In recent weeks, a surge of three viruses has swept over the United States: COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza.

Unfortunately, as virus numbers mounted, it got harder to find medications to relieve symptoms. Many people rushed to the drugstore looking for acetaminophen, better known as Tylenol, which is known for its fever and pain-reducing powers. Children's Tylenol is in particularly short supply, causing anxiety and stress for parents everywhere—and it doesn't help that Tylenol alternatives, like children's Motrin (ibuprofen), and in short supply too. 

Why Is There a Tylenol Shortage?

The current Tylenol shortage (and this is far from the only medicine shortage), isn’t actually a manufacturing issue, says Dr. Wendy Hasson, MD, a pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “But it’s an enormous increase in demand,” she says. “There was probably an element of people trying to stock up, not unlike the infamous toilet paper incidents of early 2020.”

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