Children's pain & fever medication
Canada experienced widespread supply issues impacting pediatric formulations of acetaminophen and ibuprofen products due to a significant increase in demand that started during Summer 2022. Increased production of Canadian supply and the importation of millions of units of children’s pain and fever medications into Canada helped to meet the unprecedented demand.
Pharmacy professionals played a significant role in helping to manage the shortage and mitigate the impact on patients.
The supply of pediatric analgesics continues to improve since last year and pharmacies are now able to maintain products on their shelves. Presently, most pharmacies are no longer applying purchase limits to these products.
What we can expect this cold/flu season
Manufacturers have continued to build up inventory over the summer and the shortages we experienced last season are not expected. However, levels of respiratory infections in our communities this fall and the impact on demand is difficult to predict. Health Canada and other stakeholders are closely monitoring the supply situation and contingency planning based on lessons learned from last year.
CPhA continues to participate in regular meetings with Health Canada and other key stakeholders to monitor the situation and represent pharmacy professionals. We will continue to update this page with new information as it becomes available.
Information and resources
- Information for families and caregivers on children’s fever and pain medication: This patient tip sheet was developed in collaboration with health-care providers to offer guidance on when and how to use these products, and when you should speak with a health-care professional for advice.
- Supply of acetaminophen, ibuprofen and cough and cold medicines: Health Canada drug supply notice.
Last updated: September 6, 2023