Public searching for answers about Adderall shortage

Patients with ADHD are struggling to find solutions amidst national shortage


Aspen Bingham

Some ADHD medication looks like blue and white capsules.

On Oct. 12, 2022, the FDA announced a shortage of Amphetamine Salts, commonly referred to by the brand name, Adderall. Per the FDASIA (the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act) the shortage of Adderall’s active ingredient, amphetamine mixed salts, is what’s causing this ongoing shortage. 

As the shortage continues, many people who rely on medication to manage attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders are struggling to find solutions.

When Dr. Sarah Cheyette learned about the adderall shortage, she began prescribing patients alternatives such as Concerta and Vyvansne. These alternatives don’t always work out, but for many patients it was better than going off medication altogether.

Due to the high demand for alternatives, there is now a shortage of those medications as well. In January, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, which tracks drug availability, reported shortages of generic Concerta. Takeda Pharmaceuticals, which makes Vyvanse, has not reported shortages, but according to NBC News, dozens of pharmacies have reported Vyvanse being on backorder for months.

These shortages have made it very difficult to find solutions to manage ADHD and many people remain scrambling for answers.

Psychiatric nurse practitioner Allison Cherrier from Larson Mental health, said “patients are struggling with anxiety and a disruption of their normal routines”.

Not only has the Adderall shortage impacted patients, it’s also impacted medical staff. The days for Cherrier’s medical assistants are being “eaten up” with phone calls and emails related to the Adderall shortage.

Cherrier has had to switch patient medication to accommodate for the shortage. Cherrier said, “It’s not ideal, but mentally prepare to switch meds.”  

There are no signs of this shortage coming to an end and definitely no easy fix to this huge problem.