Pharmaceutical shortages

Nurses General Nursing


FDA Reports Shortages of Two Pfizer Corticosteroids

WASHINGTON (Reuters Health) May 13 - Pfizer Inc. is experiencing shortages of the injectable corticosteroids Solu-Cortef (hydrocortisone sodium succinate) and Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone sodium succinate) due to capacity constraints, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notice.

The agency said shortages are expected for the remainder of 2003, although limited quantities will be available for emergency situations.


113 Posts

yes, we are now using decadron rather than solumedrol due to the shortage.


693 Posts

What do they mean by "capacity constraint"?

It's always something. Last year it was Heparin, this year Solumedrol. I can never figure out how they become "short". Wouldn't a good business meet the demand for a supply? Have the need for corticosteriods increased for some reason I'm unaware of?


92 Posts

This is frightening but at least at my hospital we had a NARCAN shortage. I had to break into code carts to get it. We are also experiencing the solumedrol problem, and did have a unasyn problem for a while, and an IV lasix problem that had us all using bumex instead, whats up with this?

Solumedrol has had shortages many times in the years I have practiced. I was told by a drug rep that an impt. ingredient comes from the rain forests and harvesting is limited. Don't know if that is true.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho.

IV protonix is another that is said to be short. Available in limited supply for only patients who cant be substituted or take a PO form. I know not a life threatening thing, but still a pain when you have to call docs and get a new order.

Allison S.

80 Posts

Narcan is a national shortage right now.

Not sure about the details, but I know that some of the shortages have to do with meds being stockpiled for the war.

I wonder if the solumedrol shortage is due to either the enormous amount of pneumonia/COPD exacerbations that we had a couple of months ago, or related to SARS. I don't really know, only speculating. I just know the day that the SARS became public everyone and their family were being admitted for pneumonia/COPD. I was the Solumedrol queen for about three weeks.

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