Hay fever tablets run low across the country

Hay fever tablets run low across the country due to shortage of active ingredient chlorphenamine maleate

  • Chlorphenamine maleate is an active ingredient in Piriton medication 
  • Piriton tablets are unavailable at Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy and Coop Pharmacy 
  • Other tablets using cetirizine hydrochloride are in good supply, such as Piriteze

Hay fever tablets are running low across the country due to an ingredient shortage – and the timing couldn’t be worse as forecasters are predicting a rise in pollen levels.

Stocks of chlorphenamine maleate, an active ingredient in Piriton medication and other such remedies, are widely limited, according to Boots.

Piriton tablets are out of stock online at Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy and Coop Pharmacy but its syrups for children are still available. 

Piriton tablets are out of stock online at Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy and Coop Pharmacy. File image

Chlorphenamine maleate is an active ingredient in Piriton medication and stocks are running low, say Boots. File image

The shortages seem to be only in medications containing chlorphenamine maleate, with other types of antihistamines more readily available.

It us understood that tablets using cetirizine hydrochloride are in good supply, which includes Allacan, Benadryl, Piriteze and own-brand varieties. 

Both cetirizine and chlorphenamine can be used to treat hay fever, but people often find that one is more suited to them, the NHS says. 

Medication using cetirizine hydrochloride is less likely to make someone feel sleepy as a side effect.

A spokesman for Boots told The Daily Telegraph: ‘There are a very small number of lines that are currently out of stock due to an industry-wide shortage of chlorphenamine maleate. However, we are expecting this to be resolved soon.’

Pollen levels are expected to peak as the two main types – from trees and grass – are simultaneously released in mid-May. 

Tree pollen is most common between late-March and mid-May, whereas grass pollen lasts for longer, and is released from mid-May to July. It is also the variety that more people are allergic to.

The Met Office has also warned that pollen ‘levels will be high across much of the UK today and Tuesday’.

And it is thought that the pollen season could be extended due to climate change, as well as warmer weather bringing invasive, and more pollen-rich plants to the country. 

Tree pollen is most common between late-March and mid-May, whereas grass pollen lasts for longer and is released from mid-May to July. File image

The issue with hay fever tablets comes as the UK has experienced a general drugs shortage problem in recent weeks.

Two-thirds of pharmacists have been facing supply issues every day, according to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee.

And many of them are having to serve aggressive patients, after they are told that their prescribed medication is unavailable. 

One of the most widely reported supply chain issues is with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), with demand rising among women in recent years.

Source: Read Full Article