Important update: supply of ADHD medication | Our latest updates

Important update: supply of ADHD medication

Important update

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be managed by changes in lifestyle, diet, having social/ family relationships for support, as well as attending peer support or for children parenting groups. For a proportion of people, in addition to this, they may need ADHD medication to help with attention, concentration or feeling less physically or mentally ‘on the go’.


What is the current situation?

Currently, there are global problems with the availability and supply of a range of medication used to treat ADHD. There are supplies of medication coming in, but this is changing every day.


Why is this happening?

There is no one reason there are shortages in the ADHD medication supply. There has been an increase in demand for medication to manage ADHD. There has also been a change in the companies who produce and supply the medication. Some have stopped making certain strengths and others have stopped making certain products. All this combined has led to difficulties in meeting the supply needs of patients.


How long is this likely to be the case?

At present, it is expected this will remain the situation for supply until the start of January 2024.


Which medicines are affected?

The following medications are in short supply, and at times also showing as ‘not available’. However, there are ADHD medications coming into the UK and supply availability is changing all of the time.


  1. Methylphenidate:
  • Equasym XL® 10, 20 and 30 mg capsules
  • Xaggitin XL® 18 and 36 mg prolonged-release tablets
  • Concerta XL® 54 mg prolonged-release tablets
  • Xenidate XL® 27 mg prolonged-release tablets


  1. Lisdexamfetamine:
  • Elvanse® 20mg, 30mg, 40mg, 50mg, 60mg and 70 mg capsules
  • Elvanse® Adult 30mg, 50mg, and 70 mg capsules


  1. Guanfacine:
  • Intuniv® 1mg, 2mg, 3mg and 4 mg prolonged-release tablets


Information for children and their parents and carers 

What should I do as a patient, parent or carer?

For now, please continue with the medication you/ or your child has been prescribed.

  1. Please order repeat medication from your GP with at least 14 days supply left of medication.
  2. Check with your usual pharmacy if they have the medication or they can order it in when you give the prescription to the GP.
  3. If your pharmacy cannot source your usual medication: -
    1. Contact other local pharmacies to see if they have any available stock
    2. If not, contact your specialist team via 0300 027 4000 for a specialist call-back. Monday to Friday 9-5pm


What will happen if the medication my child is taking is not available?

Where medication or a particular strength of medication is not available, your specialist team will discuss other available options with you.


Information for parents and carers - medication at school

If your child is having medication administered at school by staff it is important to let the school special needs (SEN) team know about the shortages in ADHD medication.

In the event your child attends school and has not taken their ADHD medication, the advice would be to agree a plan with the school SEN team and class teacher to help support your child.

Schools generally like to keep an ‘original pack’ labelled for the child at school. Due to the current shortages, it may not be possible to provide a separate supply for home and school. The advice would be to share the medication between home and school and agree with the school who the medication should be handed to at the start of the school day and who will hand it back to the parent at the end of the school day.

If you are open to social care- please let your social worker/ family support worker know of the shortages.

Please be patient with services as there will be delays in getting changed prescriptions and medication across areas. Specialist services, GPs and community pharmacies are working together to ensure the disruption to the supply of ADHD medication effects patients as little as possible.


Information for parents/ carers: medication at school

These documents provide further information for school as well as easy read version of this update.

ADHD medication shortages 2023 - update for education settings [pdf] 328KB

ADHD medication shortages 2023 - easy read update for children and young people [pdf] 152KB

ADHD medication shortages 2023 - easy read for carers and families of young people [pdf] 173KB

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