The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued a statement regarding the current shortages of some antibiotics throughout Australia.

Affected products include:

  • Amoxicillin (capsules and suspension);
  • Amoxicillin + clavulanic acid (tablets and suspension)
  • Cefalexin (suspension currently affected);
  • Metronidazole (suspension currently affected);
  • Flucloxacillin (capsules);
  • Phenoxymethylpenicillin (tablets/capsules and suspension);
  • Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (injection and tablets); and
  • Trimethoprim (tablets).

Actions to address supply issues:

  1. Alternative brands of Australian-registered products will be supplied, where available. To avoid confusion, review product labels carefully as alternative brands may appear different;
  2. HPS Pharmacies is also able to access internationally-registered alternatives approved for supply under Section 19A of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

Antibiotics with a current S19A approval include:

  • Amoxicillin (capsules and suspension);
  • Amoxicillin + clavulanic acid (tablets and suspension);
  • Cefalexin (capsules);
  • Metronidazole (tablets and suspension);
  • Flucloxacillin (oral solution);
  • Phenoxymethylpenicillin (tablets/capsules);
  • Sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim (injection and tablets); and
  • Trimethoprim (tablets).
  1. The TGA has made two Serious Scarcity Substitution Instruments (SSSIs). One SSSI allows pharmacists to offer an alternative amoxicillin presentation if the prescribed strength or form is unavailable, the other allows an alternative cefalexin presentation to be dispensed when the prescribed one is unavailable.
  2. The Special Access Scheme (SAS) may also be considered, if required.

The National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship also provides fact sheets with general advice about potential alternative therapies during interruptions in the supply of antimicrobials in Australia. These may be useful when reviewed in conjunction with the current Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic or local guidelines.

Retain this notice in a prominent position, including in other related business units until supplies return to normal. Report any problems identified with medicines, vaccines or medical devices to the TGA.

HPS Pharmacies recognises that these supply issues are challenging. Your pharmacist at HPS Pharmacies can provide further advice regarding current stock availability.

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