Parents, pharmacies dealing with ADHD medication shortage

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 10:32 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2023 at 11:15 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - As the nation deals with a short supply of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication, parents and pharmacies are finding ways to work around the shortage.

Matt Garner, pharmacist and owner of Garner Family Pharmacy, said the shortage is better than it has been in the past year, but it’s still affecting patients in Northeast Arkansas.

“I don’t know where the issue is necessarily, where in the supply chain, but it’s hitting the patients and then now being school time, it’s a pretty big issue,” he said.

Kandice Bumble is a parent who said she has struggled with the shortage. At times her son, Braxton, went without medication for a month.

“This past year has been a struggle has been extremely difficult with the medication,” she said.

Many parents spread out a dosage over the summer, and when school starts, many children go on their medication daily.

It’s a reason why some pharmacies are seeing an uptick in prescriptions.

Bumble said when her son goes without that medication, it has a negative effect on him at school.

“He’s not as focused, he’s extremely jittery, up and down a lot, and he gets in trouble for speaking out of turn,” she said.

Garner said many pharmacies are trying to help their patients through the shortage, and it may cost patients more at times.

“We’ve tried to split it into different doses. We take one medicine like this and another one like that, so it turns into two scripts sometimes for patients, like a long-acting and a short-acting for example,” he said.

Brumble said her son’s therapist also tries to help when there is a shortage and can’t change her son’s medication.

“Instead of being like once a week in therapy because of their different things they might add them twice a week until we can get medication started,” she said.

Garner said he doesn’t know when the shortage might end, but said communication was key to getting through it.

“Keep an open line of communication and just know that we’re trying everybody is trying so hard, it’s stuff outside of the pharmacy’s control, outside of the doctor’s office control,” he said.

The FDA’s website has a list of medications dealing with a shortage.