Hay fever pill shortage hits High Street chemists as Met Office warns of ‘high’ pollen levels

·2-min read
Hay fever can cause symptoms including sneezing (Stock image) (PA Archive)
Hay fever can cause symptoms including sneezing (Stock image) (PA Archive)

High Street chemists have run out of hay-fever medicine amid a nationwide shortage of supplies.

Boots said stocks of chlorphenamine maleate, an active ingredient in brands such as Piriton, were running low as the Met Office warned pollen levels would rise this week.

The firm said in a statement: “There are a very small number of lines that are currently out of stock due to a current, industry-wide shortage of the active ingredient.

“However, we are expecting this to be resolved soon and new deliveries are expected in the coming weeks.”

Boots said four of their 90 hay fever relief products had been impacted by the shortage.

Piriteze, Benadryl and Allacan are said to be in good supply.

The Telegraph reported all Piriton tablets for adults were out of stock online at Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy and Co-op Pharmacy on Sunday.

It comes as the Met Office warned of a high pollen count in London and the South East for the rest of the week.

Around 16 million Britons are thought to suffer from hay fever across the UK, according to the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation.

Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, a runny nose and red or watery eyes.

Experts have told Britons to check with their pharmacist whether their preferred remedy has been affected by the shortage.

Amish Patel, a board member of the National Pharmacy Association, told ITV News: “While there appears to be some shortage issues with certain brands, there are no shortages of hay fever medicines overall.

“There are many other options available for hay fever that can be purchased over-the-counter.

“It’s always best to speak to your pharmacist if a particular medication is not available as they will be able to advise on a suitable alternative.”

Sarah Kent, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Pollen levels will be high across much of the UK on Monday and Tuesday. At the moment it’s predominantly tree pollen, [but] grass season is just starting.

“You may start noticing symptoms more if you’re sensitive to grass pollen.”

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