Triple Bead Adderall No More

Adderall XR is a long acting version of Adderall which lasts up to 12 hours. It is a very effective medicine for the treatment of ADD/ADHD, and in fact is the most prescribed medicine in the US. Adderall XR has two beads in the capsule – an immediate release bead, and a delayed release bead – which ensures that the medicine lasts for a full 12 hours, while only taking the capsule only once per day.

As our awareness of adult ADHD grows, it is clear that many adults need longer acting coverage of their symptoms than just 12 hours. While many youth can finish their important tasks with 12 hours of medication coverage, many adults still have tasks that need getting done for up to 16 hours per day.

Shire, the makers of Adderall XR, were planning to create a 3 bead Adderall medicine. The idea would be to have an immediate release bead (for immediate symptom control), an intermediate long acting bead – which would release approximately 4-6 hours after ingestion (for mid day symptom control), and then a third long acting bead – which would help to provide up to 16 hours of symptom control.

It has been reported that Shire has decided not to pursue the development of this new medicine.
This relates to the fact that its new medication – Vyvanse – has demonstrated efficacy going beyond 13 hours. Perhaps further research will show that it actually goes longer than 13 hours.

I would guess that most of you would NOT feel a sense of loss, because I suspect that you didn’t know that the ‘triple bead’ adderall was a possibility.

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Dr. Kenny

[tags] Adderall, Adderall XR, Vyvanse, ADD, ADHD, Medication [/tags]


  1. Hello to the bolgoshpere!

    I was wanting to address the fact that people with ADHD, such as my self, are more prone to addictions and Adderall is a highly addictive drug. I have struggled with this problem myself, however I don’t hear this issue being addressed anywhere except to mention just the facts.

    I was completely unprepared for what “addiction to meds” even meant. I had to find out the hard way as I assume many people have. I was driven over the edge and even in the middle of the darkest times, I didn’t understand the problem. From where I sit, in the collegiate world at the U of MN, this is an issue for lots of unsuspecting people my age. I can think of 3 or 4 people I know personally who have had the same problem.

    Is there anyone with anything more to say about this problem? Does anyone have anymore insight into the issue? I would love to hear it!

  2. Never say never. I live with an addict, and any med can be abused. Vyvanse was prescribed to my fiance, and when he gets his perscription it’s gone in a week. He stays up all hours of the night, masturbating to porn. The only thing that has ever worked for him with his addiction problem in the past is a 12 step program. I wish they would take Vyvanse off the market…but I’m sure he’d find something else to abuse if they did.

  3. Well in general ADHD seems to make you more prone to addictions, especially to drugs. Even if they tried to make drugs less addictive, it’s still very hard to ignore the cravings one gets.

    Maybe one of the reasons why Vyvanse was initially put on hold was because they found that it was causing addiction problems to people who took it (very real possiblity) among other complications. Lots of new drugs or modifications to old drugs always needs to go through so much testing to make sure it’s safe to use/ingest, but even then something else always occurs that nobody ever really thinks about.

  4. Hi Dr. Kenny,

    I wouldn’t say this new formulation of Adderall is gone forever. I am simply guessing here but I think Shire decided to put this one on the back burner for a couple of big reasons.

    #1: The purchase of New River Pharma. which is how they acquired Vyvanse. Vyvanse will be their primary focus/flagship drug for the time being (years probably). They have a big advantage here in that it has superlong patent protection and nothing else on the market is similar.
    #2: Shire already received an approvable letter from the FDA about 2 years ago on this new formulation. However a recent check at the US Patent Office shows they have a patent application on this formulation but it hasn’t been approved yet.

    My guess is that several years down the road we will see this drug make a sudden appearance to help Shire freshen up their product line and keep sales growing. Plus they also are putting their amphetamine patch in pre-clinical trials. Noven pharma is the company that makes Daytrana and this new amphetamine patch.

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