6 drugs now in shortage

Since late August, six medications have fallen into short supply, including one cancer therapy.

Here are new drug shortages recently reported by the FDA and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 

Editor's note: The drugs are listed in alphabetical order. 

1. Betamethasone acetate and Betamethasone sodium phosphate suspension for injections: Organon and American Regent each have one solution of the allergy and inflammation therapy in short supply. Organon's 5 milliliter vials are on back order and in shortage until late September, and American Regent's 5 milliliter vials are in limited supply without an expected resupply date. 

2. Cisatracurium besylate injections: AbbVie discontinued three solutions of the muscle relaxers used before and during surgery. 

3. Copper chloride injections, which help maintain copper serum levels during total parenteral nutrition, are in shortage because Pfizer's 0.4 milligram per milliliter, 10 milliliter vials are only available for direct, emergency orders. Pfizer did not provide an estimated date for when access to its supply will broaden. 

4. Hydroxocobalamin solutions for intramuscular injection: Teva Pharmaceuticals has its 1,000 microgram per milliliter, 30 milliliter multiple dose vials on back order, and the company expects more supply in mid-November. There are no other available presentations of the B12 vitamin deficiency drug.

5. Levofloxacin oral solutions: Lannett has three solutions on back order, and the drugmaker said it could not predict a release date. Levofloxacin oral solutions are used for bacterial infections. No other presentations are available. 

6. Vinblastine sulfate injections: There are no available solutions of the chemotherapy as Fresenius Kabi's 1 milligram per milliliter, 10 milliliter dose vials are on back order. The drugmaker expects the shortage to ease between mid- and late September. The FDA advises healthcare workers to check wholesalers for inventory.

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