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Adderall Shortage: What Happened and What ADHD Medications Can Be an Alternative

Adderall shortage

Adderall Shortage: What Happened and What ADHD Medications Can Be an Alternative

Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient’s unique health circumstances and needs.

The shortage of Adderall, a medication frequently given to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), was first discussed this summer and confirmed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [1*] in October 2022. This incident is still hurting many patients’ mental health. Although there are generic forms of Adderall known as “mixed amphetamine salts,” they are not enough to fulfill national demand.

Many prescribers are looking for alternatives to the immediate and extended-release versions of Adderall because a sizable portion of their patients cannot dependably obtain this ADHD medication from local pharmacies.

Read on to find out what can be done about the Adderall shortage and what medicines can serve as alternatives until the issue is resolved.

Get an online prescription for ADHD from our medical experts.

Is There a Reason Why This Shortage Is in the News?

Anecdotal accounts of customers calling several pharmacies to complete their Adderall prescriptions have appeared in recent news headlines, sometimes in vain. It is worth mentioning that shortages of this nature have happened before. However, the current situation impacts thousands of people and requires a solution.

Adderall is a Schedule II stimulant medication, which means a significant risk of abuse associated with it. When taken as directed, it can have a profound impact on a person’s mental and physical health. But if stopped abruptly, it can cause withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, since the NCPA survey [2*] (National Community Pharmacists Association) reported 64% of pharmacists having difficulty obtaining Adderall, it is important for patients to be aware of the situation and consult their doctors.

What's to Blame for Adderall Shortage?

Eleven million adults and 3 million children [3*] in the US take stimulant medications. The FDA first noticed that there wasn’t enough Adderall in September 2019, which still seems to be a problem today. According to a recent article in The Washington Post, there are three fundamental causes of the shortage:

  • Increased demand for Adderall
  • A shortage of labor caused by a pandemic
  • The heavily regulated supply chain

Amphetamine, a stimulant, and strictly controlled drug, is an ingredient in Adderall. Pharmaceutical companies must submit an annual request for the raw materials they intend to utilize in the production of Adderall to the Drug Enforcement Agency and the FDA. Amphetamines are considered regulated substances, so businesses should follow rigorous regulations when selling them. Due to these limitations, it may be difficult for manufacturers to produce an additional product and for pharmacies to swiftly change their strategy and add new brands to their inventory.

Expert advice on ADHD diagnosis and treatment online. Here’s how to get started!

Alternatives to Adderall

If you use an immediate-release formulation and are worried that you might not be able to acquire your prescription during the Adderall shortage, speak with your doctor. They will find out whether any alternative solutions might be able to accommodate your needs in the meantime. If your pharmacy has an extended-release form of Adderall in store, you might be able to switch to it; otherwise, you might need to look into other prescription ADHD drugs.

There are numerous other adult ADHD medications, including Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), Ritalin (methylphenidate), and Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine). Just be aware that finding the best dosage of these stimulants can take some time.

Adderall shortage 2022

Natural Alternatives to Adderall

Natural Adderall substitutes do not have the same therapeutic effect as Adderall and other ADHD medications, but patients may still try them after consulting with a doctor. Some people use supplements like magnesium, ginkgo biloba, citicoline, vitamin B-6, pycnogenol, or GABA to treat the symptoms of ADHD, even though the advantages are not well established. Although they are sold over the counter, make sure to speak with your healthcare provider before using them.

Psychotherapy or medication can be used to treat ADHD. Get in touch with us to determine which treatment is best for you.

Pros and Cons of Switching Brands

While switching to a generic Adderall with the same active ingredients may be acceptable, it may not be a brilliant idea to switch medication brands, such as from Adderall to Ritalin. Ritalin is a methylphenidate, whereas Adderall is an amphetamine/dextroamphetamine salt; both increase the amounts of neurotransmitters in the brain. In other words, they may have comparable effects or treat the same problem. Still, they may interact differently with other medications you are taking and have distinct dosages and variable adverse effects.

Additionally, there are immediate-release and extended-release versions of ADHD drugs. Ask your doctor for a suitable alternative if you have trouble finding your prescription. Finally, there are non-pharmacological treatment options for ADHD and stimulant-free drugs.

How Long Will the Shortage Last?

Everyone wonders about it, but nobody has a definitive answer. You can view proof of the uncertainty by visiting the FDA’s website [4*] regarding the drug shortage:

  • Amphetamine salts from Epic Pharma are marked as “back-ordered” in varying dosages.
  • Through January 2023, SpecGX’s 20 mg and 30 mg tablets are affected by supply constraints.
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals currently has several products on backorder, with anticipated recovery dates ranging between late October and March 2023.

Additionally, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists keeps track of which medications are currently hard to come by. On the ASHP website [5*] , you may see a list of amphetamine-mixed salts that has been updated.

Bottom Line

Different chemical combinations result in a different interplay in the brain, and different stimulant medications are given to treat ADHD. You must consult your doctor if you’re considering switching drugs due to the Adderall shortage. Our medical professionals can resolve your confusion. Reach out to MEDvidi physicians right away!


+5 sources
  1. FDA Announces Shortage of Adderall. (2022)
    Source link
  2. Survey of community pharmacy economic pressures 2022 report
    Source link
  3. Prescription stimulants in individuals with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: misuse, cognitive impact, and adverse effects. (2012)
    Source link
  4. FDA Drug Shortages. (2022)
    Source link
  5. Amphetamine Mixed Salts, Immediate-Release Tablets. (2023)
    Source link
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology

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Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

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This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.