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What to Know About the Adderall Shortage

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D

There is a widespread short supply of certain types of Adderall in the United States which could cause trouble when refilling your prescription. Adderall is a brand of mixed amphetamine salt that is indicated for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The short supply of Adderall was officially confirmed by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 12 when they said Teva, one of the major producers, is experiencing manufacturing delays and other makers can't keep up with demand. Thise confirmation comes more than two months after pharmacies initially expressed concern about filling Adderall prescriptions.

Read on to learn more about the cause of the Adderall shortage and how you can prevent it from affecting your therapeutic outcome.

What is Adderall?

Adderall, a brand of mixed amphetamine salt, is a central nervous system stimulant that affects impulse control and improves attention and focus. It works by increasing the level of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Adderall is indicated for the treatment of narcolepsy (sleeping disorder) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

What’s causing the Adderall shortage?

The following reasons have been identified as the root causes of the Adderall shortage:

Which formulations are affected?

The short supply of Adderall affects the immediate-release formulations. The FDA advises patients to discuss alternatives, like an extended-release formulation, with their healthcare provider.

What are the alternatives to Adderall?

Speak to your doctor if you are stable on the immediate-release formulation of Adderall and you find it challenging to fill your prescription due to the shortage. Your doctor may switch you to an extended-released formulation or consider other prescriptions for ADHD. Other stimulants that may be considered are:

Furthermore, you could try some of these over-the-counter natural alternatives. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if these are right for you as the benefits are not clinically proven. Examples are:

Can I ration my Adderall doses?

Experts agree that you may lower your dose of Adderall, take a break on the weekend, or use it only when necessary to save a few extra tablets. There is no risk in not taking ADHD for a day or two but you may experience an increase in some of your ADHD symptoms, like trouble holding attention, fidgeting, and impulsiveness. It is advisable for an adult with ADHD not to drive a car when they are taking a break from Adderall because it may increase the likelihood of an accident.

When will the shortage end?

The Adderall shortage may persist until January 2023. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug shortage website allows you to monitor the status. Although many Teva Pharmaceuticals medications are back-ordered, the website has projected recovery dates ranging from late October to December 2022.

How can I save on the cost of Adderall?

If you have been diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Adderall, you may be worried about the cost of having that prescription filled. The rxless discount card can save you up to 88% on your Adderall prescription as well as all your other medications. The rxless discount card is accepted and can be used at over 70,000 pharmacies across the nation, including CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.