Health Canada says it has secured more foreign supply of painkillers for children

We share the concerns of parents and caregivers about their inability to find acetaminophen and ibuprofen for infants and children. These products are essential for families, caregivers and medical professionals to reduce fever and pain.

Today we are announcing that we have secured the overseas supply of children’s acetaminophen which will be available at retail and community pharmacies in the coming weeks. The quantity to be imported will increase the supply available to consumers and help to deal with the immediate situation. Right now, Canadians should only buy what they need, so that other parents and caregivers can access medicines so we can meet the needs of sick children.

Every proposal received from a company to import a licensed foreign product is carefully reviewed by Health Canada to confirm that the product has been manufactured to the same high quality standards that Canadians expect. Health Canada carefully reviewed this new proposal and concluded that the product was safe and effective. All information relating to cautions and warnings, dosage instructions, ingredients and other important details will be available in English and French to ensure that parents and caregivers clearly understand what medications they are using and how to give them to their children. This work is done in parallel with securing the additional foreign supply.

To further increase supply, Health Canada also recently approved the exceptional importation of ibuprofen and acetaminophen for infants and children to supply hospitals in Canada. Importation of ibuprofen has taken place and distribution has begun.

We continue to work closely with manufacturers and distributors of acetaminophen and ibuprofen products for infants and children, provinces/territories, children’s hospitals, the Canadian Pediatric Society, the Canadian Pharmacists Association and Food, Health and Consumer Products of Canada to facilitate information-sharing along the manufacturing and distribution supply chain, and to identify and implement additional measures to alleviate this shortage.

Health Canada’s top priority is the health and safety of Canadians and we are committed to exploring all possible options to end this shortage. In the meantime, if you cannot find the fever and pain medication for infants or children that you need, you can speak to the pharmacist about available alternatives. Do not use adult fever and pain medications on children under 12 unless you consult a healthcare professional.

More information:

Ibuprofen/acetaminophen shortage in children: what you need to know and do – Canada.ca

Update on the supply of acetaminophen and ibuprofen products for children – Canada.ca

Shortage of acetaminophen and ibuprofen for infants and children – Canada.ca

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