If you or your child are diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), you may have had some recent frustrations getting access to the medication you were prescribed to treat it. 

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Back in October of last year, the FDA announced a shortage of amphetamine mixed salts, formerly known by the brand name Adderall, citing manufacturing delays and a lack of “sufficient supply.”

According to NBC, Adderall prescriptions for adults rose 15.1% during 2020, double the number of new prescriptions for the drug in 2019. Some theorize this is a direct result of the pandemic and more patients opting for telehealth appointments rather than in-person ones. Others blame the rise of Adderall usage on “ADHD Tik Tok” and the number of young adults self-diagnosing themselves. 

(Remember, symptoms of ADHD vary from person to person, and it's impossible to self-diagnose yourself with ADHD through a video. You cannot be given a prescription for ADHD in New York State without a comprehensive evaluation by a licensed clinician.)

Whatever the case, the rise in prescriptions for popular ADHD drugs creates problems for those who rely on the drug for school or work.

Pharmacies across New York State (especially larger chains like CVS and Walmart) are on backorder for Adderall. They are currently experiencing significant delays in receiving the drug, causing some patients to wait days or weeks for their medication to be filled.

For those who take the drug regularly, missing doses of their meds can lead to withdrawal symptoms like mood changes, depression, lethargy, and irritability.

Until this medication shortage problem is reversed, and you continue to have issues getting your ADHD medication, you should immediately contact your primary care doctor or pediatrician to make them aware of your predicament and see which options they recommend.

Here are some possible solutions they may suggest you explore if you’re having trouble accessing your prescribed medication.

Call Your Local Pharmacy

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If you belong to a larger pharmacy with several locations, you can call your local branch and ask if any other pharmacies in their network currently have the drug in stock nearby.

Discuss With Your Doctor The Option Of Switching Medications/Brands

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Although other medications that are prescribed for ADHD (such as Ritalin) are also on backorder at several pharmacies across New York State, there are other medications and treatments available to treat ADHD.

Your doctor can assess if switching to a more available medication or brand is the correct course of action for you or your child.

Investigate Mail-Order Options

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Many insurance companies offer mail-order options for medications that may not be readily available in your area (like Adderall). Call them and see if this could be a solution for you or your child with ADHD.

Keep in mind it may take several days to receive your medication via mail order, so make sure you maintain your dosage while you wait for your medication to arrive at your home.

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