Finding Your Child's Medicines During the Shortage

I know a lot of you have been struggling to find medicine for your kids – whether it’s antibiotics, Children’s Tylenol or Motrin, or other things. And I know this is so frustrating as a parent (and for your doctors, too, I promise!) — you already have a sick child at home and then have to search for the things they need. I wanted to go through some tips to help if you’re in it.

Quick Tips

Here’s one simple thing that you can do when you’re at your care team’s office to save a ton of hassle. If they send a prescription electronically, ask for a copy paper prescription as well. (Now, your ADHD medications are a different story for this tip.) This way, if you go to a pharmacy and they don’t have it available, you can just take your paper prescription with you to another pharmacy yourself – instread of playing phone tag between pharmacies and your teams office. It’s a nice backup to have.


In areas of the US and other countries, there is a shortage of liquid amoxicillin (and some other antibiotics as well). For any one, you can work with your care team and ask about:

  • different concentrations of the liquid
  • chewable tablets
  • capsules (to open and sprinkle contents into foods, liquids, etc.)
  • alternate options for antibiotics

Children’s Tylenol or Motrin

Children’s Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Children’s Motrin (ibuprofen) have been in short supply over the last few months in many areas. Talk with your pediatrician about if and when you need these medications for your child – medicine for fevers and teething, for example, is just one tool in the toolbox (there are other ways to comfort during those times as an additional way to help your child). You can also try:

  • seeing if there are different concentrations available (i.e. infant vs. children’s Motrin)
  • chewables (if your child is old enough + the dose makes sense)
  • look for generic versions (ibuprofen, acetaminophen) or alternate brands (Genexa, etc.)

ADHD Medications

  • Ask your pediatrician for alternate brands, and discuss how they differ, what to expect etc. 
  • Before meeting with your team call your go to pharmacy, and surrounding pharmacies if needed to see whom may have your child’s medication in stock. 
  • Remember, being prepared is half the battle and sure helps reduce the phone tag game followed by immense frustration. 

Where to Find Them

Here is a list of local places in our surrounding area.

  • If you go to a chain pharmacy (CVS, Walgreens, Costco, etc.), see if they can call other locations in their chan for stock (to do a pharmacy to pharmacy transfer of your prescription).
  • Compounding pharmacies (or smaller, local pharmacies) can often provide them for you.
  • Ask your pediatrician if they have samples.
  • Gas stations often keep them in stock, as do Bucees, QT, etc.
  • Check overnight for new stock.
  • Ask grandparents (if they live in areas with other older people, often pharmacies there are stocked) or family in other towns to check.
  • Call your neighbors – parents want to help parents.
  • Set up alerts on Amazon for tylenol/motrin to be notified when they are back in stock.
  • Ask your neighborhood FB mom/parents group.
  • Ask your pharmacist when their new deliveries arrive and check on those days.
  • Check pharmacy apps overnight or early in the morning – that’s when they usually restock and you can reserve what you need.
  • If admitted to hospital, you can ask for the next few doses of medication (like antibiotics) to tide you over until you get it at a pharmacy.
  • Try FSA store or HSA stores.

I know it might not feel like it, but you’re doing so great. This has been a long season. We’re all in it with you.