TikTokers have a theory about their ADHD meds amid shortage

TikTokers have a theory about their ADHD meds amid shortage
Adderall shortages impacting ADHD patients

A conspiracy has emerged on social media from people who take medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), or narcolepsy.

“You’re 100 per cent not receiving Adderall,” Lauren said in a TikTok video.

Miranda said her Vyvanse was “not working.”

In another TikTok video, Dani said, “My Adderall is not working.”

Similar sentiments have been made in thousands of other videos where people have shared how their ADHD/ADD or narcolepsy medication has mysteriously stopped working.

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There are over 15 million views on videos under, “ADHD meds not working.”

And those people think the reason their medications have stopped working is that pharmaceutical companies and the government are working to make the drugs less potent, or switch them out entirely on people, due to the recent shortage.

In her viral TikTok video, Miranda said she found out that there were “no amphetamines” in her system after getting drug testing for a job - despite taking her Vyvanse two to three hours earlier.


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Lauren claimed her pharmacy switched out her Adderall prescription for another ADHD medication called Dexedrine which she says does not work as well.

“I feel crazy, I can’t get my work done, I’m exhausted, doctors don’t believe me,” Lauren wrote in her TikTok caption.


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The nationwide shortage began late last year with Adderall being among the most affected.

During the pandemic, ADHD/ADD diagnoses rose far more than pre-pandemic. Combined with doctors’ ability to prescribe the drug via telehealth, companies experienced unprecedented decades.

Since then, people who rely on the medication to keep them focused or awake have had to switch generic versions, change medications, or play the waiting game in the hopes that a pharmacy receives an order.

But the medications being used as backup options, like Vyvanse or Ritian are facing shortages too.

And people think that pharmaceutical companies are handling the shortage issue by making their prescriptions less potent.

“To date, the FDA has not identified safety or quality issues with Adderall products, or signals indicating a loss or change in efficacy,” a representative for the FDA told New York Times.

Doctors have cited other reasons like an increase in tolerance, switching medications, and cognitive bias for the reason people think their medication is not working.

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