Many TikTokers Reveal Their ADHD Medication Hasn't Been Working And Claim They're Being Given Fake Pharmaceuticals

Countless TikTokers have independently posted similar content recently about the fact that their ADHD medication hasn't been working lately. Many of them claim that they're being given fake drugs by the pharmacy, suggesting there is a shortage of real medication.

By Gina Florio2 min read
tiktok adhd meds

Some data shows that roughly 2-7% of children are diagnosed with ADHD in their adolescence, and about half of these individuals continue treatment for ADHD in their adult years. ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) is one of the most common neurodevelopment disorders of childhood and can cause people to struggle with impulsive behaviors, paying attention, etc. A new phenomenon on TikTok reveals that many young women who take ADHD medication regularly are realizing that their Adderall or Vyvanse simply hasn't been working lately. They speculate that there is something fishy going on in the pharmaceutical world.

Many TikTokers Reveal Their ADHD Medication Hasn't Been Working and Claim They're Being Given Fake Pharmaceuticals

Twitter user @graduatedben rounded up several TikToks that have a similar message: Their ADHD medication hasn't been working. "You're 100% not receiving Adderall, coming from someone who was diagnosed with ADHD and has been on this medication since I was 9. I am currently 26," TikToker @lauren2life said. "I haven't been able to function lately."

She showed what her prescription bottle looks like. She could have sworn that her bottle used to say Adderall, but now it says D-amphetamine, which she discovered is Dexedrine. She read that Dexedrine is not proven to relieve symptoms of ADHD at all, while Adderall is. "I personally think they're giving us Dexedrine during this shortage, but that's just me," she said.

Several other women who have also been taking ADHD medication for years explained in their own way that the Adderall or Vyvanse that once helped them focus and be productive isn't working at all for them (one woman claims she can only feel an effect if she chugs coffee in the morning with her medication).

TikToker @eralidra says she used to be able to "feel the come up" of her Vyvanse, and as soon as it kicked in, she was able to make appointments, get things done around the house, do her homework, read, etc. But much of her medication isn't producing any effect whatsoever. "Today's dose is not working, and they are from the same bottle," she said.

"This sh*t is not working. I don't know what they're giving us, but it's not it. It's not it. This isn't real. They're giving us a sugar pill, a placebo something," TikToker @thedandan said. She shared that Adderall used to give her an energized feeling shortly after taking her medication, she had to go the bathroom, and she was able to start her day. She also said that she ended her day feeling a little anxious. But now she's not feeling any of that with her prescription medications. "I don't trust the government. I don't trust sh*t. But at the same time, this helps me. I need it!" she concluded.

"Wow-people need to have a basic understanding of Methamphetamines. Over time it loses its effect, therefore you have to increase dosage. However, this can only work for so long," a Twitter user responded to the thread.

Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, two central nervous stimulants that are meant to improve focus and prevent people from getting distracted. This is done by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. The FDA approved Adderall for general use in 1996. The drug has always been considered controversial as many say it's very similar to cocaine; Adderall and Vyvanse are often referred to as speed, crank, etc.

In the U.S., ADHD diagnoses among adults are growing four times faster than they are among children. There has been a 123% increase in adults, and some experts still say it is underdiagnosed. The FDA announced in October 2022 that there was in fact a shortage of Adderall, but people were simply encouraged to find alternatives with their medical provider. In January 2023, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists reported that these shortages were affecting nearly 40 different doses or formulations of the generic version of Adderall. The makers of Vyvanse, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, claimed that there is no shortage of the drug even though many pharmacists say it has been on backorder for months.