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Your Healthy Family: Adderall shortage impacting people with ADHD

Posted at 9:11 AM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 09:11:42-05

A nationwide shortage of a popular ADHD medication is impacting patients who need the drug.

The FDA reported a shortage in the immediate-release form of Adderall made by the company "Teva Pharmaceuticals."

"It's just been a struggle to find somewhere to get it," Sophie Didier, who lives with ADHD, said.

It's a drug the 22 year old said is a necessity for her. She said her ADHD feels like a frustration.

"I don't manage my time very well. There's also an impulsivity aspect of it, so decision making is not always well thought-out. Paying attention is really hard - I space out all the time if I haven't taken my meds that day," Didier said.

She said missing her dosage can lead to long term consequences,

especially when it comes to academics and personal safety. That's why she and her three siblings, who also have ADHD, stay on top of their medications daily.

"We have prescriptions that we have run three or four different pharmacies to get the medication at the right time," Bryan Didier, Sophie's father, said.

Dr. Kristen Stuppy is a pediatrician. She said the nationwide stimulant shortage is caused by a combination of things.

"Increased numbers of prescriptions with the pandemic in particular," Dr. Stuppy said.

She said more people were diagnosed with ADHD during the pandemic, while working and learning from home. Parents saw their children struggle more and adults found that they couldn't stay on task. She said th were also a lot of telehealth companies that marketed Adderall.

"And then there is trickle down effect of any of the prescriptions that aren't filled, people are substituting with other things and those things then become short," Dr. Stuppy said.

She said she tells people to keep an eye on their supply, and fill prescriptions as soon as possible because waiting until your last dosage could lead to missing your meds.

"It's frustrating when you need to get your medication filled and you can't get it filled. You can compare it to if a diabetic can't get their insulin, right? You need it to function in your day to day life," Didier said.