An Adderall shortage could affect many patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but experts say other treatment options are available.
Intermittent manufacturing delays at Teva Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures the medication containing amphetamine mixed salts, could last for several months, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Because the shortage impacts the immediate release formulation, clinicians can consider prescribing the extended-release version of the drug.
Eugenia Chan, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, co-author of the AAP’s clinical practice guideline on ADHD, also suggested considering other immediate- and extended-release forms of amphetamine-based medications. Those may include Evekeo or Evekeo ODT and Adzenys ER or Adzenys XR ODT, which are mixed isomer formulations similar to Adderall and Adderall XR. However, she cautioned they may be more expensive because they are brand name only. They also may require prior authorization for insurance coverage.
In addition, pediatricians could consider dextroamphetamines, which are related to the mixed isomer amphetamines, according to Dr. Chan, an attending physician in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. Vyvanse is an extended-release and Zenzedi is an immediate-release formulation.
Other options are stimulants in the methylphenidate class, especially for children who did not have an optimal response to Adderall or experienced significant side effects.
Parents should talk to their pediatrician about the best course of treatment if Adderall is not available.
“Switching stimulants can be a little scary, but this may be a good opportunity to find a different stimulant that works better or has fewer side effects,” Dr. Chan said via email.
- AAP Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents.
- ADHD medication guide from Cohen Children’s Medical Center
- Information for parents from HealthyChildren.org on ADHD
- Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on ADHD