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FDA says Amoxicillin shortage could last months

The Food and Drug Administration is reporting a drug shortage in the country including amoxicillin. Especially the liquid version typically given to children.

CALIFORNIA, USA — The Food and Drug Administration is reporting a drug shortage in the country. Amoxicillin is a common antibiotic that could be hard to find right now. The FDA said it could be hard to come by for the next few months. 

Amoxicillin is used to treat illnesses like ear infections and strep throat and is commonly prescribed to children. The liquid version is one of the hardest to find right now. With a surge of RSV, COVID-19, and the flu, people might visit their doctors requesting the help of antibiotics, but ABC10 Health Expert Dr. Tom Hopkins said that's not going to help. Antibiotics can't treat a viral infection. He said when you take them anyway, it leads to a shortage and resistance. 

"Antibiotic resistance develops from, number one, when there's overuse — when you're using an antibiotic where you don't need to. When you talk about viruses, viruses don't respond to the antibiotics because the antibiotics treat and kill bacteria," Hopkins said. "It's really just an increased demand right now, but in terms of production and everything like that, the old school antibiotics, there's a lot out there, but if you overuse them, it's going to be that you're going to create demand and there's not a lot of those super antibiotics that work for those resistant infections."

Hopkins said if you desperately need amoxicillin it's still out there. Doctors are just cautious with prescriptions, to ensure the drug is going to the right people.

Watch more on ABC10

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