Pharmacist Al Squitieri said it’s hard to keep Adderall and its generic versions in stock right now. A nationwide shortage is disrupting the lives of folks who need it every day.

“People are looking for normalcy," said Squitieri, the owner of Neighborx Pharmacy in Slate Hill. "They want convenience and everything else. So when you have to start going and changing the way they normally take it, it changes their pattern. It changes their routine. And you don't know what's going to happen. Going without is not an option either, because then you're looking at potential for, you know, withdrawals from some of the medications.”

In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced an Adderall shortage, a deficit that is believed to affect millions of Americans. According to the medical research firm IQVIA, more than 41 million prescriptions were dispensed nationwide in 2021. Since last fall, the shortage continues and with no end in sight, patients are being forced to find ways around it.

What You Need To Know

  • New York, along with the rest of the country, faces an Adderall shortage

  • The prescription drug is generally used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Similar stimulant drugs like Ritalin are being used as alternatives as the shortage persists

Squitieri said Ritalin, which is coming back from its own shortage, is a popular substitute. But he also said ADHD drugs and their results are harder to quantify than other medicines.

“It's hard to compare it. When you're using blood pressure meds, you see if it’s working or it's not," he said "So qualitatively, this is going to be from a lot of feedback, from a lot of people involved. Workers, teachers, parents, coaches, they're going to see different things at different times of the day.”

Dr. Stephanie Cristofano, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Westchester Medical Center, said the Adderall alternatives are not always ideal. Some may come with their own side effects that users have to deal with.

“The difficulty when you try a different medication is that it may not work as well," she said. "So your functionality at either school or work, or your extracurricular activities, could be impaired.”

Squitieri said he’s trying his best to accommodate his regular customers, along with new patients who are looking for Adderall. He’s not sure when the shortage will end, but hopes it’s soon.

There are safeguards in place to prevent it from happening again.

“There was the amoxicillin shortages, and that's more geared towards pediatric use," he said. "This is more general use, this now, but it's been going on for quite a while now."