In response to the ongoing shortage of ADHD medications, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several generic versions of Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in people 6 years and older.
Vyvanse is available in capsules and chewable tablets, according to the FDA’s announcement.
Dr. Barry K. Herman, a board-certified psychiatrist and the chief medical officer for Mentavi Health, a mental health assessment provider in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is hopeful that these new generic drugs will help address the persistent ADHD medication shortage.
“The FDA made the review and approval of these generics a priority, and hopefully manufacturing will now scale up rapidly to meet this pressing need,” he told Fox News Digital.
These generic medicines are designed to work in the same way and provide the same benefit as the brand-name versions.
“Generic drugs are approved based on their bioequivalence to the brand drug,” Herman said. “In theory, that would make them work the same, but in some cases, patients may feel that they do better on the branded drug.”
Potential side effects are likely the same as with the brand-name drug, he noted, though some may experience different side effects on the generic version.
Fourteen companies have now been approved to manufacture and sell generic Vyvanse.
“That should help address the medication shortage, especially of Adderall,” Herman said. “It may take some time, however, for the manufacturing and distribution of the generic drug to catch up to the shortage.”
The cost of the generic Vyvanse should be considerably less than the brand-name ADHD drugs, Herman said.
“Having many companies manufacture and sell the drug will generally drive the cost down,” he said. “Costs may differ depending on whether you have insurance, the pharmacy you use and the dose of the drug.”
The FDA first announced the shortage of ADHD medication — primarily Adderall — in October 2022.
Adderall (amphetamine mixed salts) is the medication that’s most affected by the shortage, along with variations of methylphenidate, sold under the brand names Ritalin or Concerta.
Vyvanse is also intended to treat moderate to severe binge-eating disorder (BED) in adults.
“This should help many people who are currently struggling with the drug shortage,” said Herman.
“Having a generic drug available that is approved for both ADHD ages 6 and up, and for adults with moderate to severe binge-eating disorder, could not come at a more opportune time.”