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If you haven’t already heard, Tamiflu, the children’s swine flu medication, is in high demand. However, the liquid version of the medication is in short supply. So, instead, pharmacists are mixing the capsulated Tamiflu with sugar and artificial cherry flavoring.

The cherry syrup, provided by Humco Holding Group, is in such high demand that the company can barely keep up. In fact, the company’s typical sales of the syrup range around 50,000 pint-size bottles a year. But, with fears over a shortage of swine flu medication in full swing, Humco sold 100,000 bottles in September alone. However, cherry syrups such as those manufactured by Humco might have a fierce competitor. If directed by a physician, parents can make their own liquid dose of Tamiflu at home by mixing the capsulated medication with chocolate syrup.

Syrups used for pharmaceutical compounding are considered foods by the Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, approval is not needed from the agency before such products can be marketed.

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