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"If the dose is too high, sometimes kids can get more withdrawn or weepy.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:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, ... Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility ... home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are confused ... endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms and ... help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists at ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures ... . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World ... with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... a startling report released today, National Safety Council research ... proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription Nation ... tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned a ... , New Mexico , Tennessee ... failing states, three – Michigan , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and ... enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial ... of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial ... of 2016, and to report top line data ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , ... kayla.belcher@frost.com ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  ... Sciences, Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: