Increased demand is fueling medication shortages in some cases. In other cases, the active ingredient is not available locally or manufacturing has slowed down.
All of these lead to the same results: medication is harder to supply.
Some of you have already experienced the effects of medication shortages such as:
- Medication needing to be substituted, such as amiodarone and lidocaine
- Lack of prefilled syringes
- Complete lack of a medication
- Changes to medication labelling – we may get medications in other languages (there is Spanish salbutamol and ketamine in Canada now) or with other names (adrenaline instead of epinephrine)
- Changes to ampoules or vials so that they are easily mistaken: one service has ketorolac and naloxone vials that look very similar