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What pharmacists suggest for patients struggling to find Adderall amid shortage

Minnesotans struggling to find Adderall amid shortage
Minnesotans struggling to find Adderall amid shortage 01:56

MINNEAPOLIS — Despite efforts to fix the shortage of a drug that treats Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), patients continue to struggle finding it.

The Adderall shortage was announced in October of 2022. It's been nearly a year and a half since, and patients in the Twin Cities are still searching for pharmacies with stock. They even take to social media for advice from other patients.

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Factors that led to the shortage include a spike in prescriptions that were handed out during the pandemic, a key manufacturer having production delays and other companies not producing their allotted amount.

Last fall, the Drug Enforcement Administration said more than a dozen manufacturers plan to increase production, but it's unclear when patients will see those results.

Until then, pharmacists suggest people try to find generic forms of Adderall or switch to other drugs known to treat ADHD like Vyvanse.

"What we would want with the patient, if they decided to make that change, that would be a provider-patient decision for sure," explained Mark Holtan, Specialty Pharmacy Manager at Hennepin Healthcare. "They may expect an adjustment period of going off one med and on another. You will always have that period of time where you're sort of washing out of one medicine and adding a new one on."

With a change in meds also comes the potential that the new drug could also be in short supply.

He also suggests patients ask their doctors if they've gotten feedback from other patients on where they'd have luck finding the drug.

Another change that happened last summer in case people missed it: Patients can transfer electronic prescriptions for Adderall from one pharmacy to another without having to go back to their doctor.

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