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May 30th, 2012
01:51 PM ET

FDA issues warning about counterfeit Adderall purchased online

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about counterfeit generic Adderall tablets being sold on the Internet. Adderall is approved by the FDA to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy.

The FDA became aware of the problem when Teva Pharmaceutical Industries reported that a consumer alerted them about purchasing a fake version of Teva’s Adderall 30-milligram tablets from an illegal Internet pharmaceutical site.

The bogus version was discovered “by a consumer, who noticed misspellings on on the fake product packaging,” according to Denise Bradley, Teva Pharmacautical’s vice president of corporate communications. Bradley said two incidents have been reported to the FDA, and Teva Pharmaceuticals continues to work with the FDA on the investigation.

Teva’s authentic 30mg Adderall tablets are round, orange/peach in color and are imprinted with “dp” on one side and 30 on the other side of the tablet.  The tablets are packaged in bottles.  The active ingredients in authentic Adderall tablets are dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate and amphetamine sulfate. An analysis of the counterfeit tablets revealed they contained tramadol and acetaminophen, both used to treat acute pain, and they were in blister packages.

Both instances occurred when consumers tried to purchase Adderall from illegal websites rather than using legitimate distribution channels. The FDA noted that “consumers should be extra cautious when buying their medicines from online sources. Rogue websites and distributors may especially target medicines in short supply for counterfeiting.” Adderall is currently on the FDA drug shortage list because of active pharmaceutical ingredient supply issues.

“It is very important that patients purchase product through legitimate channels,” Bradley said. “Websites that do not require prescriptions are not reputable.”

The FDA website offers tips for consumers who want to purchase prescription drugs using the Internet. First, make sure that the site requires a prescription and has a pharmacist available to answer questions. Consumers should only buy prescription medications from licensed pharmacies located in the United States. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy  has information about legitimate U.S. online pharmacies, and provides information about licensing and certification for online pharmacies. Consumers should never provide personal data, such as credit card numbers, unless they are sure an online site is legitimate and will protect their information.

The FDA advises consumers who believe they have a counterfeit version of Teva’s Adderall 30mg tablets not to take the product, and to consult their health care professional about other treatment options. They should also contact the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations at 800-551-3989 or http://www.fda.gov/OCI.


soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. t3chsupport

    They're just mad that their clients are finding other drug dealers.

    May 30, 2012 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. MashaSobaka

    You mean everything bought on the Internet isn't 100% legit? Next you'll be telling me that those Nigerian princes who keep sending me emails aren't actually going to make me a millionaire.

    May 30, 2012 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. jj

    How about just making it easier to buy, then people wouldn't have to buy their stuff online. I don't see how it's anyone's business what I ingest.

    May 30, 2012 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • nimbexed

      all you need to do is see a doc and fill a script. not that hard to ensure you are safe... if that is really what you need this med for.

      May 30, 2012 at 23:43 | Report abuse |
    • Mark Glicker

      Sadly the world is awash in fake items of all description.

      May 31, 2012 at 03:43 | Report abuse |
    • flat

      i have crohns disease and have flare ups that put me on the ground, curled up in pain like nothing youve ever felt. my last doctor told me to take aspirin or a hot shower. i had to go through three doctors before i found one willing to prescribe me pain medication. and even at that i got the lecture about what a dangerous road im taking. no wonder people are buying off the internet.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:13 | Report abuse |
    • 1tag2

      Flat, I know of several people with Crohn's disease who benefit from using medicinal marijuana. If you live in a state where this is legal, you should give it a try.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
    • Enrique

      True, but how do you get medicine that the FDA hasn't approved but the rest of the world has, like Trimetazidine, which is one of the best heart medicines if not through the Internet?

      May 31, 2012 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
  4. bry

    The most over diagnosed disease in the US. Interesting that the Chinese college students studying for advanced degrees here in the US never take ADHD medication and yet perform at a very high level in their work. We have a disease limited to primarily white, upper class kids.

    May 30, 2012 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • flat

      but the ones studying in china are wired up to IV's right? come one, every ones got some issues and take things...

      May 31, 2012 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
  5. bill

    adderall allowed me to pass the class numerical solutions to partial differential equations and got me an 'a' at that.

    May 30, 2012 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bry

      So, Adderall did it, you had no say so in that "a'. Idi0t.

      May 30, 2012 at 21:45 | Report abuse |
  6. Yahoo

    So those 12" extension pills aren't going to work, are they?

    May 30, 2012 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Fred

    Funny, in years of buying from overseas pharmacies I've never had a problem. Funny how these warning articles pop
    up over and over again. All trying to make sure that big pharma can overcharge us to the poor house.

    May 30, 2012 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. elizabeth

    The FDA & Co. sure don't want you to use the LEGITIMATE internet pharmacies,either. They can seize packages coming into the US that contain prescription medications for which the purchaser HAS a valid, written, prescription on the grounds that one is "illegally importing" a potentially dangerous substance. The real kicker to me is that I just spent nearly a month on an antibiotic that cost $545.97 for a 5-day supply. The box clearly stated the drug was manufactured in INDIA for US distribution. I found an online pharmacy in India selling the EXACT same drug from the identical manufacturer for the equivalent of about 11.38 for the same 5-day supply. You fax your prescription; they fill it. The problem is that it can take up to 20 days to receive them, even with air mail. This doesn't help much when you need to start a drug right away, and there is no expedited service available.

    May 30, 2012 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stephen

      PM boardroom carnivore at hotmail pls (no spaces).

      December 19, 2012 at 10:07 | Report abuse |
  9. Tr1Xen

    I take Adderall. I used to have friends in college who would ask me for it, and I always told them to go see their doctors. This drug works amazingly well for certain people but it can be dangerous and addicting for others. Personally, I've taken it for more than 7 years and I have never developed a dependency to it. I use it as directed and I only take mine when I'm working. I pass on it on the weekends and I have to remind myself to take it on weekdays, but I occasionally forget it then too. When that happens, I sort of space out around mid-afternoon, just like I have all my life. When the phone rings and snaps me out of it, I go, "Ah! My Adderall! Now, what was I doing again?!" ;)

    May 30, 2012 at 23:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. medschoolkid

    I am personally prescribed to Adderall and definitely appreciate its effects for my own ADHD. It can do incredible things for anyone, but is somewhat addictive. I have to appreciate that the most popular illegal drug of my generation is rarely used for recreation, but is used to boost productivity.

    May 31, 2012 at 00:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. m@yahoo.com

    key ingredient in adderall is amphetamine. key ingredient in meth is amphetamine. go ahead and swallow your meth pill and while you are at it, give it to the kids you druggies.

    May 31, 2012 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joel

      You mean like heroin is poorly refined morphine. Whoops, better take those pain killers away from dying cancer patients. What a big heart you have, m. And pot is the basis of now synthetically made cannabis medications (federally approved). Once again, by your logic, better strip dying cancer patients of the things that can keep them alive or at least in comfort.

      In case you haven't noticed, the effects that doctors hope a drug will produce in a patient are often the same effects a recreational user is looking for (this is especially true for pain killers).

      May 31, 2012 at 02:08 | Report abuse |
    • doctors are nothing but legal drug dealers

      "And pot is the basis of now synthetically made cannabis medications (federally approved). Once again, by your logic, better strip dying cancer patients of the things that can keep them alive or at least in comfort."

      Or they can smoke, ingest, or vaporize the actual plant and get more benefits and less side effects than they would from a man made pill

      May 31, 2012 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
  12. Joel

    Oh, and while I'm on a role, diphenhydramine (brand name Benedryl and the sleep aid in products like Tylenol PM) is recreationally used because of its mild hallucinogen effect, the effect that gives it its sleep aid properties. Dextromethorphan (brand name Robitussin) also has mild hallucinogen effects and is the reason it's used as a cough suppresent (DXM acts centrally) Obviously these recreational drugs have very legitimate purposes, yet according to your logic, it would be exactly like an ADHD patient taking their "meth pill" and by your language, it seems you disapprove.

    May 31, 2012 at 02:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joel

      Supposed to be a reply to m@yahoo

      May 31, 2012 at 02:18 | Report abuse |
  13. Easy E

    I think the FDA is doing us a disservice here: let the fools stupid enough to buy drugs off the internet face the lethal consequences for their actions. It is WAY past time to chlorinate the gene pool.

    May 31, 2012 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Grace

    What kind of nonsense is this?! Since there are allegedly Internet companies selling dangerous drugs, why not save some lives and give the name of these Internet pharmacies rather than a generic threat that they exist. What good is an article that exposes a threat, but provides no detail. How did this article even pass for publication.

    May 31, 2012 at 03:17 | Report abuse | Reply
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    May 31, 2012 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. t3chn0ph0b3

    Warning! Anonymous people are out to steal your money online! Warning! Oh, wait a minute. They've been there since the internet went online? No one told me that! I guess I shouldn't be expecting too much from that Nigerian lottery winner then, huh?

    May 31, 2012 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
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    June 1, 2012 at 06:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. giocondalaw

    The volume of counterfeit products emanating from China is terrible. At http://www.GiocondaLaw.com, we have been investigating and prosecuting counterfeit products for quite awhile, and the problem is getting worse.

    June 4, 2012 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. seotrackusa

    This step of FDA is very right because people buy adderall online not as a medicine but as a drug. so in my opinion this step on FDA is genuine.

    June 15, 2012 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
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