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Forecasters have predicted a rise in pollen levels as hay fever tablets run low across the country due to an ingredient shortage.
Stocks of chlorphenamine maleate — an active ingredient in Piriton medication and other such remedies — are widely limited.
Piriton tablets for adults are out of stock online at Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy and Coop Pharmacy, although syrups for children are still available.
A spokesman for Boots told The Daily Telegraph that they were expecting stocks of hay fever tablets to be 'resolved soon'.
"There are a very small number of lines currently out of stock due to an industry-wide shortage of chlorphenamine maleate. However, we are expecting this to be resolved soon," he said.
The shortages seem to be only in medications containing chlorphenamine maleate, with other types of antihistamines more readily available.
It is understood that tablets using cetirizine hydrochloride, which includes Allacan, Benadryl, Piriteze and own-brand varieties, are in good supply.
Both cetirizine and chlorphenamine can be used to treat hay fever, but the NHS says that people often find that one is more suited to them.
Medication using cetirizine hydrochloride is less likely to make someone feel sleepy as a side effect.
Pollen levels are expected to peak as the two main types – from trees and grass – are simultaneously released in mid-May.
Sarah Kent, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: "Pollen levels will be high across much of the UK today 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."
The issue with hay fever tablets comes as the UK has experienced a general drugs shortage problem in recent weeks.
The Times found 67 different drugs were on the list of affected products — the most for any March since records began in 2014.
One of the most widely reported supply chain issues is with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), with demand rising among women in recent years.
Fresh supplies of HRT could soon be shipped into Britain from other countries to ease shortages affecting thousands of women.
Dr Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, told The Times that about 500,000 patients are currently facing barriers to getting drugs they need for a wide range of conditions.
'"Shortages impact patients the most," she said.
"Where stable medication has to be changed the process can often be complex and stressful for patients. Some medicines for example for cancer and blood pressure are difficult to substitute."
- Hay fever
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