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National Supply Shortage of ADHD Medication

The Government has published a report that there are national supply issues affecting medications for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There are a combination of reasons why this is happening, including: increase in demand, manufacturing issues, change in suppliers, change in what manufactures are making certain products. It is unclear when these issues will be resolved.

We understand that this time may be stressful for parents & carers. Our current advice is to continue with the medication you/your child has been prescribed and order repeat medication a few weeks before the current prescription ends.


Medications affected by the current supply disruption:


Xaggitin XL 18mg and 36mg tablets

Xenidate XL 18mg and 27mg  tablets

Equasym XL capsules 10mg


Elvanse 20mg, 30mg capsules

Stock issues have been resolved for Lisdexamfetamine (40mg, 50mg, 60mg and 70mg), and all strengths of Guanfacine and Atomoxetine, however, please be advised that pharmacies may have a limited amount of daily/monthly stock allocation they can order therefore you may need to try several pharmacies to locate stock.



ADHD medicines are running low, and more shortages may happen. Even when they come back, they might run out again. This shortage affects the whole country.

If you're wondering about alternative medicines or rationing your supply, it's crucial to consult a healthcare professional before making any changes to your ADHD medication. They might suggest different treatments or strengths. However, relying on alternative medicines isn't always a reliable option.

If you can't access your medicines, there are coping strategies to help manage ADHD. Effective communication, increased physical activity, and an organized daily routine can be beneficial. Good sleep, a balanced diet, exercise, and psychoeducation are also important.

Some may consider rationing their ADHD medication due to shortages.

If you're taking guanfacine, there is specialist advice for slowly stopping and starting your medication. If you or your child are on guanfacine, contact your specialist team or prescriber, ideally before you run out.

It is important to receive health advice before stopping any ADHD medication, or reducing the amount that you take.

Generally, it's safe to stop medications like methylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine, and atomoxetine without needing to gradually reduce the dose.


Advice for service users due to start new ADHD medication

Unfortunately, due to the national shortages of ADHD medications, we have had to delay all new appointments for children due to start ADHD medication until the medication becomes available. We apologise for any disappointment these cancellations cause. We will write to you again when we are able to offer a new appointment date.

Advice for schools & settings

If your child receives ADHD medication at school, it's crucial to inform the school's Special Educational Needs (SEN) team about the shortages. Here's some advice:

  1. Work with the school SEN team and the class teacher to create a plan to support your child if they attend school without taking their ADHD medication.
  2. Schools typically keep an "original pack" labeled for your child. However, due to the shortages, it may not be possible to have separate supplies for home and school.
  3. To manage this, consider sharing the medication between home and school. Agree with the school on who should receive the medication at the start of the school day and who should return it to the parent at the end of the school day.
  4. If you need to share the ADHD medication between home and school, request the next prescription when you have 14 days' worth of medication left. This allows time for the prescription to be processed by your GP or specialist team and for the pharmacy to source the medication.
  5. If you or the SEN team need advice and support, don't hesitate to contact your child's specialist or prescribing team.
  6. If you are involved with social care, inform your social worker or family support worker about the medication shortages.

This communication and planning can help ensure your child's well-being and continuity of care despite the medication shortages.


Further Support

Our Neurodiversity Support Pack gives specialist advice on all things neurodiversity, including ADHD

We have a library of workshops and informational videos covering a wide range of topics that can be accessed for free, any time, on our Workshops page.


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