Patient information for ADHD supply disruption

This information is about the current stock disruption of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication.

Current medications affected include various strengths of: Methylphenidate (Equasym, Xenidate, Xaggatin), Lisdexamfetamine (Elvanse), Guanfacine (Intuniv) and Atomoxetine.

Unfortunately, there is widespread national supply disruptions with all these medicines. Healthcare professionals are going to be reviewing people for alternative therapy, where needed.

Why are there supply disruptions?                                                              

Disruption is due to manufacturing issues and an increased demand for these drugs internationally.

When will the disruption be resolved?

Supply is expected to return between October and February 2024 for the different medicines but these dates are subject to change.

What should I/my child do during this time with ADHD medication?

Check the amount of medication you have available. Inform your usual prescriber if you have less than two weeks treatment remaining. Your prescriber may suggest taking a medication ‘holiday’, using your medication only on a ‘when required’ basis or a temporary change to brand, drug, or dosage.

NICE guidelines recommend having regular treatment breaks from ADHD medications. It is not unusual to take medicine breaks.

Will I need a review for my/my child’s ADHD?

The disruption may affect different products at different times. Your prescriber will advise if you need a review as a result of a change to your current medication.

Will my ADHD treatment need to change?

Your ADHD treatment may need to be changed in view of the disruption. This may be a different brand and in rare cases may be a different medication. This will be determined by stock levels of different brands.

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

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

Find pharmacies in your local area.  

Pharmacies may use different suppliers or wholesalers to source medicines. Availability will depend on each pharmacy’s supplier.

Please visit independent pharmacies, as well as the larger pharmacy chains, because their suppliers will differ.

Some larger pharmacy chains have stock checkers online so you can find out which of branches have the medication you need. An example of a stock checker (other pharmacy chains may have their own versions).


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.

Can I obtain this medication without a prescription?

All medicines for ADHD need a prescription, Methylphenidate and Lisdexamfetamine are controlled drugs. Please obtain all medication legally via a prescription and a pharmacy. Do not borrow or share medication with other patients.

I need support at work, what can I do?

There is a welfare pack designed by ADHD UK to help support people with ADHD in the workplace. 

The welfare pack includes three sections:

  • An introduction to ADHD from the perspective of the employer. For the conversation to be impactful, the employer needs a good understanding of ADHD.
  • A structured conversation. This is to make sure the conversation between the employer and the person with ADHD is well-rounded, disability-focused.
  • A list of ideas for workplace adjustments. Reasonable adjustments that have come out of ADHD UK research.

I need reasonable adjustment at work due to lack of ADHD medication, what should I do?

Access to Work (A2W) is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) scheme that pays for ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the workplace to support people with a physical or mental health condition or disability to take up or stay at work. ADHD is listed as a mental health disability in the Mental Health Act (1990). Please refer to the following websites:

Access to work: get support if you have a disability ( 

Access To Work - Support for Disabilities/ Health Conditions (


Where can I get further information about this supply disruption?

The re-supply dates are changing daily. Please bear this in mind before considering contacting your prescriber. More information will be provided when it is available.

A non-clinical helpline is available for patients who would like more information on the supply disruption. Phone 01634 335095, option 3 then option 3, ADHD Medicine Shortages.

What do I do if I feel unwell?

If you feel unwell or unsafe, please seek care by the usual routes. This may be via a specialist or in primary care with your pharmacist, GP, 111 or, in an emergency 999.

Other places to get support?

We recognise that being without medication will be very difficult for some people.

You can find a local support group using the National Autistic Society services directory or at AADD-UK.


Practical Wisdom has some great practical tips to support you in this difficult time:

  • You can find more information for practical tips on the areas with which you struggle. This can often be about attention, focusing, planning, organising, time management, emotional management.
  • Keeping hydrated and good nutrition also helps regulate you and your body. Being dehydrated can affect how your brain and body works. 
  • Exercising is an important way to help your mental wellbeing. It doesn’t have to be in the gym, it could be running or dancing. Exercise gives a dopamine hit and can, after 20 minutes, help get cortisol, the stress hormone out of your body too.
  • There are many studies that show the benefits of connecting to nature and that it can make a difference. 

Text Size: