COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The shelves at Marra’s Pharmacy in Cohoes where you’re supposed to be able to find children’s pain relief products–like children’s Motrin and Tylenol–were almost totally bare Wednesday morning. This is what you may find at many pharmacies right now.

Experts blamed the early, widespread arrival of flu cases in the U.S., in combination with other respiratory illnesses, for the overwhelming demand for over-the-counter medication that started emptying shelves in December.

Major pharmacy chains like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens have had to put various protocols in place to limit how many products people could buy. CVS still has a 2-product limit on all children’s pain relief products. Rite Aid is limiting children’s Motrin and Tylenol purchases online but will lift that by the end of the week. Walgreens has lifted its online only limit. This suggests the issue may be improving.

Assemblyman and pharmacist John McDonald believes that at this point, the lack of availability isn’t for a lack of effort on the manufacturer’s part.

“If you talk to McNeil, if you talk to J&J – those are the companies that are making these products – they’re working 24/7 to produce products. The demand is just so high,” he explained.

He added that more proactive measures need to be taken to direct drug makers to be get ahead of this in the future.

“We knew back in May that this flu season was going to be high,” McDonald said. “Unfortunately, it does not appear that we responded as a nation quickly enough to produce more product, and lesson learned. We can’t let that happen again.”

McDonald advised that if you can’t get your hands on children’s Tylenol or Motrin, don’t hesitate to buy the generic brand version. However, be cautious if you attempt to give your child the adult version of the medication. Dosage is based on weight.

“You just have to make sure that you have the right dose for your child, and it’s based on the formulation,” explained Fidelis Care Pediatrician, Dr. Lisa Moreno, “because formulations for adults may be different from the liquid formulations for children. Definitely give a ring to your healthcare provider or your pediatrician.”

If you are unsure what the formulation is or how to describe it, you can send a picture of it to your doctor for their review.