Health Team

ADD patients hit by drug shortage

Posted November 16, 2011

— A drug shortage is hitting a common medication for attention deficit disorder, leading pharmacists to turn some customers away.

Pharmacist Mike James, who works at Person Street Pharmacy, said he gets several calls a day from people desperately searching for the drug Adderall.

"You have people who have been taking this for a good long while who are kind of going into a panic," James said.

The drug is commonly prescribed to help people with ADD organize their thoughts and focus on schoolwork and other daily tasks.

A manufacturer of the generic form of Adderall has blamed the federal Drug Enforcement Agency for restricting the production of Adderall's main ingredient, because it can be used to make methamphetamine.

James said it's not clear that the DEA is to blame for the shortage. The agency is tracking drugs like Adderall more closely, and there's a black market for the drug for use as a study aid.

"There's been a lot of abuse of the medication, especially for college kids," psychiatrist Robert Roy said. "I tell them, 'Don't tell people you're on this and have a party and leave it on your dresser, because it will be gone in five minutes.'"

ADD patients deal with drug shortage ADD patients deal with drug shortage

James said a manufacturer told him the shortage won't go away any time soon. The tablet form of Adderall might not be available until the first quarter of 2012

"I would recommend any patient that's taking an Adderall tablet that they go ahead and make a decision with their physician as to what they should do to correct that, because they're not going to be able to out-wait the problem," he said.

Some doctors are switching patients over to a long-acting capsule form of Adderall. That changes the dosage that patients receive.

Doctors might also know where the drug can be found locally.


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  • Pseudonym Nov 22, 2011

  • Pseudonym Nov 22, 2011

    All you people defending the use of amphetamines to fix your children's brains need to do some research not only about amphetamines, but about artificial food additives as well, especially FD&C Red #40. There are MANY MANY MANY examples of hyperactivity and lack of focus disappearing within a couple of days after red 40 was cut out of a child's diet.

    I would rather subtract an artificial substance which only has the task of making food "pretty" than add a potentially addictive drug with similar molecular structures to marijuana.

  • mcarliles Nov 22, 2011

    Blame all the doctors who "diagnose" people with these new age "medical conditions" that didn't exist 20 years ADD/ADHD-howdiditgettothis

    You don't just go to the doctor and tell them you have trouble focusing and they prescribe medication. There is a long process for this diagnosis, going to mulitple doctors before any medication is prescribed and then it's monitored with check-ups every 3 months. Their are children and even adults that truly need this medication. My son is one of them and it was a 6 month process to get him the help he needed. It has made a tremendous difference in his grades and well worth every doctor visit and referral that we had make in order for him to be diagnosed.

  • Pseudonym Nov 22, 2011

    Pharmacist: "May I help you?"

    Patient with ADD: "Yes, I'm here to pick up my prescription for--hey look at that outside!!" :-)

  • howdiditgettothis Nov 22, 2011

    "Give me a pill because something has got to be wrong with me" generation - thank God I'm not dependent on your "smarts" to run this country in my old age!

    You folks can't even support yourself or pay for your own addictions.

    Again, educate yourself. End your own misinformation.

  • mmjo65 Nov 22, 2011

    Yes, if amphetamines are abused, then they are addictive. So is vodka for that matter!! I am not stupid enough to not understand that. My comment to you about educating yourself was directed to your understanding (or your lack of understanding) that ADD/ADHD is a true disorder and adderall helps treat the symptoms like Glucotrol treats diabetes by regulating your blood sugar. Adderall is a legitimate medication and there is shortage as the article states. ADD is a true condition that is treated well with this medicine. End of discussion.

  • WakeCountyRedNeck Nov 22, 2011

    If you have a prescription, you should be able to get it. DEA is another example of government gone wild.

  • howdiditgettothis Nov 22, 2011

    Amphetamines are addictive - mmjo65. You are the one that obviously needs to be educated.

    Why do you think amphetamines are a class 2 narcotic (class 1 is highest addictive potential) and no refills can be written on prescriptions?

    Amphetamines ARE addictive, and obviously you aren't the only one who needs educating.

  • mmjo65 Nov 21, 2011

    howdiditgettothis.......Addicted??? who is talking about addiction here? Sounds like you are quite ignorant and need to do some research on ADD/ADHD. There are plenty of books out there and online to help you understand...... : )

  • tarheelhater21 Nov 21, 2011

    You are right, they don't need the "stimulants" because they "say" they have trouble focusing, they need the medicine because they DO have trouble focusing. Just being honest here, but you don't seem like you know much about it either.