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HomeCanada newsTylenol Shortage: How to Cut Adult Medication for Kids

Tylenol Shortage: How to Cut Adult Medication for Kids

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For desperate parents looking for children’s pain relievers amid a nationwide shortage, they have the option of using a pill cutter on adult-sized pills to create smaller doses, according to a Toronto-based family doctor.

But the process must be done very carefully using a suitable tool and cannot be done by hand, said Dr. Marla Shapiro, a CTV News medical specialist and associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. .

Although a million bottles of children’s medicine are being imported into Canada this week, many parents don’t have time to wait for them to appear on pharmacy shelves and need remedies now for children battling fevers, Shapiro said on CTV. News Channel on Tuesday.

“This has been going on for months, with no immediate response in sight, we hear there will be a million boxes on shelves within a week, but it’s still going on,” he said.

The federal government announced Thursday that it has tapped into foreign supply chains to bring a million bottles of pain relievers to Canada. The supply, which includes liquid ibuprofen and liquid paracetamol, will be delivered to hospitals, community pharmacies and retailers.

Parents are reminded that children who do not have respiratory distress should not be admitted to the emergency room due to the influx of patients across the country. The pressure on hospitals is due to what some experts call a “multi-demic” of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza and COVID-19.

Children’s hospitals across the country are stretched, with many operating at 100% or more occupancy, with wait times sometimes exceeding 24 hours. Some non-emergency surgeries had been delayed to relieve pressure.

“If you can’t keep the fever down, parents get pretty desperate and anxious,” Shapiro said.

In the absence of children’s fever-reducing medications, Shapiro says parents can carefully convert adult doses for younger children.

She says that children who are less than 12 pounds are the most difficult to administer medication since there is no adult conversion. In those cases, she advises parents to talk to pharmacists.

“We do these conversions for infants, and then in older children we can take adult preparations, either acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and do appropriate weight monitoring to see how I convert these medications,” Shapiro said.

The pill cutting process must be done very carefully using a suitable tool.

He stressed the importance of making conversions accurately and with the right tools to avoid overdosing.

“You really have to get a proper pill cutter, don’t try to do it by hand, because it’s going to be inaccurate,” Shapiro said.

For children between 50 and 70 pounds, he said, parents can give an adult dose to control fever. Shapiro said there are differences in dosages by weight with acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

“If you’re looking for ibuprofen…six to eight hours (in between), if you’re looking for acetaminophen, you’re looking for four to six hours in terms of dosing, but a maximum dose per day should be observed,” she said.

Experts say more children (and adults) are getting sick this year because their immune systems haven’t been exposed in the past two years. This, along with the three viruses that are circulating, makes parents want to know how to stimulate the immune response.

“It’s all about exposure and building your immunity,” Shapiro said. “With the exception of vitamin D, unless there’s a particular reason your child has malabsorption or something, there’s really no silver bullet for boosting the immune system here.”

Shapiro said that most vitamins can be absorbed through a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and by ensuring that children get sleep and exercise, to boost the immune system.

To avoid getting sick, encourage everyone to continue to wear masks, wash their hands frequently, and maintain social distance.

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