The Vyvanse shortage: what to do if you can’t get your meds

The Vyvanse shortage: what to do if you can’t get your meds

There is a shortage in Perth of a popular ADHD medication - here's what to do if you can't get your meds.


Email from ADHD to members:

ADHD WA has been approached by its membership with concerns to the shortage of the prescription medication Lisdexamfetamine, most commonly sold under the brand name Vyvanse.


The ADHD WA CEO, Ms Antonella Segre, in response sought information from the Chair of the ADHD WA Professional Advisory Body, Dr Roger Paterson. Kindly see his response below as to potential actions that can be undertaken to address this problem.


“The company that makes Vyvanse, Takeda, has just released official information advising that there is a major shortage of their 30 mg, 50 mg and 60 mg capsules, and the shortage is likely to last several months. The shortage may extend to their other size capsules, 20 mg, 40 mg, and 70 mg capsule size.


Therefore, specialists may advise their patients to switch from the Vyvanse capsules to the dexamphetamine 5 mg tablets, and just take the tablets more often during the day–not as convenient as the all-day Vyvanse capsules but better than nothing.


Or specialists may advise their patients to switch from the Vyvanse capsules to long-acting compound dexamphetamine capsules which are available from about 35 pharmacies around WA. These pharmacies import the pure dexamphetamine powder, and combine it with Methocel, and this leads to slow absorption from the stomach, making it an all-day dexamphetamine. It has been around in WA for about 20 years and has been a very useful product. It is not available on the PBS, only on a private prescription, but not very expensive, somewhere between $90 and $150 for a 3-month supply, price varies depending on the size of capsule and what the individual pharmacies charge.”

Disclosure: this information is general advice to be discussed with your Specialist (ie psychiatrist/paediatrician). Please note that ADHD WA does not have prescribing specialist services. To find a Psychiatrist, or Paediatrician we invite you to visit the ADHD WA Professional Directory.

If you’ve had trouble filling your Vyvanse prescription for yourself or your child, you’re not alone.

Many Perth parents have found themselves struggling to fill prescriptions for Vyvanse to treat ADHD at their local chemist recently.

The Therapeutic Goods Administation (TGA) has not listed Vyvanse (lisdexamphetamine) as a medication in short supply.

However the WA Department of Health is aware of a current shortage.

Fortunately the shortage appears limited to the Vyvanse 30mg.


It's OK, there are options if you can't get your meds.

What's causing the shortage?

Increased demand and manufacturing complications are likely to be causing the shortage in Vyvanse in Perth.

The United States (US) has experienced a nation-wide shortage in ADHD medications for a year now.

In October 2022, the US Food & Drug Administration announced a shortage of the immediate release formulation of amphetatmine mixed salts, commonly referred to by the brand name Adderall.  

Teva, one of the drug companies that manufactures Adderall, is experiencing “ongoing intermittent manufacturing delays”.

Other companies have been unable to produce enough to fill the gap.

Resulting Adderall shortages in the U.S. have created increased demand for Vyvanse as an alternative medication to treat ADHD.

Takeda Pharmaceutical, a manufacturer of Vyvanse, has confirmed that there is low inventory of the medication due to manufacturing complications.

The shortage in Adderall along with increased demand for Vyvanse has likely led to the current shortage we are experiencing now.

This very exciting looking website is your go-to resource for checking on shortages of medications.

Where do I check on shortages?

The Australian TGA publish an alerts page that includes safety alerts, medicine shortage alerts and product recalls.

While Vyvnase is not currently listed on the TGA’s website, the Department of Health has confirmed they are aware of a shortage in Perth.

Perth Facebook pages have referred to the Department issuing a memo to chemists confirming the supply shortage.

If you want to monitor the situation you can do so on the TGA website – Medicine Shortage Alerts.

Side note, the TGA have published a safety alert warning people that “Big Penis USA Tablets pose a serious risk to your health and should not be taken”.  

I would recommend anyone considering purchasing these tablets to take that safety alert very, very seriously … 

"Big Penis USA tablets pose a serious risk to your health," warns the TGA.

What to do if I can't get my meds?

The benefits of e-scripts...

If you have an e-script for a Schedule 8 medication from a Western Australian authorised stimulant prescriber, then you can call around until you find a chemist who does have stock.

With an e-script you are no longer locked into having your Schedule 8 medications dispensed from one nominated chemist (thank goodness).

This provides way more flexibility in finding meds. 

Perth ADHD Facebook groups are indicating that there are plenty of chemists with stock if you are willing to call around.

And the frustrations of paper scripts ...

When it comes to paper-based scripts for Schedule 8 medications such as Vyvanse, any paper-based repeats must be kept in the pharmacy that dispensed the original prescription.

There are two options for obtaining a Schedule 8 medicine in cases of short supply:

Option 1

The medicine can be obtained from another pharmacy and dispensed in the pharmacy that is keeping the repeat prescription.  

The Department of Health encourages this approach, however it is ultimately up to the pharmacy that has stock as to whether they will supply the pharmacy that does not have stock.


You can ask, but it's ultimately up to the chemist WITH the stock to decide if they will transfer the stock to the chemist WITHOUT the stock. Begging may help.

Option 2

The pharmacy seeks approval from the Department to transfer the paper-based prescription to a pharmacy that has stock.  

Given the large number of prescription transfer approvals that have to be processed [and the tedious nature of the process] this takes time, hence option 1 is preferred.

If you reeeeeeaaaaaally want to go down this path you can find the details on the Department of Health’s website.

I would also suggest asking your treating specialist to move with the times and to e-scripts to make it easier on you to manage situations that crop up like this.


Paper scripts are like, so vintage.

Where to get your official advice from

Don’t get it from Facebook.  Hell, don’t even take it from me.

Get your advice on all the little nuances of these regulations from the source.

The Department of Health regularly updates information on their website as things change relating to stimulant medicines.

For the latest advice it is always best to check their website at: > search for stimulant medicines.

Or, you can call the Medicines & Poisons Regulation Branch on 9222 6883.

Over to you

Are you finding it hard to ADHD medications for your child or yourself?  Would it help to have a list of chemists with stock on this website?  Kind of like the RAT-trackers we had during COVID where people would report RAT sightings? Let me know your thoughts below.

Your business could be here