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National ADHD Medication Shortages 2023: Information for Education settings and Social Care

Dear Colleagues,

There has been a national clinical alert issued by the Department of Health and Social Care (NHS England) to highlight the current shortages in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medications across the UK. The shortages are the result of increased demand and manufacturing issues. As a result, the supply of ADHD medication is intermittent. This is likely to remain the case for the remainder of 2023. These medications are used to manage symptoms/ behaviours related to ADHD.

ADHD medication can help children in different ways. For some, it may help them move less in class, for others, it will help improve their attention/concentration, so that they are able to listen and engage with learning. For other children, it may help them be less impulsive, e.g. not running out of class, unable to wait their turn etc.

Several ADHD medications have been affected: Equasym XL, Xaggitin XL, Concerta XL, Xenidate XL, Elvanse, Elvanse Adult, Guanfacine and Atomoxetine.

The advice to parents and carers is:

  • To continue their child on the current medication.
  • To continue ordering repeat ADHD medication as usual, but to re-order when there are between 7-14 days of medication left to allow time to source the medication.
  • To try to contact other pharmacies in their local area to check they have supplies.
  • To contact the GP/specialist service if they have tried but are unable to find the ADHD medication for their child.
  • Due to the medication shortages there may be unavoidable gaps in the childā€™s treatment.

The advice to Education settings is:

  • To identify any child/ young person who is on ADHD medication and might potentially be affected by the ADHD medication shortages.
  • To agree a plan with the schoolā€™s SEN team about how to support any child to remain at school if their they are attending without having their ADHD medication.
  • For schools who administer ADHD medication, it may not be possible to provide a separate supply for school and another supply for home. The advice would be to share the medication supply parents have at home and have a system in place to take and handover the medication at the beginning and end of the school day.

Parents of children who are receiving this medication will be receiving communications via our website with information on how to contact us if they require support. Please direct parents to



Uma Vaitha

Head of Community Paediatrics Pharmacy
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust