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Hampton Roads pharmacists feeling strain of Adderall drug shortages

The FDA's database reports that some drug companies say the shortages might not resolve until the spring.

NORFOLK, Va. — Some pharmacists in Hampton Roads are feeling the strain of the ongoing Adderall shortage.

The prescription drug helps people manage Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD. In October 2022, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced manufacturing delays caused an Adderall shortage.

Dr. Anna Peoples at Peoples Pharmacy in Norfolk said she started noticing an increased demand two months ago.

“It started early on with us getting a lot of increased phone calls asking if we had certain brands in stock,” Dr. Peoples said. “And then that is when we kind of became aware of really what is going on out there.”

People in the community tell 13News Now the supply problems are taking a toll on their families. One woman said her pharmacy last filled her husband’s prescription in December. She now calls them every day to see if his prescription is back on the shelves.

“We’ve had folks come as far as Yorktown to get their medications, some in Hampton,” Dr. Peoples said.

Dr. Peoples said while her pharmacy is out of name-brand ADHD medications, they can meet some demand with generics.

“Since we didn’t have a large population of patients on the sympathomimetics, then we still have a lot in stock,” Dr. Peoples said. “It may not be their strength, but we still have a lot of generics in stock.”

The FDA’s database reports some drug companies say the shortages might not resolve until the spring. Alvogen, a company that makes generic Adderall, lists mid-March and April as recovery timeframes.

In the meantime, Dr. Peoples recommends trying other avenues.

“Coping skills with life challenges, I think that would be one route to go on,” Dr. Peoples said.

The National Institute of Mental Health says working on time management, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of rest can help manage ADHD symptoms.

Dr. Peoples said a holistic approach might work too.

“One thing that I would mention is studies have shown that over 70% of our population are deficient in magnesium," she said. "Something as simple as magnesium that would help relax your body, would be something else that folks may want to look at.”

The FDA keeps an updated website with supply information from ADHD medication manufacturers.

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