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NELFT NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of community health and mental health services across the north east London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Essex and Kent and Medway.

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National supply shortage of medicines for ADHD

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National Supply Shortage of your prescribed medication

Supply shortage of medicines for ADHD

The department of Health and Social Care has alerted us that there is a national supply disruption of the medication prescribed to help manage your ADHD symptoms.

If you are taking any of these medications, please contact your ADHD medicine prescriber using the numbers below for advice about the most appropriate option for you.

The supply disruption of these products is caused by a combination of manufacturing issues and an increased global demand.

Please do not share your medication with anyone else.

If your needs are very complex, for example you have mental health problems, or your ADHD symptoms causes you severe difficulty, you can discuss this with your GP, and they may recommend a specialist consultant review. 

Anyone who is currently waiting to be started on ADHD medication will not receive a prescription until stocks are available. 

The medicines affected are:


  • Equasym XL® 10, 20 and 30 mg capsules
  • Concerta XL® 54 mg tablet
  • Xaggitin XL® 18 and 36 mg tablets
  • Xenidate XL® 27 mg tablets  


  • Elvanse® 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 mg capsules
  • Elvanse® Adult 30, 50, and 70 mg capsules  


  • Intuniv® 1, 2, 3 and 4 mg tablets  


  • All strengths 

Frequently asked questions

How long will the shortage last?

At present, the supply disruptions are expected to resolve at various dates between October and December 2023. These dates may be subject to change.

This is a national supply problem and all UK ADHD services; Paediatrics, CAMHS, Adults, and Pharmacies within the community and in hospitals are affected. 

Are there alternative medications available?

Other ADHD products remain available, they may not be suitable for everyone and may not be able to meet the increases in demand.

We know how important getting your medicines is. Our team are always happy to talk to you about your medicines and to explain why getting your medicine may be difficult now. We will also explain what that will mean for your treatment.

You may be offered the choice between taking a treatment break or changing your medication to one that is not currently affected by the supply shortage.

The change in medication may mean you are taking medication more often through the day, or that they are tablets instead of capsules.

Our service is working closely with primary care to minimise disruption.

Once the supply shortage has been resolved your medication will be changed back to the medicine you were previously prescribed, as clinically appropriate.

Please be aware that there may still be delays at pharmacies in obtaining the newly prescribed medication.

What should I do if I cannot get my ADHD prescription from the pharmacy?

If one pharmacy is unable to obtain supplies, please try a different pharmacy.

The following link will help you find pharmacies in your local area:  

Pharmacies may use different suppliers or wholesalers to source medicines so availability will depend on whether each pharmacy’s suppliers have stock or not. Please try visiting independent pharmacies as well as the larger pharmacy chains, as their suppliers will differ.

Some larger pharmacy chains have stock checkers online you can access to determine which of their branches have the medication you have been prescribed. An example of a stock checker (other pharmacy chains may have their own versions) is included below:           Boots stock checker

Where there is a known disruption to medication, supply levels can change quickly. This is why pharmacies in one area may be able to find a medicine and others may not.

Alternatively, it may be best to leave the prescription (FP10) with a pharmacy that could check wholesaler stock levels daily and place an order.

Is it safe to stop taking ADHD medication abruptly?

Please consult your local ADHD service or your GP (see numbers below) for guidance if you think you are running out of medication.

NICE guidelines recommend having regular treatment breaks from ADHD medications. It is not unusual to stop taking medication over the weekend or during school holidays.

Therefore, no harm should come from stopping the medication, but this should be done in a planned way.

If you are prescribed Guanfacine (Intuniv®) please contact your ADHD service and this medication should be stopped slowly as it could cause your blood pressure to increase if stopped suddenly. Consult your GP or ADHD service as soon as possible if you cannot get your prescription from the pharmacy.

Kent and Medway contact details:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

·         Medway - 0300 300 1989

·         Neurodevelopmental and Learning Disability Service (NLDS)  - 0300 300 1622

·         Maidstone - 0300 300 1990

·         Tonbridge - 0300 300 1992

·         SPA - 0800 011 3474

·         Dartford - 0300 300 1986

·         Ashford - 0300 300 1982

·         Thanet - 0300 300 1983

·         Swale - 0300 300 1991

·         Canterbury - 0300 300 1984

·         South Kent - 0300 300 1988

·         All Age Eating Disorders Service - 0300 300 1980

For non-clinical information on the medication supply disruption call : 01634 335095 option 3 then option 3, ADHD medicine shortages

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