Mom Makes an Alarming Discovery about Her Son’s ADHD Medication Dosage

By: Lauren Fokas | Published: Feb 01, 2024

A TikTok video has gone viral as a mom from North Carolina shows exactly what’s inside her son’s ADHD medicine. 

After moving the pills from their original capsules into clear ones, it became glaringly obvious that the doses were not consistent. And now, people are wondering who is to blame and, more importantly, if they are getting the right dosage from their medicine.

Tabetha Kelin’s Viral TikTok Video

Tabetha Klein’s son, Noah, is sensitive to red 40 dye, so she transferred his ADHD medicine into clear gelatin capsules to be sure they were safe for him to ingest.

Screenshot of @thekleinlife’s TikTok video about ADHD medicine

Source: @thekleinlife/TikTok

But as she did so, she noticed that each pill had a vastly different amount of medicine inside. So, Klein made a TikTok clip to share the information with the world and, as she put it, “[document] the situation just in case anybody else had this issue.”

Off-Brand Medications Are often Different Every Month

Klein also explained that for those who take medications that are off-brand, the pills often look different every month. Therefore, in order to ensure none of her son’s pills have red dye 40, she moves them to transparent capsules every month.

Workers examine medicinal pills as they move on a conveyor belt

Source: Freepik

But this month, the measurements inside were not consistent as they had been in the past. And Klein wonders out loud if it’s because the manufacturer made a mistake or if there is a shortage of the medicine. And, even more importantly, which size is the correct amount for her child’s needs? 

The Full Capsules Best Matched the Previous Month’s Prescription

Klein noted that she believed the full capsules were the appropriate dosage as they looked most like the pills from the month before. 

Hands holding medicine

Source: Freepik

And in a follow-up video, she explained that she has noticed some inconsistencies with Noah’s behavior recently that she now believes are due to the incorrectly filled capsules. 

Noah’s Ability to Pay Attention in Class Varies Significantly

Tabitha Klein said that, “[Noah’s] teachers will call us and say he’s struggled way more or way less that day and we can’t put our finger on what the cause is.”

Child screams with a book on his head in front of a chalkboard

Source: Freepik

And continued, “They have for sure asked ‘Did he have his medication today? He’s literally bouncing off the walls.’”

Kelin Now Takes Her Son’s Lack of Appetite as a Sign of Proper Dosage

She also said that, typically, Noah isn’t nearly as hungry when he receives the proper dosage of his medicine. So, she now uses his hunger or lack thereof as a sign as to whether or not he got the right amount that morning.

Child looks at his breakfast but isn’t hungry

Source: Freepik

Klein said, “On days when he has taken his meds and then he eats his whole lunch [and] asks for a snack when he gets home, we know something is up with the dose.”


Many TikTokers Have Responded to Kelin’s Video

As with any viral video, the comments section on Klein’s clip about her son’s ADHD medicine has a wide variety of responses.

Screenshot of the comments section on @thekleinlife’s TikTok video

Source: @thekleinlife/TikTok

Some are worried and wondering how Noah is doing with the different dosages, others are expressing concern that the same thing is happening to them or their family members, and quite a few people have noted that their pills are also inconsistent.


Some People Are Having Similar Experiences with Their Medicine

On TikTok, someone experiencing depression wrote that they noticed a big difference in their medication when the manufacturer changed.

Woman is sitting on the floor in front of her couch and visibly upset

Source: Freepik

They wrote, “Within 2 weeks I was so depressed and spiraling. I had to call for a different prescription and jump thru hoops. I finally got the brand that works.”


Reaching Out for Help

After her initial video received almost a million views, Klein made three follow up videos explaining how she was handling the situation and responding to other TikToker’s comments and concerns.

Screenshot of @thekleinlife’s TikTok videos

Source: @thekleinlife/TikTok

In one of the videos, Klein noted that she reached out to her pharmacist, as well as the manufacturing company, but no one could tell her exactly what had happened.


Klein Even Contacted the FDA

In 2022, the FDA announced there was a significant shortage of all Adderall and off-brand versions of the medication in the United States, which is still in effect today. According to the FDA website, they are “continu[ing] to monitor supply and assist manufacturers with anything needed to resolve the shortage.”

A sign for the Food And Drug Administration is seen outside of the headquarters

Source: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

But when Klein filed a complaint with the organization explaining what she found within her son’s pills, she got no response.


Tabetha Klein Is Taking Action

After contacting the FDA, her pharmacy, and the manufacturer and getting no real response, Klein made the decision to change her son’s medication to brand-name Adderall.

Adderall pills next to an open medicine bottle

Source: Shutterstock

But she’s not stopping there. Klein has responded to several comments of similar stories asking her followers to contact her directly about their experience. The concerned mother wants to figure out why this is happening and how to make sure those culpable of the mistake rectify it going forward. 


Incorrect Doses Could Cause Permanent Damage or Even Death

It’s important to understand that while those experiencing ADHD or depression will undoubtedly feel different if their dosages are inconsistent, for other medications, this issue could lead to extreme health concerns and even death.

Pharmacists check medicine at the pharmacy

Source: Freepik

This story has brought attention to America’s pharmaceutical manufacturing practices. And, hopefully, it will lead to real change within the industry so that Americans can feel safe when taking their medicine.