Adderall Shortage Takes Toll On Students

( – Last October, the FDA announced a shortage of the ingredients to make mixed amphetamine salts, the drug commonly known as Adderall.

The FDA said in a statement at the time that Teva Pharmaceuticals, the largest Adderall manufacturer in the country, was “experiencing ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays” that first began in August 2022.

More than a year later, the shortage continues as the heightened demand outpaces the supply.

In a letter to the FDA and DEA on October 12, House Democrats expressed their concern over those left in “limbo” awaiting access to Adderall.

According to The Hill, the ongoing shortage has hit hardest among children suffering from ADHD, with students seeing their grades slip and parents needing to drive hours to fill their prescriptions.

With little hope that the shortage will ease any time soon, experts are urging doctors, schools, and parents to better communicate on ways to create the best environment in which students missing their medication can be helped.

While alternative medicines are available for ADHD, including Ritalin, Strattera, and Vyvanse, several of the alternatives are also experiencing a shortage and aren’t always an adequate replacement for children who are accustomed to another ADHD medication.

What’s more, while some medications in the same class can be interchangeable, that isn’t always the case when it comes to medications used in treating ADHD.

Michael Ganio of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists told The Hill that there are “subtle differences” in how ADHD medications work. Additionally, switching medications means it could take several weeks, or even months, to find the right dosage for a patient and ensure it is effective.

According to a study out of UC Davis, nearly a third of high school students suffering from ADHD either take longer to graduate or drop out of school entirely, a rate twice as high as students with no mental health disorders.

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