FDA Warns of Fake Version of ADHD Drug Adderall

Counterfeit drug lacks active ingredient; real medicine is currently in short supply

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WEDNESDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- A counterfeit version of the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall, sold online, contains the wrong active ingredients, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Adderall is also used to treat narcolepsy. The drug, made by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, is currently in short supply in the United States.

The counterfeit versions of Adderall are ineffective and potentially harmful, the FDA warned Tuesday.

Authentic Adderall contains four active ingredients: dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate. Preliminary laboratory tests by the FDA found that the counterfeit version being sold as Adderall 30-milligram (mg) tablets contains tramadol and acetaminophen, ingredients in medicines used to treat acute pain.

[Read: Tenn Impulsiveness Has Different Sources in ADHD, Substance Use.]

Genuine Adderall 30-mg tablets are round, orange/peach in color, and have "dp" embossed on one side and "30" on the other side. The tablets are packaged only in a 100-count bottle with the National Drug Code (NDC) 0555-0768-02, the agency said.

In contrast, the counterfeit tablets are round, white and do not have any type of letters or numbers, the FDA said. Fake tablets may also come in blister packages and have spelling mistakes on the packaging, such as:

  • "NDS" instead of "NDC"
  • "Aspartrte" instead of "Aspartate"
  • "Singel" instead of "Single."

Consumers who believe they have the counterfeit version of 30-mg Adderall tablets should not use them and should talk to their health care professional about their treatment options, the FDA said.

Adderall is currently in short supply because Teva is having difficulty obtaining all of the active ingredients used in the drug. Consumers need to be extra cautious when buying medicines online and remember that drugs in short supply are often targets for counterfeiting, the FDA said.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers a consumer safety guide for buying prescription medicines online.

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