The latest player in the ongoing story of counterfeit drugs is Adderall, a controlled substance prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
Last week the FDA issued a warning to consumers that counterfeit 30 mg tablets of Adderall were available for purchase via the Internet. “The counterfeit versions of Adderall should be considered as unsafe, ineffective and potentially harmful,” the FDA said.
Preliminary lab tests showed that the counterfeit meds contained the wrong active ingredients, replacing the legitimate compounds with tramadol and acetaminophen, which treat acute pain.
For patients who need Adderall, the situation can be dire: Adderall is on the FDA’s drug shortage list, thanks to supply problems manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals is having with the active ingredients. The FDA warned that rogue websites and distributors take advantage especially of medicines in short supply, and that consumer must exercise extreme caution when purchasing them online.
Purveyors of the bogus drugs don’t require a prescription, which is a huge red flag right there.
Authentic Adderall 30 mg tablets are round, scored, orange/peach in color and are embossed with “dp” on one side and “30” on the other. The counterfeit pills are round, white, smooth and bear no markings. Click here for photos of both.
In addition, Teva packages Adderall 30 mg tablets only in 100-count bottles with the National Drug Code listed-0555-0768-02. Counterfeit Adderall comes in a blister package that may have misspellings.
Do not take tablets you suspect might be counterfeit, or if you are unsure. Telephone the FDA for additional information (888 463-6332) and contact your doctor if your pills are suspect and/or you can’t find a supply of legitimate medicine.
Also, report any negative side effects or adverse events that you believe are the result of taking Adderall, whether or not you know if it’s counterfeit. Contact the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program here. You can also request a reporting form by calling (800) 332-1088.
If you think you have counterfeit Adderall, contact the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations here, or call (800) 551-3989.