FDA: Watch Out for Fake Adderall

Counterfeit Pills Contain Pain Medication, Not CNS Stimulants

June 04, 2012 02:40 pm News Staff

The FDA reports(www.fda.gov) that a counterfeit version of the widely used attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Adderall is being sold and purchased on the Internet.

The counterfeit version of the Teva Pharmaceutical Industries drug Adderall may come in blister packs that contain the acronym "NDS" rather than the correct "NDC."

The counterfeit pills are designed to look like the 30-milligram tablets produced by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, but, according to the FDA, preliminary laboratory tests revealed that the counterfeit tablets contained the wrong active ingredients. A controlled substance, Adderall is approved to treat ADHD and narcolepsy.

"Adderall contains four active ingredients -- dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate and amphetamine sulfate," said a May 29 FDA news release. "Instead of these active ingredients, the counterfeit product contained tramadol and acetaminophen, which are ingredients in medicines used to treat acute pain."

As of this story's posting, Adderall was on the FDA drug shortage list(www.fda.gov) because of supply issues involving some of its active ingredients, further fueling concerns that people will buy the drug online. According to FDA officials, "rogue websites and distributors" may target hard-to-get drugs for counterfeiting.

Authentic Adderall tablets are round, orange/peach in color and scored, with "dp" embossed on one side and "30" on the other. The real tablets are packaged only in a 100-count bottle with the National Drug Code (NDC) 0555-0768-02 listed.

The counterfeit Adderall tablets, on the other hand, come in a blister package and are white, round and smooth, with no markings. The counterfeit product also may have misspellings on the package, such as "NDS" instead of "NDC," "Aspartrte" instead of "Aspartate" or "Singel" instead of "Single."

The counterfeit version of Adderall should be considered unsafe, ineffective and potentially harmful.

FDA officials are urging patients who think they have received counterfeit Adderall to stop taking the product and contact their health care professional. In addition, these consumers are asked to contact the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations by calling (800) 551-3989 or via the FDA website(www.fda.gov).

Adverse events that may be related to use of these products can be reported to MedWatch(www.fda.gov), the FDA's Safety information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.