PHARMACIES are struggling to keep up with demand for basic cough and cold medicines, with common remedies such as Lemsip and Night Nurse running short.
This has led to some adults using children’s cough syrup, according to one pharmacy.
Products such as Lemsip, Night Nurse and Calpol have all been affected by shortages.
Simon Wall – an ambassador for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in Jersey and a pharmacist at Boots – said that there were problems with manufacturers, occasional issues with delayed ferries and UK supply chain difficulties.
The war in Ukraine, the outbreak of scarlet fever over the winter and the recall of pholcodine-based medicines were all factors in these supply issues, he said.
Mr Wall explained that the complications should ease as the weather gets warmer and manufacturers have time to catch up with demand.
Medicines containing pholcodine, an opioid cough suppressant, were withdrawn in March because of allergy risks. This had an impact on a number of cough syrups as well as Day Nurse and combined Day and Night Nurse capsules.
Shortages have lasted for at least three months, with supplies of common over-the-counter medicines varying. Prescription medication has also been affected.
Reids Pharmacy at Five Oaks said they had not been able to source any Lemsip for three months, but had received a shipment from their suppliers a week ago. They said that they were able to call different branches of the company and find one that had the medicine that people were looking for.
Claire Reid, of Reids Pharmacy, said that some adults had resorted to buying children’s cough medication for themselves. This is not unsafe, she said, but added that they would need to change the dosage for it to be effective.
It is still recommended that Islanders ask the healthcare team at a pharmacy for appropriate medication.
Though they did face shortages of cold medicines, St Martin Pharmacy said that if someone could not find the specific product they were looking for, their staff would discuss potential alternative treatments with them.
Some outlets were still able to use their regular stock, with Roseville Pharmacy saying that they had not had any issues with shortages since the winter, but added that demand remained high.
If Islanders cannot find the medicine they want, Mr Wall said they should ask a pharmacist or a pharmaceutical adviser to recommend the best available product for them.
The difficulties obtaining medicine mirror shortages in the UK, which have been experienced since October. Those problems were initially blamed on delivery drivers, but in January the UK-based Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies linked the issues to supply chains and a lack of planning by the UK government.