ADHD Medication Shortage


There is a worldwide shortage of ADHD medicines because of increased global demand and manufacturing problems. In the NHS we are doing everything we can to address this situation, and to support patients until this problem is resolved. Below we have set out answers to some of the questions you may have about this situation.


Which medicines are affected?

  • At the moment, some methylphenidate modified-release tablet preparations are affected. These preparations can include Concerta XL, Xenidate XL, Delmosart, Matoride XL, and Xaggitin XL. This may change and different strengths and preparations may be affected over the coming weeks.

How long will the shortage last?

  • Shortages of the various products are expected to resolve at different times between June and November 2024.

Is this affecting all pharmacies?

  • This is an international shortage affecting all suppliers. Some products remain available, but we do not think there will be enough to cover all shortages of the affected preparations.

What if I cannot get my ADHD prescription?

  • The first step is to try other pharmacies, as another one may have it in stock. Your local pharmacy may also help you to find a supply, and you can ask for your prescription to be made available to other pharmacies. Do not try to substitute other medications yourself as this may be dangerous.

Are there alternatives available?

  • In most cases, there are alternatives, but they may not be suitable for everyone, or currently available. For this reason we will only be able to issue a prescription for an alternative medication if you provide us with the pharmacy that has the alternative and the brand and dose they have in stock. If a lower strength equivalent is available this can be prescribed. However, we will not issue larger quantities of this to make a larger dose as this will exacerbate supply problems. Also note that we cannot prescribe these medications generically, a brand has to be specified, so ensure the pharmacy advises you of this.

What if I run out?

  • Methylphenidate: While we would not wish for this to happen, these medicines can safely be stopped without risk to physical health. National guidelines recommend having regular treatment breaks from ADHD medications, so it is not unusual to stop taking medication over the weekend or during school holidays.

Please remember…

  • Our doctors, nurses and pharmacists are doing everything they can to help people through a difficult situation. We know that this may be an upsetting situation, but please be patient and remember that this is a worldwide manufacturing problem and healthcare staff are doing their very best to help.

A non-clinical helpline is available if you would like more information on the issue: please call 01634 335095 then choose option 3, ADHD Medicine Shortages.

Published: Jun 24, 2024