Amoxicillin, widely prescribed for children, officially on the list of drugs in “tension”

The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products has issued several recommendations to doctors, pharmacists, patients and parents of patients in the face of the supply tensions encountered for amoxicillin.

Dwindling stocks. The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) confirmed on Friday that amoxicillin, an antibiotic, is subject to “strong supply tensions”.

“The most impacted forms are mainly drinkable suspensions in bottles, which are mainly prescribed in the city for children”, specifies the public establishment attached to the Ministry of Health.

The ANSM also indicates that the forms most affected by these tensions – which concern “all of Europe” but also “other international markets” – are Clamoxyl and Augmentin, “the most prescribed in children “. The current supply does not meet the growing demand since the Covid-19 pandemic.

No prescription “in situations that do not require it”

Developed with several health authorities, the recommendations issued this Friday by the ANSM are addressed both to doctors, pharmacists but also to patients and parents of minor patients.

With regard to doctors, the ANSM recalls that antibiotics – including amoxicillin – “should not be prescribed in situations that do not require it”, most often when the infection is of viral origin. In this case, doctors are asked to issue a non-prescription prescription to their patients. If an antibiotic is necessary, it is recommended to “limit the duration of treatment to 5 days” “in most common infectious pathologies”.

In the case of acute purulent otitis media “in infants and children”, the ANSM recommends that doctors initiate antibiotic therapy immediately if the infant is less than six months old or if the otitis proves complicated. This is also recommended in case of absence of improvement in 36-48 hours under antipyretic in infants aged over six months.

A dispensation very often for a period of 5 days

Faced with these strong tensions, the ANSM calls on pharmacists to check the presence of the result of the Rapid Diagnostic Orientation Test (TROD) before any amoxicillin prescription. Alternatively, they may perform an angina Trod if a patient presents with symptoms of angina and without prior consultation.

In the event of a prescription for antibiotics, the National Medicines Agency asks them to dispense “as much as possible these antibiotics in packaging adapted to a duration of 5 days”, a duration recommended for most common infectious pathologies. Finally, it is recommended to them in particular that community pharmacies give priority to distributing medicines by unit.

No efficacy against viral infections

The ANSM also sends a reminder shot for patients and parents of young patients: antibiotics “have no effectiveness against viral infections, including bronchiolitis, influenza, Covid-19, nasopharyngitis and the vast majority of angina and otitis”.

“Amoxicillin can be prescribed by a doctor to treat bacterial infections only”, underlines the agency which refers to the Health Insurance site for any information in the event of fever or bronchiolitis in children.

Hugues Garnier BFMTV journalist

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