoxicillin, taken mainly by children, which is affected by supply tensions. Tablet forms are still available. So if there are these tensions, it is because producers are basing themselves on last year’s consumption to make production projections. However, last winter, with the obligation to wear a mask, the need for antibiotics was not as great.

Factories are therefore currently operating under control and must relaunch production lines to meet today’s high demand. But it takes time. Difficulties in finding powdered amoxicillin in pharmacies are expected to last another three months.

Source: Europe1

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