ARCHDALE, N.C. (WGHP) — As we get deeper into cold and flu season, Piedmont Triad doctors are concerned you might not be able to get the medicine needed to treat several respiratory illnesses.

Across the country and here in the Piedmont Triad, pharmacies are running low on or completely out of amoxicillin. It’s commonly used to treat ear infections, pneumonia and other bacterial infections.

The shortage is caused by a combination of supply chain issues and increased demand. Once pharmacies do get amoxicillin in stock, it flies off the shelves because pediatricians are seeing an uptick in bacterial infections. Doctors are worried it could get harder to find as more and more children get sick this winter.

“This is unprecedented,” said Ryan Hoskins, a pharmacist at Archdale Drug. “I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years, and I have never seen this happen before.”

The empty space on the shelves at Archdale Drug is normally filled with bottles of liquid amoxicillin. The bottles Hoskins has left are only enough to last about a day.

“I know in the last two weeks, we’ve dispensed at least 250 or 300 bottles of this one alone,” he said.

Archdale Drug is one of a few pharmacies across the Piedmont Triad with a supply of the medicine, but that supply is slim.

“Most of the pharmacies in our area have not had it, and this has been for about two weeks,” Hoskins said. “They’ve been sending every one of their customers to us to fill them, therefore, we’ve been running out faster than we anticipated.”

Cars have lined up in the drive-thru to pick up their prescriptions in the past couple of weeks.

On Wednesday afternoon, FOX8 crews stopped at the CVS on South Main Street in Archdale, where they don’t have any amoxicillin. They also went to Walgreens on South Main Street in High Point and Cornwallis Drive in Greensboro where they recently got a shipment. Some pharmacies are seeing a 15% increase in demand.

“You’ve got cold, flu season,” Hoskins said. “You’ve got congestion, sinus infections, ear infections. Everything is going on right now.”

At Eagle Pediatrics in Greensboro, Dr. April Gay has had to find alternative medications to prescribe to her patients.

“One of the medications that you could utilize would be Augmentin, which is actually the amoxicillin with clavulanic acid added to it, so you get a similar medication, but…it’s a little bit stronger,” the pediatrician said. “There’s also cefdinir.”

But with more cold weather ahead, and shelves getting emptier by the day, there’s some worry about what’s to come and what won’t.

“Very concerning that this is just the beginning, and we’re hoping that we can continue to find ways to treat illnesses,” Hoskins said.

If your child is prescribed amoxicillin, Hoskins recommends talking with your pediatrician before leaving the appointment. That way you can discuss other options if your pharmacy is low on the medication.

As for when we could see an end to this, both of these doctors think it could take a few weeks to get supplies back up.