Joshua Gilbert takes Adderall to help manage his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. "I've been told it helps with focusing and paying attention."
But his dad has had trouble finding the drug at the pharmacy. "It makes you a little anxious, a little nervous that your son isn't going to get the medicine that he needs," says Jonathan.
Adderall is one of many drugs the FDA says is in short supply this year and that has some patients resorting to the internet to get what they need. But the FDA is warning consumers that a counterfeit version of Adderall is circulating online. "These rogue internet pharmacies really target products that are in short supply for counterfitting, so patients need to be extremely vigilant and weary when they look to the internet for medication," says Ilisa Bernstein.
Experts say if you're having trouble finding a medication, talk to your doctor and pharmacist about your options. "We oftentimes will have other medications that can be considered, however, in some patients this may pose a hardship either in terms of cost or in some cases the medication may not be as effective," says Dr. Andrew Adesman of Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center.
If you buy prescription drugs on the internet, the FDA says make sure the pharmacy is licensed in the U.S. and that a valid prescription is required. "It's illegal to sell prescription drugs without a prescription," says Bernstein.
Joshua's dad eventually found the medication at a small drugstore. "You just do a lot of calling around."
Adderall should now be easier for the Gilberts to find since the drug's active ingredient is becoming available.
Most of this year's drug shortages involve injectable drugs used for cancer and anesthesia . the FDA blames manufacturing and quality problems at the drug companies.