Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

Clarification: Requirement for prescriptions for Tylenol and Advil for children

August 17, 2022

Despite media reports to the contrary, you do not need a prescription to purchase liquid Tylenol or Advil for children. How products are scheduled (meaning prescription vs. over the counter) is determined by Health Canada and pharmacy regulators. The patient care letter sent by SickKids Hospital was a “recommendation” to parents and caregivers and not a requirement.  
With the high demand for cold and flu products for kids over the summer, some parts of the country might see more limited supply of certain products. Pharmacists navigate drug shortages every day and are well-positioned to help their patients with solutions and alternatives. Depending on supply, pharmacists may need to repackage product. Caregivers should be aware that to repackage product into smaller quantities will require additional time by the pharmacy team, and we ask for your patience. However, there are also other formulations that are available and we encourage all caregivers to speak to their pharmacist to determine the best way to access the medication that will be right for their child. We urge everyone to not purchase larger quantities than what they need, so that all caregivers can access what they need, when they need it.

About the Canadian Pharmacists Association

The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians. More information is available at