PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Concern is mounting after shortages of Adderall, a prescription medication used by both children and adults with ADHD, have gotten increasingly sparse since the quantities dropped several months ago.
The FDA says the shortage will resolve – but not until sometime in April.
Demand has skyrocketed, and while there are several alternative prescription medications, many of them are also in short supply.
Drug manufacturers say they can’t just make more of the medication because the FDA and the Drug Enforcement Administration limit the active ingredients, amphetamines, which can be abused and cause addiction. Even patients are limited in how much they can get at a time.
OHSU Psychiatrist Dr. James Hancey, who prescribes the medication, said finding the medicine is challenging because patients have to contact their doctor’s office to receive a prescription.
“It’s not one you can just walk around with to shop around for who might have the medication,” Hancey said.
There are some over-the-counter medications that some doctors are recommending as a way to get by, but Dr. Hansey said they are often not strong enough.
The shortage has been especially tough on kids who are prescribed ADHD medication to help them concentrate in school. Parents want to help their children, but are really frustrated.
There’s also concern that teenagers and adults could instead seek what could be deadly counterfeit drugs.