What is Adderall?

Adderall consists of amphetamine, which got synthesized in Germany in the year 1887. It is in pharmaceutical use in the United States since 1927. The U.S. government distributed amphetamine and dextroamphetamine among the soldiers and pilots in World War II, as a “go pill” to fight fatigue and maintain morale and alertness.

Description

Adderall is an amphetamine and dextroamphetamine combination useful in managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. These two drugs belong to the group of central nervous system stimulants.

Adderall works in to treat ADHD by increasing attention and alertness and decreasing restlessness in the people who cannot concentrate, are overactive or easily distracted. It is helpful as a part of a complete treatment program that includes psychological, social, emotional, and educational therapy.

Adderall is a medicine obtained only on a doctor’s prescription. Medication prescriptions are non-refillable. Patients need to get a new prescription each time they want Adderall.

Adderall is available in two dosage formulations:

  • Extended-Release Capsules
  • Immediate Release Tablets

Before Use

It is necessary to weigh the risks associated with medicine against its beneficial effects. For taking Adderall, consider the following before use:

Allergies

Tell your doctor about any unusual or allergic reactions to Adderall or any other central nervous system stimulant. Also, inform about any other allergies such as food, animals, dye, or preservatives allergies you have. Read the medication guide carefully for all active and non-active ingredients of the medication.

Interactions

Certain medications interact with Adderall. The effects can be dangerous in some cases. In these cases, a doctor may tell you not to take two medications together or may adjust the number of doses. When a person is taking Adderall, it is essential to let the doctor know if they are taking any of the listed-below medicines.

Using Adderall with the following medications is not recommendable as their interaction may cause severe unwanted effects:

  • Tranylcypromine
  • Sibutramine
  • Selegiline
  • Safinamide
  • Rasagiline
  • Procarbazine
  • Phenelzine
  • Nialamide
  • Moclobemide
  • Methylene blue
  • Linezolid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Iproniazid
  • Furazolidone

Pediatric

Clinical studies performed to test the problems limiting the use of Adderall in children demonstrate no issues. However, it is only safe to use for children above 3 years of age in case of immediate-release Adderall tablets and children above 6 years of age for extended-release Adderall.

Geriatric

No studies performed to date demonstrate any geriatric-specific problems limiting the usefulness of Adderall in geriatric patients. However, elderly patients are at a higher risk of having side effects such as age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which require cautious adjustment in daily dosages for geriatric patients.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Studies in pregnant and breastfeeding women demonstrate harmful effects on the unborn or newborn child. Doctors should prescribe an alternative to Adderall in case of pregnancy and nursing.

Contraindications

The presence of other health conditions affects the use of Adderall. Be sure to tell the doctor if you have:

  • Severe agitation
  • Severe anxiety
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Glaucoma
  • History of drug abuse
  • Recent heart attack
  • Heart or blood vessel diseases
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Moderate to severe hypotension
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • History of stroke
  • Severe tension
  • A family history of bipolar disorder or manic illness
  • Depression or a family history of depression
  • Hypertension
  • History of psychosis
  • Raynaud disease
  • Seizures disorder
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Tachycardia
  • Severe liver or kidney disease

Proper Use

Take Adderall only as directed by a medical professional. Never take more or less of the medicine, do not take it more often, and never take the medication for a more extended period than directed. Taking Adderall too much or too often can make you dependent physically or mentally.

Adderall comes with a medical guide. Read and follow it carefully. If you have any queries, consult some trusted medical professionals.

If Adderall is not working correctly for you after taking it for a few weeks, do not try to increase the dosages for yourself. Check with your prescribing doctor.

Keep in mind the following instructions if you are using extended-release Adderall capsules:

  • Swallow the whole pill at once with the required quantity of water or other liquids. Do not try to break, crush, or chew it.
  • Take medicine in the morning right after waking up. Do not take it in late evening or night as you may have trouble falling asleep.
  • Take the XR pill with or without food, but ensure that you take it the same way every time.
  • If you have any problem swallowing the capsule, open it and sprinkle its beads over one tablespoon of applesauce. Swallow the mix directly without chewing it. Never store this mixture for future use.

Dosing

The dosage of Adderall will be different for different patients. The information given below is the average dosing of medicine. If your doctor has prescribed a different dosage, do not change it until the doctor tells to do so.

The amount of Adderall, its strength, number of doses per day, and the duration of therapy depend on the condition that you have.

  • For Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    • Adderall XR (Extended-Release Capsules)
      • Adults: 20 mg once per day in the morning
      • Children between 13-17 years: initiate at 10 mg once a day in the morning. Titrate the dosage as required.
      • Children between 6-12 years: initiate with 10 mg per day once every morning. Titrate as required by not more than 30 mg a day
      • Children below 6 years: Extended-release capsules are not for children below 6 years of age.
    • Adderall IR (Immediate Release Tablets)
      • Adults and children above 12 years: initiate at 10 mg per day given in divided doses. Adjust the dosages as needed
      • Children between 6-12 years: begin with 5 mg per day. Adjust the dosages as required
      • Children between 3-5 years: start at 2.5 mg per day. Adjust as required
      • Children below 3 years: Adderall tablets are not for children younger than 3 years of age
  • For Narcolepsy (a sleep disorder)
    • Adderall IR (Immediate Release Tablets)
      • Adults and children above 12 years: initiate with 10 mg per day given in two divided doses. Titrate as required
      • Children between 6-12 years: begin with 5 mg per day. Titrate if required
      • Children below 6 years: Adderall tablets are not for use in children below 6 years of age to treat narcolepsy

Storage of Adderall

Store Adderall tablets or capsules in a closed container at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and direct light.

Do not freeze the medication.

Keep out of reach of children.

Avoid keeping outdated medicine.

Ask a healthcare provider about the proper disposal of any unused or expired Adderall.

Side Effects

Along with its therapeutic effects, Adderall may cause some unwanted effects too. However, not all of these effects need to occur for a patient. Some patients may experience only some mild side effects, while others may have severe adverse effects.

Consult a doctor if the adverse effects are severe or if they do not go after several days or a couple of weeks following the start of the treatment.

Common side effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Lower back pain or side pain
  • Bladder pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Pounding or irregular heartbeat
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss

Less common side effects

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Shivering
  • Trouble sleeping

Severe side effects

  • Blisters or peeling of skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Double vision
  • Faintness
  • Inability to move
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Muscle cramps or spasm
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizure disorder
  • Sores or ulcers in the mouth
  • Tightness in the chest

There may be some other adverse effects not listed here. If you notice any unusual signs or symptoms while on Adderall medication, contact your doctor.