What to do if you can’t find kids medicine at Las Vegas stores

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 11:09 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - This holiday season the most important shopping for lots of parents are finding medicine for their child. Many are met with slim options in person and searching online trying to fight the triple threat of viruses this winter.

Many stores in the Las Vegas valley have nearly empty shelves in the kids’ fever and pain relief section.

“The demand for Tylenol and Motrin is through the roof like it’s never been before,” Chief Medical Officer of Epitomedical Dr. Constantine George said. “It isn’t necessarily a supply issue. It’s a demand issue.”

George, a pediatrician, said even his office’s typical supply of children’s medicine has run out.

“Ask your doctor number one. Number two, ask for a prescription. Sometimes you can get it at a local pharmacy depending on their availability,” George said.

Stores like CVS and Walgreens are limiting the amount of children’s pain relief medicine you can buy at one time, and pharmacies are watching the products disappear quickly after restocking.

“You don’t need to get brand name products,” George said. “Generics work just as well. Sometimes getting the generic option is more cost-effective, and they may be in a little bit more supply.”

Most kids’ medicine is in liquid form, but George said children older than two can get Tylenol and Motrin that aren’t if they’re given an appropriate dose. He said if it’s a chewable form or a tablet that can be crushed you can mix it in with things like pudding or applesauce for your child.

“We can get creative with it, but you have to talk to your pediatrician to make sure it’s the right amount,” George said.

Since RSV, COVID and the flu are viruses, George said there’s no real cure. The relief medicine and other measures are more for comfort.

“As a parent, your heart bleeds so you want to go out and do everything you can for your child,” George said. “So think of it from a diagnostic and treatment perspective: you’re not really treating the virus, your body just needs to fight it.”

George said aspirin is not recommended for children because it can lead to liver failure.

He said the viruses usually peak in January, so there could still be a couple more months of the illnesses remaining prevalent.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association said manufacturers are running 24/7 to supply more medications to stores.