Antimicrobial Drug Shortages

Medication shortages can compromise patient care, and adversely affect drug therapy and/or increase medication errors by use of suboptimal or unfamiliar alternatives. Numerous antimicrobial agents have been affected by national drug shortages, over the last 10 years shortages rose over 250%, 2nd only to oncologic agents. From 2001-2013, there were over 150 antimicrobials on national shortage; by 2013, 112 of them were resolved, over a dozen agents had been discontinued completed from the market. In 2015, the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) released a comprehensive statement in regards to drug shortages. The average antimicrobial is on shortage for 750 days (range: 69 days – 2200 days).

Below is a non-inclusive list of some the antimicrobials that are on shortage or completely unavailable. This is not an exhaustive list, and medications go on and off of shortage lists almost daily. The purpose of this is to communicate to providers a list of potential antimicrobials that could be or have been affected at Children’s of Alabama. The ASP team will work to communicate new, or updated shortages in real time to the medical staff and providers so that alternative therapies can be considered.

  • Acyclovir IV
  • Ampicillin/Sulbactam (Unasyn)
  • Amphotericin deoxycholate (conventional)
  • Cefazolin
  • Cefotaxime
  • Cefotetan
  • Ceftolozane/Tazobactam (Zerbaxa)
  • Gentamicin Ophthalmic Ointment
  • Metronidazole IV
  • Rifampin IV

ASHP current drug shortages

IDSA statement on drug shortages