GN asks residents not to hoard children’s medication amid shortage
Health Department says it has stock available at local health centres
The Government of Nunavut has bought medication to make up for what it is calling a temporary shortage of children’s Tylenol and Advil, and is asking residents not to hoard the products.
The shortage is due to a “heightened level” of respiratory illnesses and higher demand for the medication, according to a statement issued Monday by Health Department spokesperson Danarae Sommerville.
The GN’s stock of medication is available at community health centres.
Sommerville said parents and caregivers can speak with local health-care providers to see if a child needs the medication.
As for pharmacy supply, the Health Department is asking people to only buy the amount of medication they need, but did not say if it has asked Co-ops and Northern Stores to limit how much can be purchased at one time.
The news release warns against giving children adult pain medications without consulting a doctor.
“There is a serious risk of overdosing,” it states.
Parents and caregivers are also warned against offering Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) to children because it is associated with risk of Reye’s syndrome, a serious illness that can damage the internal organs, when used to treat viral illnesses.
Sommerville also said people should not use expired medication.
The children’s medication shortage in Nunavut is part of a larger, ongoing shortage across the county.
Sommerville said that Health Canada recently received a foreign supply of acetaminophen, the medication in Tylenol, and the GN is working with the federal department to get this medication back on the territory’s shelves.