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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Health

People’s Pharmacy: Adderall shortage could lead to withdrawal symptoms

By Joe Graedon, M.S., and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D. King Features Syndicate

Q. I have ADD and have been taking Adderall to treat it since 1995. On my last refill, the pharmacist switched me from Teva, which has always worked for me, to a different generic manufacturer. It’s like I’m not taking anything. My professional life suffers and so does my relationship at home. Even my dogs don’t want to be around me.

Complaining to the pharmacy was useless. I gave up and asked the pharmacist if I could voluntarily pay for the brand-name pills. It turns out they are $500 for 60 tablets. That’s not in my budget!

It’s not like I’m trying to get high. I just need enough medication in my bloodstream so I don’t forget the intro to my PowerPoint presentation. What is going on?

A. The Food and Drug Administration recently announced a shortage of amphetamine mixed salts, commonly referred to by the brand name Adderall. Teva has reported “intermittent manufacturing delays,” and several doses are on backorder. Other manufacturers have not been able to pick up the slack completely.

Doctors prescribe amphetamine for people with attention deficit disorder to improve functioning and focus. Stopping this drug suddenly may lead to symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbances, irritability and depression.

You are not the only person to report that some generic forms of Adderall don’t work very well. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication to treat ADD until the shortage is resolved.

Q. I have suffered from heartburn for so many years I have lost count. For me, omeprazole works best.

You have written a lot about the side effects of proton pump inhibitors. My doctor says the reports of adverse reactions are unreliable. How do you respond?

A. We understand that GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can be incredibly disruptive. Anyone suffering from chronic heartburn should be seen by a gastroenterologist to rule out serious complications.

Over-the-counter omeprazole and other proton pump inhibitors come with a clear caution: “do not take for more than 14 days or more often than every 4 months unless directed by a doctor.” Gastroenterologists now recognize that these powerful acid-suppressing drugs may be overprescribed in primary care (World Journal of Gastroenterology, June 28, 2022).

A wide range of adverse reactions has been associated with long-term use of PPIs. Reports show that some patients develop deficiencies of vitamin B12, iron, calcium or magnesium.

Other complications may include pneumonia, kidney disease or GI infections. Some gastroenterologists contest these side effects.

You can learn more about the pros and cons of PPIs and ways to control heartburn in our eGuide to Overcoming Digestive Disorders. This online resource may be found under the Health eGuides tab at

Q. Thank you for writing recently about lisinopril and angioedema. My late husband took lisinopril for over 16 years for high blood pressure. He died suddenly when his throat closed up. Although he had many symptoms leading up to this fatal episode, the doctor did not attribute them to lisinopril. I hope others are saved by the information you shared.

A. We are so sorry to learn about your husband. Angioedema can come on suddenly, even after taking an ACE inhibitor like lisinopril for years. Swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue or throat are signals of this reaction and can quickly become life threatening.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, Fla., 32803, or email them via their website: Their newest book is “Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them.”

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