(WKBN) – Winter break is over, school is back in session and some students may depend on ADHD medication. But, shortages of the ADHD drug Adderall are forcing families to scramble for ways to deal with their children’s ADHD.
It’s a common occurrence for several people we spoke to. They drive to their pharmacy to pick up their Adderall prescription just to find out it’s out of stock. The lack of medication has left them scrambling.
The Food and Drug Administration first declared a shortage of the immediate-release formulation of Adderall in October due to manufacturing delays. Now, pharmacies and people that depend on the medication are feeling the pain, like Faith Feller’s 8-year-old daughter who suffers from ADHD.
“When she’s not on her ADHD medicine, she’s super grouchy and irritable and all over the place,” Feller said.
Feller says the shortage is taking a toll not only on families but on schools. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6.1 million children from the ages of 3 to 17 are diagnosed with ADHD. Of that number, 42% rely on Adderall.
“They’re unable to focus, concentrate, sit still, and they’re always on the go, moving around. The teachers are struggling to keep them focused,” Feller said.
Nikolas Welker, a recent college graduate, voiced similar concerns. Around November, he started having to wait about a week to get his Adderall.
“Trying to buckle down and study for exams while I’m also out of something that is very crucial to me being able to focus is incredibly frustrating,” Welker said.
The shortage is an issue pharmacies like Hometown Pharmacy have been experiencing for months.
“Over the several months through the holidays, it has been an issue,” said Marcie Keeler, a pharmacist at Hometown Pharmacy.
Some who depend on the medicine are even being forced to stop cold turkey, which Keeler strongly advises against because the withdrawal can be quite serious.
“Just to get this medication it is such a hassle, and you get a runaround to, ‘Well, OK, call this place and if you don’t call this place, give us a call back we’ll tell you to go somewhere else,'” Feller said.
But local pharmacies say we may be in the clear soon.
“It seems like it might be easing some. It seems like it’s slowly starting to come back in,” Keeler said.