Adderall shortage near finals could affect students

// Posted
Courtesy of Flickr: hipsxxhearts.

Courtesy of Flickr: hipsxxhearts.

A nationwide shortage of Adderall, a drug used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has affected the  Brown-Lupton Health Center and local pharmacies around TCU, Health Center pharmacist Frank Calhoon said.

“We have run out of the immediate release Adderall and its generic probably about 2 or 3 weeks ago,” Calhoon said. “I have no idea when we will have it in stock again.”

Local pharmacies around TCU like CVS/pharmacy and Walgreens have reported a similar situation.

“We are out on almost all the strengths right now,” CVS/pharmacy pharmacist Sunil Patel said. “For those who really need it, they have to call their doctors and switch to something else.”

Walgreens pharmacist Kwansah Ndemo said Walgreens has run out of their stock of 30-milligram regular release Adderall medication but still had 10-milligram and 20-milligram tablets available, as well as the extended release formulation.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration website said “API [Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient] supply issues and uneven product distribution patterns” caused the shortage.

The shortages in the medication have created an inconvenience for students, especially being so close to finals week, Calhoon said.

“I can only imagine that it would adversely affect TCU students in a number of ways. They will not be able to concentrate on studying and that will affect them being able to take tests during finals,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate circumstance but it’s just one of those things that happens every so often when manufacturers hit the quota that the government allows them to make. And this is one of the years that it has hit everybody pretty hard.”

Although unaffected by the shortage, sophomore pre-major Channing Brosier said she recognized how frustrating it would be if someone was unable to have their prescription of Adderall filled.

“It would affect me if I did not have any Adderall when it came time for finals, especially because now that I have been on it for a long time when I’m not on it, it affects me,” said Brosier, who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. “I am really tired and sleepy, so I feel like I would be more unproductive if I ran out of my Adderall.”

Calhoon said the Health Center has attempted to assist students by trying to locate pharmacies around the area that may have the medication, but the search has proven challenging.

Students have to drive around looking for pharmacies who can fill their prescription which costs them time and money, Ndemo said.

Pharmacies are unaware when shipments for the medication will arrive, Ndemo said. It depends on Shire Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the drug, he said.

Patel said most patients who use Adderall are reluctant to try other substitutes as an alternative during the shortage.

“Adderall is not the only choice in that class of drugs. They do have other options like Vyvanse or Ritalin,” Patel said. “Lots of people do not want to change from Adderall to something else because they are afraid it may not work the same. So that is the first question in a patient’s mind, but if they are willing to change, there are plenty of options available.”

See a problem with this story? Tell us about it.