Fake versions of this hard-to-get ADHD med are popping up online and pose a real health danger because they lack the active ingredients of the original.
Medical experts and addiction specialists often warn about the dangers of taking prescription medications that aren’t meant for you or are being taken for something other than the prescribed reason, but we hear far less about the problem of medications that aren’t what they say they are.
The latest case of this has federal health officials warning consumers and medical providers about fake versions of the ADHD drug Adderall making its way into the marketplace, mostly over the Internet.
The counterfeit pills in question are 30-milligram tablets that reportedly contain the wrong active ingredients, according to preliminary laboratory tests by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Instead of containing the four active ingredients in prescription Adderall, the fake tablets contain only tramadol and acetaminophen, medications used to treat acute pain. The authentic drug contains four ingredients: dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate and amphetamine sulfate.
For those who rely on Adderall to manage ADHD symptoms or to control their narcolepsy (another use for the medication), this is very dangerous because it means they are essentially unmedicated without even realizing it.
So how can you spot these fake pills? The counterfeit versions are said to be round and white without any markings. In contrast, real Adderall 30-milligram tablets are round, orange or peach and scored. They also feature a “dp” embossed on one side of the pill and “30” on the other side. The official products are packaged only in a 100-count bottle with National Drug Code 0555-0768-02 listed. The fake drugs are sold in blister packs and they have misspellings on the packaging, FDA officials said.
The manufacturer of Adderall, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., contacted the FDA after a consumer reported buying the counterfeit drugs online. Authentic Adderall is a controlled substance that requires special dispensing controls for pharmacists.
Adding to the problem is the fact that Adderall and other ADHD medications have been in short supply and listed on the FDA’s drug shortage list for more than a year. This may have lead desperate ADHD sufferers to take to the Internet in search of less-than-reputable suppliers.
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