HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s not a great time to catch a cold.

Medicines are becoming harder to find on store shelves, and some of the nation’s largest pharmacies are now putting a cap on how much you can purchase at once. One of Hawaii’s top medical officials warns this shortage could continue deep into the new year.

China’s zero COVID strategy has ended; and now, the virus is sweeping across the nation where the ingredients for drugs like acetaminophen and the antibiotic amoxicillin are produced, further constricting supply chains of some important common meds.

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“It’s a real challenge because these are worldwide shortages. The issue for a number of these drugs is either the finished product and/or the ingredients, and many of these are sourced or actually manufactured in either China or India,” Healthcare Association of Hawaii President & CEO Hilton Raethel said.

Sometimes the shortages can vary from store to store or community to community; but currently, there’s no end in sight.

“Unfortunately, this drug shortage, all indications are it will continue well into 2023,” Reathel said.

It is hitting children’s fever reducers the hardest, with rations going across the nation. CVS, which owns Longs Drugs, said “To ensure equitable access for all our customers, there is currently a two [2] product limit on all children’s pain relief products at all CVS Pharmacy locations and cvs.com. We’re committed to meeting our customers’ needs and are working with our suppliers to ensure continued access to these items,”

According to the Associated Press, Walgreen’s is limiting pediatric fever reducers, with only six being allowed at a time for online orders.

“If people know there are shortages or think there’s going to be a shortage, they may go out and they may need one bottle. They, instead, go buy two bottles. So, that’s a problem,” Raethel said.

There are other ways to make yourself or your keiki feel better.

“Old fashioned Vicks Vapor rub on the chest or back or Vick’s plug-ins or Vick’s vaporizors,” pediatrician Dr. Theresa Wee said.

And, under the tutelage of a doctor or pharmacist, pills can be creatively used to treat kids.

“If you cannot get the liquid version, it is possible to talk to your doctor or talk to the pharmacist. You can get the pill version or the capsule version, for example. With children, you can mix it into the apple sauce; you do have to be very concerned about the dosage,” Raethel said.

He added that it is proven difficult to get many of the drugs on short supply into an accelerated production.

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“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of competition for the different manufacturing companies for the types of pharmaceuticals, and a lot of these drugs that we’re talking about that are in short supply are low cost drugs. There’s not a lot of margin there, so there’s not the same incentive necessarily to produce a lot more of the drugs,” Raethel said.