As New Jersey reaches the midpoint of autumn, state health officials have already reported an exponential increase in respiratory syncytial virus this season, while continuing to protect a heavy flu season and with the lingering threat of the ever-evolving COVID-19.

Against that backdrop, an ABC News report on Monday that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is monitoring a shortage of a powder form of the antibiotic amoxicillin, used for oral suspensions, may appear troubling.

The ABC report said amoxicillin is not used as a treatment for RSV, COVID, or the flu, but because it is commonly prescribed for ear infections, strep, and whooping cough, the shortage may require parents to either search around for availability or request an alternative medication from their providers.

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The FDA's website first posted the shortage on Friday, indicating that among five different manufacturers, only East Brunswick-based Rising Pharma had the drug on "available" status, with Hikma Pharmaceuticals listing it as available for current customers.

Aurobindo, Sandoz, and Teva reported either limited availability, "on allocation" status, or said amoxicillin was currently unavailable.

The website for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists said Hikma, Sandoz, and Teva have not provided reasons for the shortage, while Aurobindo refused to provide availability information.

Rising Pharma told ASHP it had capsules and tablets available in lieu of oral suspension powder.

According to ABC, CVS has observed "isolated" shortages of amoxicillin so far, while Walgreens notes no "constraints around availability" at this time.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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