GN asks residents not to hoard children’s medication amid shortage

Health Department says it has stock available at local health centres

The Health Department has purchased medication to supplement a national shortage of children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen. These medications are available at community health centres, such as in Naujaat at the Repulse Bay Health Centre, pictured here. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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.


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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by 867 on

    Only in nunavut can you get free advil and TTylenol from the health center.. Just give buy a bottle at the store for ten bucks

    • Posted by anon on

      Sure except the problem is literally that there is not any to buy in the store.

  2. Posted by tuktuborel on

    Why would anyone hoard child Meds in Nunavut? As far as GN has communicated (what communication?) few if any children are sick or exposed to anything nasty these days. Oh except perhaps only one community in the west had some unknown stomach flu. No where else though!

  3. Posted by No Nonsense on

    Acetometaphin is 7mg/lb
    A 35 lb child would get 245mg tylenol = 3/4 of a 325mg pill

    ibprufin is 2.5 mg/lb
    A 35 lb child would get 87.5 mg ibprufin = slightly more than 1/2 of a 150mg pill

    I find these numbers provided by the companies a bit on the high end. I give my kids less than what is recommended and they respond just fine.

    Any nurses want to check my math?

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