CVS/Walgreens Medication Restrictions

Your child wakes up with a cough, fever, and runny nose. The first thing that likely comes to mind is getting them the medication they need. This year there’s been no shortage of germs and viruses, and kids are suffering from illnesses at rates we haven’t seen recently.

We’re in the midst of what some call the ‘tripledemic.’ Yale Medicine defines this as “a collision of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), flu, and COVID-19 to the extent that it might overwhelm hospital emergency departments.”

But what happens when the record number of diagnoses collides with pharmacies limiting how much parents can buy due to high demand and limited production?

It creates a secondary medical crisis – one that many parents face today.

Drugstore’s Current Limitations

Walgreens released a statement on December 20, 2022, stating, “Retailers nationwide are experiencing supplier fulfillment challenges due to increased demand of over-the-counter pediatric fever-reducing products.

“While Walgreens continues to have products to support our customers and patients, we have put into effect an online only purchase limit of 6 per online transaction to prevent excess purchasing behavior.”

That means there’s no limit to the medication a person can purchase – if they go to the store. However, they can only buy six fever-reducing products online during one transaction.

Rite Aid states that while they don’t have in-store purchasing limits, they’re limiting the online purchase of their 4-ounce grape-flavored Children’s Tylenol to five.

CVS hasn’t released an official statement, but they have set stricter limitations than Walgreens and Rite Aid. Currently, they only allow customers to purchase two children’s pain relief products, whether they buy them in person or online.

What Does This Mean for Parents?

Supply chain issues and high demand means parents don’t have access to the medications their children need.

If you go online today and look for cold medication at these pharmacies, you’ll see one thing in common – availability is dismal.

At, signs say “in-store only.” There are grayed-out boxes when trying to add items to a cart, indicating they can’t pick up the item at the local store and there’s no shipping available. The same is true at, with multiple “out of stock” signs. Walgreens is similar – with “Out of Stock at Your Store” and “Shipping Out of Stock” throughout the site.

You may think that these are only three stores and parents can buy elsewhere. But if you look closely at other retailers, there’s a similar pattern. Go to, and chewable children’s Tylenol isn’t available online. There’s also no infant pain reliever from well-known brands like Tylenol or Motrin on the site. It’s not just a Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS problem.

These limits paint a dire picture for parents whose children are living through these challenging medical times. It’s creating challenges for parents nationwide.

And the impact of these limits has unknown ramifications.

What’s The Solution?

There’s no real solution to the drugstore limits and overall shortages.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states they can’t require companies to manufacture medications, but it’s working with drugmakers to “understand, mitigate and prevent or reduce the impact of intermittent or increased demand of certain products.”

Until medication availability returns to normal, the best thing parents can do is try to secure the medications for their children when they can.

Also, while different, it may be worth trying lesser-known brands with the same active ingredients. These generic substitutes and non-name-brands might be more readily available than big names like Tylenol and Motrin.

You can also talk to your pediatrician about what they suggest if your child has cold symptoms and you don’t have any medication. They might recommend giving your child the proper dosage by crushing adult medications and mixing them with foods like yogurt or ice cream. A word of caution – doctors do not recommend that you try to figure out these dosages on your own.

The doctor may also tell you when there’s no need for medication since not all fevers require treatment. Instead of trying to track down the medicine, they might say you can give them a cold bath, run a fan in their room or eat popsicles to keep their fever down.

It’s best to have a plan instead of figuring it out in the moment.

Also, you should know when you need to bring your child to the doctor and when they need to go to urgent care or even the emergency room.

It’s tough to know what to expect during uncertain times, but staying in touch with your pediatrician can help your family get through this season.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.