Navigation Links
ADHD Drug Shortage Pushes Parents to Seek Substitutes
Date:1/6/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- If the current shortage of some drugs used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has left you searching for something else for your child to take, experts suggest you choose a substitute carefully because the effects of these medications can vary widely.

For example, "generics can sometimes be less bioavailable [how much of the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream], and that can make it harder to get an exact dose match between medications," explained Dr. Eric Hollander, director of the Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

"If the dose is too high, sometimes kids can get more withdrawn or weepy. If it's too low, they can't get adequate control of their symptoms during the day, and they can get a rebound later in the day. The new medicine may wear off faster. It's also not easy to switch from extended-release formulas to immediate-release," Hollander said.

The driving force behind the shortage is a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) policy that sets limits on the manufacturing of ADHD drugs, to limit the supply of these drugs to people who might use them illegally, according to a report by The New York Times. In some cases, drug companies manufacture both generic versions of ADHD drugs as well as the more expensive, branded versions, which can limit choices even further.

"This is the unfortunate result of well-intentioned policies combined with free market forces. It's a very substantial issue, and one that's affecting some families more than others," said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park.

Whatever the reason behind the shortage, several drug companies that produce amphetamine products, including Adderall, have reported shortages to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And, companies producing various forms of methylphenidate are also seeing shortages.

Both Hollander and Adesman said they've had reports from parents that Adderall and its generic equivalent have been harder to get. They both suggest that parents call from pharmacy to pharmacy in their area to see which one might carry the needed medication.

If you can't find any pharmacy that has the medication you're looking for, let your child's doctor know. If the medication isn't available, they can first try another medication in the same class of medications. For example, Adderall is an amphetamine derivative. Vyvanse is another medication in that class. However, some insurance companies may balk at paying for medications that aren't on their preferred drug list, and you may have to pay a higher co-pay.

If there's a shortage of generic methylphenidate, the brand-name versions (Concerta, Focalin, Ritalin, Metadate and Daytrana) may be available.

There are also non-stimulant medications for ADHD, such as Intuniv, Kapvay and Strattera, that may be an option, Adesman said.

Dr. Michael Hobaugh has more experience than he'd like with having to switch children's ADHD medications. Most of his patients are on public insurance, which means he has to follow the state prescription drug formulary for these patients. And that formulary often changes several times a year.

"Sometimes, the switch is easy. It's very patient-dependent. Usually there is a similar product that's close enough, but some kids have trouble," said Hobaugh, who is the chief of medical staff at La Rabida Children's Hospital in Chicago.

"It can be a difficult trial-and-error process to figure out what works for some patients," he said. "Their lives aren't uniform from day to day. Is it a side effect of the medication, or does the child have a virus or stress, or maybe didn't get enough sleep? And trying to assess what the ideal medicine is for school readiness is difficult because there's so much you can't control. This introduces another factor you can't control."

There have been several ADHD drugs that have been difficult to get in the past year, Hobaugh noted, often because they're manufactured only by one company. That means if there's a production issue, there's no other manufacturer to fill in the gap.

"And, with generic drugs there may not be a whole lot of profit, so they're not a priority," he added.

Along with discussing the shortage with your child's doctor, Adesman suggested that parents can call or write the FDA, or a local government representative, and let them know that they're having trouble getting necessary medication.

"Patient advocacy is always important," he said. "It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease."

More information

Learn more about medications used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

SOURCES: Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Michael Hobaugh, M.D., chief, medical staff, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Chicago; Eric Hollander, M.D., clinical professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and director, Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Program, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Dec. 31, 2011, The New York Times


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. No End In Sight To The Armour Thyroid Shortage?
2. Website for Nursing Jobs Launches -- Streamlined Job Board Created to Address Nursing Shortage
3. Shortage of Black Doctors Rooted in Social, Economic Ills
4. Primary Care Physician Shortage: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Has the Solution
5. International summit seeks solutions to global shortage of nursing faculty
6. HCL Thames Medics says more locum doctors could help address European Working Time Directive shortage
7. Scottsdale Veterinary Pharmacy Celebrates Success in Business By Dodging Veterinary Drug Shortages
8. Shortage of Transplant Organs Spurs Proposals But No Solution
9. Decline in international medical graduates exacerbates shortage of general surgeons
10. SNM cautions that Canadas Chalk River coming back online will not solve long-term isotope shortage
11. Vitamin D Shortage Not Tied to Stroke Deaths in Blacks: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
ADHD Drug Shortage Pushes Parents to Seek Substitutes
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded a grant to the General ... employment and successful careers in healthcare. On Wednesday, May 4th, Rick Bridwell, Bank of ... Medisend, parent organization and home of the General Myers Veterans Program. , “The ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... CloudLIMS, joins an elite number of companies that have earned a spot ... by CIOReview. , In a deliberate session with the honorary industrial experts, a list ... concluded with. The positioning is based on evaluation of CloudLIMS’ specialties in Automated Sample ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The Global Wellness Summit ... unique integrative medical wellness offerings of Europe, a continent that pioneered the medical/wellness concept ... hear from numerous pioneers in medical wellness, including Henri Chenot, Founder of the Chenot ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... FRANCISCO, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... School of Nursing and Health Professions. She will lead a team of more than ... Team. Baker will begin her role as dean in late August. , Baker comes ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... BeniComp Insurance Company, a ... in their clients' employee participation for their wellness initiatives. BeniComp clients experience ... high-deductible health plan with outcome-based deductible incentives. As a result, BeniComp clients have ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... , Deutschland und GERMANTOWN, Maryland ... Zusammenarbeit mit Therawis bedient dringenden ... Brustkrebs   QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: ... heute bekannt, eine Lizenz- und Entwicklungsvereinbarung mit Therawis ... für die Onkologie eingegangen zu sein. Ein erstes ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... 25, 2016 According to market ... Growth and Demand Forecast to 2022 - Industry Insights ... Others)" published by P&S Market Research, the global insulin ... 2015, and it is expected to grow at a ... insulin pump segment is expected to witness the fastest ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... MedDay, a biotechnology company focused on ... presentation entitled "High doses of biotin in progressive multiple sclerosis: ... by Professor Ayman Tourbah , Principal Investigator of the ... Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Copenhagen, Denmark ... take place on Sunday, 29 May 2016 from 14:45 to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: