Federal health officials report shortage of widely used antibiotic

One of the most commonly used antibiotics in the country, amoxicillin, is in short supply, federal health officials say.

The notice from the Food and Drug Administration about an oral solution of the drug comes as pharmacy owners report diminished inventory of the medication, which is prescribed to treat bacterial infections, including pneumonia and bronchitis.

The department also listed a shortage for an oral powder. Amoxicillin is available in chewable tablets or capsules.

It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the shortage or how long it could last.

The FDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did three key makers of the antibiotic — Hikma Pharmaceuticals, based in the United Kingdom; Sandoz, based in Switzerland; and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., based in Israel.

A spokesman for the FDA previously said a number of factors can cause drug shortages, including manufacturing and quality problems, delays and discontinuations.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, which maintains a database of drug shortages, last reported shortages from the companies Monday.

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