Brits who use popular medicines like Calpol, Lemsip and Gaviscon given urgent warning by chemists
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Stocks of home-use medicines such as Gaviscon, Lemsip, and Calpol are running low across the UK, with pharmacies struggling to keep the products in.
Chemists are reportedly struggling to keep supplies of ordinary over-the-counter children’s painkillers such as Calpol, with difficulty getting ingredients in from China thought to be at least partially responsible.
Other factors such as high-levels of Covid-19 and flu this winter are also thought to be somewhat to blame.
The chief executive of the Association for Multiple Pharmacies, Dr Layla Hannbeck, also said that Gaviscon and Lemsip might be more difficult to get hold of as well.
She told the MailOnline: “Supplies of liquid paracetamol and ibuprofen, which are given to children to ease pain, are very low indeed.
"Pharmacists are spending a lot of time trying to ensure we get drips of medicines coming through – at least one variant of each – so patients are not left completely high and dry.
“It's not just children's painkillers that are affected – it's a range of other very common medicines including Sterimar congestion relief nasal spray for babies, Lemsip, Gaviscon, Optrex and [constipation treatment] Senokot.”
However, despite the fact that stocks are running low and the medicines are harder to get, there’s no need to panic buy or hoard products and ‘no need to be concerned’.
You can only take a limited number of these medicines in a day anyway, so there's definitely no call to go out and buy about 10 packets of each.
Another contributing factor to this could be that there’s simple been a higher demand for these products in the year so far because of seasonal illnesses.
Hannbeck continued: “The demand has been high because this season we’ve seen higher cases of colds and flu and people are obviously trying very hard to look after themselves and making sure that they use the relevant products to manage the symptoms.
"And that has led to a shortage of these products in terms of us not being able to obtain them."
We were warned about this potential shortage earlier in the year by the UK Health Security Agency, who cited increased levels of flu and Covid-19 this winter as a factor.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We know how distressing and frustrating medicine supply issues can be, but we want to assure people we have well-established processes with an aim to prevent supply issues occurring in the first instance, and to manage or mitigate them when they occur.
“We work with a wide range of organisations operating in the UK medicine supply chain to provide advice and help ensure that patients continue to have access to safe and effective treatments.”
Remember though, there is no need to panic, no need to hoard, no need to do anything silly.
Summer is on the way, too – hopefully that means that we’ll start to see less of the seasonal illnesses that have caused the shortage, then things can get back to normal.