Imports of kids' pain and fever meds coming, Health Canada says

Health Canada says a foreign supply of a children's fever and pain reducing medication has now been secured.

Supplies will be available for sale at pharmacies in the coming weeks

An empty shelf at a Regina-area pharmacy shows the ongoing shortage of children's pain medication in Saskatchewan and Canada.
Pharmacies across Canada continue to experience a shortage of children's pain medications like Tylenol containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen in Advil. (Jenna Leith/CBC)

Health Canada says a foreign supply of a children's medication for reducing fever and pain has now been secured.

"We are announcing that we have secured foreign supply of children's acetaminophen that will be available for sale at retail and in community pharmacies in the coming weeks," Health Canada said in a release on Monday.

The regulator said it shares the concern of parents and caregivers who've been unable to find acetaminophen and ibuprofen for young children.

"At this time, Canadians should buy only what they need, so that other parents and caregivers can access medication so we can meet the needs of sick children."

Exactly how much medication is coming wasn't disclosed by the regulator.

 Health Canada said it carefully reviewed the imported products and found they were safe and effective. All information on dosing, ingredients and cautions and warnings will be made available in both English and French.

The imports follow a months-long shortage of children's pain and fever medication on pharmacy shelves, leaving parents and caregivers scrambling for compounded alternatives for those who can't swallow pills.

Health professionals have also attributed the surge of children and teens coming to hospitals and being admitted for respiratory illnesses in part to the shortage of fever-reducing medications. 

Health Canada previously made imports of pain and fever-reducing medications available to hospitals, which it says are now distributed.

Pharmacists say increased demand for the medication, limited domestic supply and other factors contribute to the shortages.

With files from Canadian Press


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