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Do's and Don'ts During the Unprecedented Flu Season

Do's and Don'ts During the Unprecedented Flu Season
January 15, 2023

With limited supply of cough and cold medications in some parts of Canada, it's important to take additional measures to keep you and your family safe, says the BC Pharmacy Association. This page is better read by rotating your phone to landscape.

Keep Yourself And Family Healthy During Extremely High Demand For Cough And Cold Medications

“This season, we have seen a surge in respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19, influenza and RSV. It’s even more important now, when supplies of cough and cold medications are limited, to do everything we can to keep ourselves safe,” says Chris Chiew, President of the BC Pharmacy Association.

“During the pandemic, many of us learned how to take precautions against getting sick. This includes frequent hand washing, wearing masks, staying home when sick, keeping two meters apart, and getting your flu and COVID-19 booster shots.”

Despite many of the pandemic restrictions being lifted in B.C., voluntarily adopting these precautions can help fight the spread of this season’s respiratory illnesses and keep you safe.

Currently demand continues to be high for both adult and children’s cough and cold medications across Canada. There has been a significant demand for these medications since spring 2022. B.C. community pharmacies are doing their best to make sure they can provide medications to those in need. That means asking British Columbians to only purchase products they need.

Pharmacies may also be able to compound products, depending on supply.

What you should do

This medication shortage can be a distressing situation for parents and caregivers. If the shortage has affected you, the following information may help.


  1. Only buy what you need. We want to make sure that everyone has access to the medications they need.
  2. Remember that a fever is a sign that the body is fighting an infection. Keep your child comfortable, use cold compresses and have them drink plenty of fluids. Warm baths can help manage pain.
  3. If you decide to use medication to treat a fever, make sure you:
  4. Use the right medication for your child's age
  5. Giving the wrong medicine or the wrong amount can do more harm than good
  6. Read and follow the dosing information carefully for any product that you use
  7. Make sure your child's vaccines are up to date to reduce the risk of serious illness.
  8. Avoid using expired products.


  1. Use adult fever and pain medications on children under 12 years of age without consulting a health care professional. There is a serious risk of overdosing, especially when administering acetaminophen, and a risk of liver injury in infants and children.
  2. Obtain these products from unknown sources, such as online groups or third parties.

For more information, please refer to Health Canada’s website at Infant and children's acetaminophen and ibuprofen shortage -

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