As the temperature drops across Nova Scotia more people will be heading to the drug store to stop their coughing and sniffling,.But problems at a U.S. pharmaceutical plant mean the shelves won't be stocked with cold remedies like Buckley's and Neocitran.

Novartis Consumer Health Inc., which manufactures some name brand cold medication, has shut down its Nebraska plant for maintenance and upgrades after health inspectors in the U.S. uncovered more than a dozen problems at the plant last year.

On Monday a Pharmasave in Halifax's north end only had four packages of Neocitran left.

Pharmacist Leigh Noftel said she doesn't expect another shipment before winter.

"My computer today is telling me that Neocitran is not available and according to our supplier the availability date is August 2013," she said.

With the looming seasonal reliever shortage, some health stores are hoping sick people will turn to alternative methods.

Across town, Cindy Fried at the Planet Organic Market said there are dozens of alternatives to products like Neocitran or Buckley's.

"The citrus soothers, which will have Echinacea vitamin C, zinc for healing, lemon balm for calming. We will have elderberry for immune boosting. So it's nice you can pour hot boiling water on it," Fried said.

Jillian Corman said she feels better since she turned away traditional pharmaceuticals.

"I haven't been sick in years. I drink about two litres of orange juice every two days. I haven't taken Tylenol in years. I highly recommend these products. I do believe they work."