Houston experiencing shortages of over-the-counter medications

Some over-the-counter drugs in short supply

There’s a variety of supplies out of stock in stores across the country, and now that cold and flu season is upon us, it’s adding to the shipping and manufacturing headaches with over-the-counter medications.

At a CVS in southeast Houston, cold and flu meds are sparse.

At a Walgreens in Missouri City, there were holes where some sinus meds are typically stocked.

At a Target in Stafford, they’re limiting how much Pepcid customers can buy.

Plus, no surprise everywhere, due to high demand, no COVID rapid tests were anywhere to be found.

What’s driving this shortage of over-the-counter drugs?

Walgreens said there’s “Greater demand for cough, cold and flu products nationwide, and as a result, Walgreens has worked diligently with our suppliers to ensure we have enough supply to cover customer demand.”

CVS said shortages are all temporary and they “are working with our suppliers to ensure continued access.”

You can try to go online, but forget fast shipping. Most orders are taking weeks to arrive.

At small businesses like Quail Valley Pharmacy in Missouri City, they’re feeling the impact of shortages with prescription drugs.

According to the FDA, some very common ones may experience shortages like Albuterol, epinephrine, insulin and some saline.

“Sometimes it’s hard to get our patients to understand that, but hopefully, this is something that not only the FDA but the various drug companies are working on to get us through,” said registered pharmacist, Vanese Berry.

Her advice is to try and plan ahead.

“Be a little bit more proactive in, you know, calling your pharmacy, getting your medication refilled and having that extra supply (if you can) on hand so that you don’t experience that lapse,” Berry said. She also added that backorders on medication to her pharmacy typically take about 30 days.