ADHD Medication Shortages

WCAAP has learned from pediatric health care providers across the state that there are ongoing challenges to accessing medications for ADHD. There is a national shortage, which appears to be due to federally-set limits on manufacturers on how much stimulant medication they can produce in a year, based on how much pro-drug they can access. This is combined with the increasing prescription of these medications to adults, leading to shortages at the consumer level.

 We have been in regular communication with AAP about this concern. They have their advocacy team working on the issue and recommend that providers report all shortages to the FDA:

Suggested Alternatives

Our sincere thanks to Dr. Bob Hilt, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and general pediatrician who is head of the Partnership Access Line at Seattle Children’s Hospital for recommending the following alternative suggestions for Adderall and Concerta, two of the most common drugs that can be difficult to find: 

Adderall XR 10mg:  Roughly equivalent to Vyvanse 20mg, Dexedrine Spansule 10mg, or Adzenys ER 6.3mg.

Adderall 10mg:  roughly equivalent to Dexedrine 10mg, Evekeo 10mg.  Or if unable to locate a short-acting dextroamphetamine product, change to methylphenidate. The rough equivalent would be 20mg methylphenidate.

Concerta 27mg:  Rough replacements of Metadate CD/Ritalin LA 20 or 30mg, or Focalin XR 10 or 15mg are slightly shorter acting. Or Aptensio XR 30, or Quilivant XR 25mg daily, or consider a trial of the methylphenidate patch (dose equivalencies not well established).

Let Us Know

Thank you to WCAAP members for reaching out to us on this issue – we will share further information as it becomes available. Please continue to make us aware of any issues you need help with – that’s what we are here for!