Seven pharmacies before looking for fever medication for children

Parents are concerned that their drugstore shelves will run out of some common children’s medications as the cold season approaches.

• Also read: Lack of cough syrup on pharmacy shelves

“For my children, school or daycare has just started again, all places where germs circulate. The mom in me worries. It makes you wonder if we’re going out this winter,” says Stéfany Boudreau.

This weekend she went to at least seven pharmacies in Terrebonne, Mascouche, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines and Boisbriand to get her hands on a cure to bring down her three-year-old boy’s 39-degree fever.

His pharmacist Stéphane Boily, in his Jean Coutu banner in Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, confirms that his medicine tablets for children, specifically to relieve fever and cold symptoms, were completely empty on Monday.

“Tempra, Advil, Tylenol, Motrin, it’s all empty. Right now I have two or three boxes of chewables left and that’s it. For weeks if a [marque] was no longer available, we resorted to another, explains the pharmacist-owner. But the […] we’re about to get really dry.”


The exhibition of a Jean Coutu from Drummondville on Sunday.

With kind approval

The exhibition of a Jean Coutu from Drummondville on Sunday.

A Mix self-made

The usual medication for a five-year-old girl with repeated ear infections was no longer available at her pharmacy in Sainte-Julienne last week.

“We were helped with another one, but this one really has more side effects. It’s very irritating to the stomach,” laments her mother, Virginie Le Bouthillier.

And after the mother searched three pharmacies for Tylenol because of her daughter’s fever, the mother also had to “a Mix house” that was prepared for him at the counter.

Yann Gosselin-Gaudreault, pharmacist-owner at Familiprix in Alma, is reassuring though.


The display of a Proxim in Saint-Germain-de-Grantham on Monday was emptied of medicines for children.

With kind approval

The display of a Proxim in Saint-Germain-de-Grantham on Monday was emptied of medicines for children.

“The demand this summer due to a COVID boom and colds has surprised many, which has caused a small imbalance, he explains the supply difficulties. But we are not talking about a shortage, for example in the case of raw materials.

In the face of an empty display, he advises the parents to go to the pharmacist. There are often alternative solutions behind the counter.

However, that’s what Eléonore Boutin did in a proxim on Monday after searching three other pharmacies in Drummondville for ibuprofen to ease the pain of her 17-month-old little boy, who has gotten his first teeth in addition to an ear infection.

“I’ve been told that if the shelves are empty, there’s nothing you can do about it. Luckily I had some in stock. But my bottle is empty,” she says.

No panic

Pierre-Marc Gervais of the Quebec Association of Proprietary Pharmacists warns panicking parents: “There’s no point in stocking up and buying eight bottles of a product, it will only make things worse.”

According to the pharmaceutical services director, supplies continue to pour in daily and companies have already increased production to try to regain balance.

“Shelves should be replenished as usual over the coming months,” he concludes.

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