Children's painkillers: Pharmacies face unexpected shortage

Children's painkillers: Pharmacies face unexpected shortage
Credit: Belga

Belgium’s General Pharmaceutical Association (APB) has confirmed that some pharmacies are dealing with a shortage of children's painkillers, namely the brands Perdolan and Nurofen, De Morgen reported.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when people had less contact with each other, wore masks and kept their distance, there were fewer infectious diseases. That meant there was also a lower need and demand for painkillers.

Pharmaceutical companies use the information of previous years to decide how many types of medicine need to be produced, the General Manager of the Flemish Pharmacist Network (VAN), Hilde Deneyer, told De Morgen.

This year, however, people and children come together again at school and during their free time. “It is therefore logical that there are more viral infections again,” Deneyer said.

It appears not all manufacturers anticipated increased demand for children’s painkillers.

Not too bad

The increase in viral infections isn’t necessarily a bad thing for children, Deneyer explained. “By coming into contact with viruses, children also build up natural immunity. In other words, they need that exposure,” she said.

Besides, a lack of Perdolan and Nurofen does not mean there aren't other alternatives. Luc De Serrano of the APB says there are other options for children, as there are several brands that produce and market children’s painkillers.

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Pharmacists can even produce their own medicines, although these are usually slightly more expensive. Deneyer emphasises that the shortage is temporary and there will be solutions shortly. However, the shortfalls can persist for several more weeks.

In the meantime, it is best to consult a healthcare professional on the best alternatives to use. “A doctor or pharmacist will know best which alternative suits the child’s symptoms the most,” De Serrano said.


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