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Americans face nationwide shortage of Adderall, FDA says

Health officials confirmed this week what people who treat or who have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder already know: There's a nationwide shortage of Adderall, the drug widely prescribed for ADHD. 

The immediate release formulation of amphetamine mixed salts, commonly known by the brand name Adderall or Adderall IR, is in short supply, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the biggest seller of Adderall in the U.S., "is experiencing ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays," the agency stated. Other manufacturers continue to produce amphetamine mixed salts, but not in sufficient quantities to meet demand, the FDA added. 

Teva is producing and refilling the supply of its branded and generic Adderall "at levels above historic demand," the company told CBS MoneyWatch in a statement. "We expect inventory recovery in the coming months."

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Millions of Americans use the stimulant to treat ADHD, with the pills helping those with the disorder concentrate and focus. Amid growing awareness and diagnoses of ADHD, demand for Adderall has escalated in recent years, although the drug is also known for being misused

Patients have been dealing with the Adderall shortage since August, with one physician telling KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh that their pharmacy was out of the drug and that it was unclear when it would be back in stock. 

"We have about 10 doctors working here, and we've all had patients where they're having a hard time finding it," Allegheny Health Network psychiatrist Gary Swanson told the CBS affiliate.

Nearly two-thirds of community pharmacies had difficulties ordering Adderall at the end of July and start of August, a survey of store owners and managers found. Of the 358 who responded, 64% reported having trouble getting the prescription stimulant, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association.

The troubles started with labor shortages at Teva during the summer, according to the American Journal of Managed Care

There are alternative FDA-approved therapies to treat ADHD, including an extended-release version of amphetamine mixed salts, according to the agency, which urged patients to talk to their doctors about options. 

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