Shortages of some ADHD medications
You may have heard that there is a global shortage of some types of ADHD medicines, as of November 2023. This is due to manufacturing issues and an increase in global demand.
The medications affected are:
- >Equasym XL 10, 20 and 30 mg capsules
- Xaggitin XL 18 and 36 mg prolonged-release tablets
- Concerta XL 54 mg prolonged-release tablets
- Xenidate XL 27 mg prolonged-release tablets
- Elvanse 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 mg capsules
- Intuniv 1, 2, 3 and 4 mg prolonged-release tablet
We understand that this may be difficult for you. With most ADHD medication, you can choose to stop taking them, or take them on certain days and not others, without any ill effects.
If you are taking guanfacine (intuniv) you should not stop this suddenly.
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We recommend that where possible your GP writes prescriptions for lower doses or alternative strengths to make a total daily dose. We recommend that you do not switch to another type of medication if your medication runs out. This is because:
- It may not be the best medication for you
- It would take time to get the dose right. We anticipate shortages will be resolved before you start to see the benefit from any new medication
- You would need to change back to the original medication once it becomes available
Coping strategies for anyone affected
While supplies are limited, we recommend that you take your medication on the days you need it most, for example on days when you’re at work, or have a significant event like an exam.
If you run out of medication you may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as tiredness and poor functioning, with worsening of ADHD symptoms. Usually, these will last no more than three to four days.It’s advisable to avoid driving, operating heavy machinery and not to make any important decisions during this time.
You can talk to your GP about being signed off work if you are unable to function well enough.
If you experience severe mental health difficulties, you can contact NHS 111