However, experts in this field want to send a reassuring message: there is always another presentation of the same medicine that will replace the one that is temporarily unavailable with the same therapeutic efficacy.
This is what is happening at the moment with some penicillins and with amoxicillin, antibiotic used to treat respiratory infections caused by bacteria. Because the experts consulted want to make it clear from the beginning that antibiotics are not indicated to treat respiratory infections caused by viruses, that they are only effective to treat bacterial infections. And that if antibiotics are used now to treat viral infections, the next time their intake will probably not cure you and the problem of current bacterial resistance to their effects, which already constitutes a public health problem worldwide, will deepen.
Maria Antònia Febrer, secretary of the Official Association of Pharmacists of the Balearic Islands (COFIB), corroborates that a drug shortages of active ingredients widely used for various reasons, among which he cites a decrease in production, a cut in supply, an increase in demand for these drugs, or even a specific quality problem in the molecule or active ingredient used to make the drug.RELATED
«But there are many alternatives on the market to replace them with other drugs with the same active principle that will act the same against the same pathology. And in the hyper-exceptional cases in which there are none, there will always be a very similar therapeutic alternative”, reassures the pharmacist from the Official College.
Febrer points out that at the moment there are difficulties in finding amoxicillin in its 120-milliliter presentation in suspension (syrup) and he attributes it to the rebound in cases of bronchiolitis in children. However, consulted pediatricians categorically reject that the lack of this antibiotic in pharmacies in the Balearic Islands is due to the rebound in a pathology that, they recall, is caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) that should never be treated with an antibiotic.
For whatever reason, the pharmacist recalls that there are more presentations of amoxicillin: powder and easily divided tablets for dosing in children.
Cartonage and prospectuses
Gemma Melero, head of the drug control service of the General Directorate of Pharmacy, offers another explanation for the lack of amoxicillin in pharmacies. “The two main pharmaceutical companies that make it have had supply problems with cartons and package inserts, technical problems that appear to be behind the shortage of these drugs,” she says.
The Spanish Medicines Agency (AEMPS) has already informed all the CCAAs that the supply would return to normal this week, reassures Melero, pointing out that it has been a problem at the national level and reiterating that there are other antibiotics that can replace with the same efficacy as amoxicillin.
And remember to conclude that even “when we are at total zero and there are no alternatives, the AEMPS can claim them from neighboring countries that do have them. But let the population be calm because no one is going to be left without their medication.