Antibiotic Shortage

February 5, 2013

Pills In ContainerIf you take either doxycycline or tetracycline, you may need to go see your doctor for a new prescription. Both are suffering from shortages due to an increased demand and manufacturing delays.

To a certain extent, this may be caused by the over-prescription of antibiotics. These broad spectrum antibiotics are used to treat everything from the more mundane, like acne, to Lyme Disease (and those are also two examples of chronic conditions that might get longer prescriptions).

The manufacturing delays are caused by rule changes by the FDA that require approval for when and how much a drug can be manufactured—a bureaucratic process that can take months under ideal circumstances, leaving an imbalance in supply and demand (manufacturing can’t keep pace with market requirements).

A large number of people are expected to be affected by the antibiotic shortages. If you are taking them for a serious condition, talk to your doctor before your prescription runs out (you can call your pharmacy first to see if they are affected by the antibiotic shortage).

If you find yourself waiting for them to come back in stock, you may have to consider natural alternatives in the meantime. The type of natural antibiotic appropriate to fill the gaps caused by the antibiotic shortages depends on the condition, for some conditions an alternate treatment like acupuncture or nutritional changes may be appropriate too.

It’s important to take antibiotics as prescribed. Stopping early can cause antibiotic resistance and make an infection or disease worse, so work with your doctor to get through the shortage—there are other antibiotics available, some just might have different side-effects.

Have you been affected by the antibiotic shortage?

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