Cough Syrup Shortage 2023 – Why they out of stock in the USA and Canada?

Why there is Cough Syrup shortage? Spending on children’s cough and cold medications is increasing in American homes. This is because there have been more complaints of respiratory infections. This has led to occasional medicine shortages both online and in physical pharmacies.

Infections with the flu and hospital admissions are increasing across the nation. According to federal data, respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV, has been particularly active this season on top of other respiratory infections. These infections are typical in the fall and winter. But the sudden, early surges have upset families and stressed children’s hospitals.

In the four weeks that ended on December 3, sales of cough and cold drugs at American stores increased by 35%. A Jefferies review of Nielsen data contrasted this with last year’s time. During that time, spending on throat lozenges and sprays grew by 56 percent.

On Inc. and the websites of CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., some variations of famous brands, particularly painkillers made for kids, are sold out. Some customers are complaining about drug availability issues on social media.

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Cough syrup shortage in the U.S.

Cough Syrup Shortage 2023

Retailers and data-tracking companies claim that supplies are still vital despite rising demand.

CVS and Walgreens spokespeople indicated that their companies are coordinating with drug producers to ensure the ongoing availability of prescription drugs. A spokesperson for Amazon noted that while the firm is trying to replace sold-out items, a handful of cough and cold treatments are still available for quick delivery.

The nation is seeing a “historic degree of respiratory need,” according to a representative for Procter & Gamble Co., which manufactures NyQuil, DayQuil, and Vicks. He declared, “We are doing everything we can to ensure that our products are accessible to those who need them.”

The manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, whose brands include Tylenol and Motrin painkillers, warned that some products might be less readily available. But there are no significant shortages of children’s versions of Tylenol or Motrin.

For a box of liquid capsules containing the cold and flu medications DayQuil and NyQuil, the earliest delivery date on were December 28. On the Walgreens website, a variety of cold and flu drugs, as well as children’s painkillers and fever reducers, were not available for shipment.

There are reports of a scarcity of Tamiflu flu treatment due to solid demand. This was according to Michael Ganio, senior director of pharmacy practice and quality at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). He noted that Tamiflu is not listed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s shortage list, which employs a distinct methodology.

According to health officials and experts, holiday gatherings could increase the prevalence of respiratory diseases like the flu and COVID-19. Therefore, many have recommended that people get vaccinated and take extra precautions before visiting family and friends.

According to Nielsen, Americans spent about $12 billion, or nearly 30% more than a year ago, on cough and cold drugs in the last year.

Cough syrup shortage in Canada

Cough Syrup Shortage 2023

Increased demand and supply chain constraints are the leading causes of the Canadian scarcity of cold and flu medications. This was according to a significant drugstore organization in Ontario.

According to Jen Belcher, vice president of strategic initiatives and member relations for the Ontario Pharmacists Association, several variables are at play with the rising demand. According to her, more people are experiencing respiratory tract infections. Also, supply chain interruptions are having an impact on various phases of the creation of cold medications.

Ontarians are finding it more challenging to treat cold symptoms. This includes persistent coughs in residents and their young children due to a summer-sick wave and supply chain challenges. There was a cough syrup scarcity this spring, but several respiratory illnesses are back.

According to Jen Belcher of the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA), the supply chain issue has a significant impact. Belcher noted that there had been numerous production problems. The problems are only with cold and flu medications. There is currently a shortage of these prescriptions across the supply chain. This makes it impossible for pharmacies to restock them as consumers buy them.

Everything from the availability of raw materials to the production of the finished product and storage causes this shortage. A Loblaws representative admitted a lack of certain medicines. He said that they control the flow of goods and ensure that shelves are supplied as soon as the product is available. Thus, they are actively engaging with vendor partners.

Buckley’s cough syrup shortage

A major retailer of over-the-counter cold and cough medicines recalls seventeen products. This was because the child-resistant bottle lids can break. NeoCitran syrups, Buckley’s adult liquids, Triaminic children’s syrups, and Jack & Jill Adult syrups sold throughout Canada are all recalled by Novartis Consumer Health Canada Inc.

It claims that the defective lids could make it possible for kids to open the bottles and drink the contents, which contain substances that pose a significant risk to kids. Novartis urges retailers to stop selling the medications immediately and hand them back to them.


When you can’t even find cold medicine for your children, it means many of them are sick. Make sure everyone is well-stocked on children’s medications right now. However, one or two other parents can also purchase some.


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