According to a statement issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration, websites are selling drugs falsely labeled as Adderall, a prescription drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. The FDA warns that the drug offered for sale in 30 milligram doses is not the controlled substance Adderall, which has been difficult to obtain for several months due to a shortage of an active ingredient, but a combination of acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) and the narcotic-like pain medication tramadol. Since neither of these drugs is a controlled substance, the FDA speculates that they are easier to obtain than Adderall, which is a combination of legally restricted amphetamine stimulants. According to the warning issued by the FDA, consumers must exercise caution when purchasing prescription medication, especially controlled drugs in short supply, from an online source due to counterfeit medication concerns. Photos comparing the fake Adderall pills to the actual medication are available on the FDA’s Flickr account.
The counterfeit Adderall pills appear noticeably different from the genuine medication. The most noticeable distinction is the color. Genuine Adderall pills, manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals are orange or peach in color and imprinted with the number 30 on one side and “dp” on the other, while the fake pills are white and have no markings. The blister packaging for counterfeit Adderall can be differentiated by multiple spelling errors, such as “Singel” instead of “Single,” “Aspartrte” instead of “Aspartate,” and “NDS” instead of “NDC.”