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Community Tips during Children’s Tylenol Shortage


Community Tips during Children's Tylenol Shortage







You may have heard that there is a shortage of Children’s Tylenol at the pharmacy. Also known by its generic name, Acetaminophen, Tylenol is an over-the-counter medication that is used to relieve fever and pain. However, too high of a dose can make someone very sick by damaging his or her liver. Therefore, it is important to know how to properly give Tylenol.

This guide is designed to provide some tips and advice that you can follow, which can be discussed with your community health care providers.

Here are some tips to follow:

1. Check the child temperature
Fevers are a normal immune response to many infections, as the body works to defend itself. The first thing a parent can do for their children is to check their temperature for a fever. Mild fevers might require some conservative measures to bring relief, such as cold compresses and staying hydrated. If a child’s temperature exceeds 38.5 C and you are considering using Tylenol to bring the temperature down, move to the next step.

2. Reach out to your community pharmacist to request a prepared compound of Tylenol
Depending on their supplies, pharmacies may have a reserve of Acetaminophen suspensions that is kept in case it is needed. They might also be ordering the supplies to prepare Acetaminophen as a compounded suspension that they create as a subscription. Speaking with a pharmacist will help make sure that the dosage is appropriate for the size of the child.

Can you use smaller doses of adult Tylenol for your child?

Tablets and capsules that are designed for adults could be used for some children, but it depends on your child’s age, size, and ability to swallow. It will be helpful for to know the child’s weight so that an appropriate dose can be calculated. When using adult dose medications with a child, it is important to discuss the situation with a health care provider such as a pharmacist to review what the appropriate dose is going to be, as it is important not to accidentally over-dose the child.

Please speak with a pharmacist first about the safe and appropriate options for your child.

What should you avoid doing?
Experts warn against one thing: do not cut or crush tablets on your own for your child without consulting a pharmacist. If a pharmacist advises you to do so, it would be by taking into account such things as your child’s weight.

1. Drug Therapy and Hazardous Substances Committee. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen in the management of fever and mild to moderate pain in children. Paediatr Child Health 1998;3(4). Available: http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/DT/dt98-01.htm (accessed 2022 Nov. 17).
2. Acetaminophen. In: Drug Handbook and Formulary 2018-2020. Toronto: The Hospital for Sick Children; 2020. p.24-54.
Prepared by Pascal Lumbala, B.Sc. Public Health – FLS-Health Promoter


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