Adderall Pill Bottle

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy.

How does Adderall work? 

The drug is made with a combination of amphetamine salts that affect the parts of the brain and central nervous system that control hyperactivity and impulses.

When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve Adderall?

Adderall was approved in 1996 to treat ADHD in children and adults, and to treat narcolepsy in adults.

Is there a generic version of Adderall?

Yes, both the immediate-release and extended-release versions of Adderall are available in generic form, commonly referred to as amphetamine and dextroamethamphetamine salts.

How old do children have to be to take Adderall?

Children over the age of 3 may be prescribed Adderall for ADHD. Children should take the medication in the exact amount prescribed by their doctor. It’s
also important to be aware of the drug’s side effects and to tell your child’s doctor about other medication complications and any past substance use
history.

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What are Adderall’s side effects?

Common side effects of Adderall can include:

  • weight loss
  • stomach pain
  • headaches
  • dry mouth
  • sleep problems.

Children who take Adderall may experience a temporary slowing in their rate of growth. If you experience major side effects, report them to your doctor immediately and stop using the medication. Major side effects can include trouble breathing, chest pains, seizures, hallucinations, changes in
vision, unexplained muscle pain, dark colored urine, or changes in skin color. You can also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online.

Are there any psychiatric side effects associated with taking Adderall?

People who take Adderall may experience nervousness and mood swings.

How do you know if Adderall therapy is right for you?

Talk to your doctor about whether you are a good fit for the medication. Also, always take medication in the exact amount prescribed by your doctor. There
are many different dosage strengths, depending on whether you are taking Adderall IR (immediate release) or Adderall XR (extended release). Your doctor
should work with you to make sure the medication is working and adjust dosing and formulas as needed.

Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Adderall?

Do not take Adderall if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past two weeks, as a dangerous interaction effect could occur. There are also hundreds of
drugs that are known to interact with Adderall in major, moderate, or mild ways. So let your doctor know what other medications you are taking before you
begin Adderall therapy. Some of these include antacids, antidepressants, blood pressure medication, blood thinners, allergy medications, pain medicine, and
seizure medicine.

Are there any major differences between Adderall and Ritalin?

There are a lot of similarities between the two medications. Both drugs are stimulants used to treat ADHD, and both are habit-forming and classified as
Schedule II controlled substances. Therefore, if you have a history of substance use problems, you should talk to your doctor about this before taking
either medication. As far as differences, some studies suggest that Adderall may be more effective, but may have a higher abuse potential. Adderall comes
in two formats: instant release (lasting 4-6 hours) and extended release (lasting 12 hours). Ritalin, meanwhile, comes in three formats: instant release
(lasting 3-4 hours), sustained release (lasting 6-8 hours), and long-acting (lasting 8 hours).

Are there any other medical conditions that would make someone ineligible for Adderall therapy?

You should not take Adderall if you are allergic to the medication. Also, if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, an overactive thyroid, or glaucoma, you should not take Adderall. The drug can also make symptoms of severe anxiety even worse. Also talk to your doctor if you have Tourette’s syndrome, seizures or epilepsy, circulation problems, a history of mental illness, such as depression or bipolar disorder, or a history of substance use problems.

What is the typical dose prescribed to someone taking Adderall?

Children 6 and over taking Adderall usually start at a dosage of 5 mg and may gradually increase dosage up to 30mg. Adults taking Adderall may start with 5
mg and work their way up to a 60 mg dose. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor and not adjust dosage without their recommendation.

How long does it usually take for Adderall to work?

Adderall immediate release (IR) starts working roughly 20 to 30 minutes after being ingested, and it reaches its peak effectiveness approximately 1 to 2
hours after taking it. Adderall extended release (XR) begins working after 30 minutes and has a longer-lasting effect.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

You should never take extra doses of the medication to make up for missed doses. Your doctor may recommend taking the dose of Adderall when you remember, but skipping the missed dose if it already or almost evening.

Can symptoms occur if Adderall is discontinued?

Because Adderall is a stimulant, people can feel sluggish as the drug begins to wear off. Withdrawal symptoms can also include hunger, sleep problems, panic attacks, craving the drug, fatigue irritability, low mood, and suicidal thoughts. Symptoms can last for a few days or up to a few weeks. It’s important to eat healthy, exercise, and have a consistent sleep routine to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

What should I do if I overdose on Adderall?

An overdose of Adderall could be fatal, so seek immediately help or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose. Overdose symptoms can
include muscle twitches or pain, rapid breathing, panic, restlessness, aggressiveness, tiredness, vomiting, nausea, dark colored urine, diarrhea, irregular
heartbeat, seizures, and coma.

Is it safe for a woman who is pregnant, trying to become pregnant or nursing to take Adderall?

Taking Adderall while pregnant can cause withdrawal symptoms in a newborn as well as premature birth or low birth weight. The drug can also be transferred via breastmilk in small amounts and may harm a baby. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing before you take Adderall.

Is Adderall habit-forming?

Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance and can be habit-forming as users may develop a tolerance to the drug over time. Sometimes Adderall is abused and used for student performance. It is also sometimes used as a party drug because it creates a surge of energy and euphoria. Make sure that you keep track of the medication and never take more than prescribed. It is illegal to give or sell the medication to others. Talk to your doctor if you have a past history of substance dependence before you begin Adderall Therapy.

How much does Adderall cost?

Sixty 20mg amphetamine salt tablets range in cost from $40-60. Buying brand name Adderall is more expensive.

Are there any disadvantages to Adderall?

The biggest disadvantage of Adderall is that it is highly habit-forming. If you have a history of abusing substances or have a history of substance use in your family, then the drug may not be right for you. Also, common side effects such as decreased appetite, drowsiness, nervousness, and headaches may outweigh the benefits.

 

 

Sources:

1. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM467750.pdf

2. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085819.pdf

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA site for a comprehensive list of warnings.

Last Updated: Jul 10, 2017