Most common antibiotic still in shortage as infection season is in full swing

DAYTON — The most heavily prescribed antibiotic in the country is in short supply.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said amoxicillin, which is typically used to treat strep throat, is getting harder to find.

A local doctor said the shortage is just one of many he has had to deal with in recent years.

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“We’ve become used to having them around. It’s a little bit difficult when it’s not here,” Dr. Joseph Allen, Regional Medical Director at Premier Health, told News Center 7′s Kayla McDermott.

Allen said locally, he’s seen some impact of the shortage, but it hasn’t “hit us real hard” yet.

The drug is listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the most prescribed antibiotic in the United States since cases of strep throat spread quickly and people are expected to keep testing positive ahead of, and during, the holidays.

“We may see a much larger impact if they haven’t addressed that shortage by then,” Allen said.

The shortage has to do with the liquid version of the antibiotic, which is prescribed to children since it’s much easier for them to handle as opposed to swallowing pills. If the shortage continues, kids might begin getting the antibiotic in an injection.

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The antibiotic is something Olivia Dean, a Xenia mother of four, knows all about. Three of her four children have been infected with strep throat.

While amoxicillin worked for her daughter, it didn’t work for her twin sons.

“They are allergic to amoxicillin, so they were treated with a Z-Pak when they had it,” Dean said.

Using an alternative drug is what Allen said is the standard as the top antibiotic continues to be in demand.

“Sometimes we just have to switch and think a little bit harder about what we’re going to use,” Allen said.

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