The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has announced that counterfeit versions of the 30 milligram dose of the drug Adderall, which is commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, are in circulation. The counterfeit medications might be tempting to some because of a months-old shortage of Adderall and other drugs. But the counterfeit drugs, which are being sold on the Internet, are incorrectly made and could be dangerous to children. The Boston Globe reports:
According to the FDA, the counterfeit version being sold on the Internet contains the wrong active ingredients -- containing tramadol, a narcotic-like painkiller, and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Tramadol isn't a controlled substance and may be easier to obtain for fraudulent purposes than the active ingredients in Adderall, which are all forms of amphetamine stimulants.
"Consumers should be extra cautious when buying their medicines from online sources," said the FDA in a media statement. "Rogue websites and distributors may especially target medicines in short supply for counterfeiting."
Counterfeit Adderall tablets, which are white, look strikingly different from the real version, which is orange/peach in color and manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Real Adderall, in a 30-milligram dose, is imprinted with a "dp" on one side and "30" on the other side of the tablet.
Photos of the counterfeit version and the real drug can be found posted by the FDA on flickr. The agency added that the Adderall 30-mg. product may be counterfeit if:
-- The product comes in a blister package.
-- There are misspellings on the package such as "NDS" instead of "NDC"; "Aspartrte" instead of "Aspartate"; Singel" instead of "Single"
-- The tablets are white in color, round in shape, and are smooth.
-- The tablets have no markings on them.
Consumers who suspect they've purchased the fraudulent Adderall should file a report online at the FDA's MedWatch site or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form.
Image: Prescription bottle, via Shutterstock.