Utahns are having trouble finding Adderall as manufacturers report shortages

Oct 5, 2022, 6:50 PM | Updated: 10:52 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah pharmacies are having a hard time keeping Adderall in stock, leaving patients without or waiting for their prescriptions.

The medication is often used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and some people are even running out of the drug, according to Shanna Lindstrom, clinical director for Ascendant Behavioral Health Clinics.

“When parents can’t get the needed prescription for their child, then their child is not completing assignments,” Lindstrom said. “They’re getting behind. They’re getting concerned about their grades and their academic performance.”

Pharmacist Matt Jolley of Jolley’s Pharmacy said for the past two months, it’s been difficult to stock all doses of the medication.

Pharmacies can sometimes make a substitution for a different strength that is available. However, because Adderall is a controlled substance, that often requires a prescriber to send in a new prescription.

Some people are calling different pharmacies to find one that has Adderall or their preferred dose.

“Right now, we’re averaging at least a call an hour,” Jolley said. “We’ve had four today, and we’ve been open for three hours of people saying, ‘Do you guys happen to have Adderall?’ because it’s just so hard to find.”

According to the University of Utah’s Drug Information System, eight manufacturers of the extended-release capsules reported shortages without providing a reason.

The Food and Drug Administration is not currently reporting a shortage. The agency responded in an email: “Based on the current information from all of the manufacturers, there is not an overall shortage of ADHD drugs.” The FDA did not respond to additional questions.

Jolley said other medications that treat ADHD are not experiencing the same supply challenges.

Lindstrom said their prescribers have had the most luck with University of Utah pharmacies, while Jolley suggests trying other small pharmacies.

“Our providers are having to call in prescriptions to several different pharmacies to see what we can do,” Lindstrom said. “It’s taking a toll, and it’s also caused a lot of frustration and difficulty for our patients that depend on it to function well.”

Some pharmacies are not taking new patients seeking controlled substances such as Adderall because if they dispense too many, wholesalers will cut off their supply of controlled substances, Jolley said.

In addition to finding a pharmacy that has a supply of Adderall, people can consider trying a different dose that may be more readily available, although that would require help from their doctor.

If you wish to learn more about ADHD from Ascendant Behavioral Health Clinics, you can click learn more on their provided PDF. 

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Utahns are having trouble finding Adderall as manufacturers report shortages