• December 9, 2023

My son had to be restrained at school two days after his ADHD meds ran out


A NATIONAL shortage of ADHD medicine is leaving parents in despair as children are forced to go without.

Manufacturing issues and surging demand have crippled supplies of key drugs atomoxetine, methylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine and guanfacine.

Moss Pippin, 8, was diagnosed with ADHD in 2020  (Credit: Lucy Pippin)


Moss Pippin, 8, was diagnosed with ADHD in 2020 (Credit: Lucy Pippin)
Moss and mum Lucy Pippin (Credit: Lucy Pippin)


Moss and mum Lucy Pippin (Credit: Lucy Pippin)

The charity ADHD UK said it has seen a surge in calls from families needing help.

CEO Henry Shelford said: “Medication is life-changing for many with the disability.

“Families have been stranded with no support.

“We expect to see even more calls for help in the coming months as shortages get worse.”

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder makes it hard to concentrate and can cause impulsive behaviour, getting kids in trouble at school.

The condition affects roughly 2.6 million Brits, including 694,000 children.

Lucy Pippin’s eight-year-old son, Moss, had been on medication for six months but had to be restrained at school after just two days without it when the family ran out.

Londoner Lucy, 46, told UK Times: “He was like a box of frogs, hanging off doors, being rude and just couldn’t sit still or concentrate.”

Medication is taken by almost one in 10 sufferers to help them focus.

Prescriptions have shot up in recent years, to 202,000 people between April and June from 103,000 during the same period in 2019.

For Moss, who was diagnosed in 2020, the medication has been life-changing.

Lucy, a gardener, said: “He went from being unable to sit through a class to receiving incredible school reports, writing beautiful poetry and working independently for the first time.”

But it all changed when the family were unable to get hold of his medication, atomoxetine, from her local pharmacy.

Mum Lucy added: “I’m really worried about the impact this will have on his ability to learn.

“It’s likely to pull on all our resources and make life at home more stressful.”

Henry added: “ADHD is a disability and the sudden removal of medication is akin to removing a wheelchair from a disabled person that needs it.”

The Department of Health has issued a national patient safety alert over the drug shortages, which could last until the end of the year.

Doctors have been told not to prescribe ADHD drugs to new patients to protect stocks.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We are aware of supply issues affecting medicines used for the management of ADHD due to increased global demand.

“We continue to work closely with the manufacturers to resolve the issues as soon as possible, and to ensure patients have continuous access to ADHD medicines in the UK.”

The NHS says ADHD symptoms in adults and kids are…

  1. Inattentiveness
  2. Having a short attention span and being easily distracted
  3. Making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork
  4. Appearing forgetful or losing things
  5. Being unable to stick at tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
  6. Appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions
  7. Constantly changing activity or task
  8. Having difficulty organising tasks
  9. Hyperactivity and impulsiveness
  10. Being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
  11. Constantly fidgeting
  12. Excessive physical movement
  13. Excessive talking
  14. Acting without thinking
  15. Interrupting conversations
  16. Little or no sense of danger
  17. Mood swings, irritability and a quick temper


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