What is Adderall?
Adderall is a medication that contains two primary drugs, amphetamine, and dextroamphetamine. It belongs to the class of stimulants. Doctors use adderall to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also a standard treatment of narcolepsy (a sleep disorder).
Doctors consider adderall as the first choice of medication to treat ADHD. Researchers believe that Adderall improves focus and attention and controls the impulsive behavior of an individual. Around 70-80 percent of children with ADHD symptoms shown improvement after using Adderall. Adderall is also useful in improving the symptoms of narcolepsy. This medicine is available in the form of tablets and capsules.
What to know before taking Adderall?
You should not take adderall if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. If you do so, it can result in some dangerous reactions. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, methylene blue injection, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, etc.
You can not use Adderall if you have the following medical issue:
- severe anxiety or agitation
- heart disease or coronary artery disease
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction
- vascular disease or hardening of the arteries
- high blood pressure
- overactive thyroid
You should tell your doctor all your medical issues if he is prescribing you this medicine. The following are some health-related issues that should be taken care of before taking Adderall.
- Heart problems or a congenital heart defect
- A family history of heart disease
- Depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, anxiety
- Psychological issues with aggression or suicidal thoughts or actions
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Liver or kidney disease
- Blood circulation issues in the hands or feet
- Motor tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome
- An abnormal brain wave test (EEG)
Taking this medication during pregnancy may cause premature birth of the child.
Breastfeeding mothers should avoid taking Adderall. You must know that this medication is not allowed for children below three years of age.
How to take Adderall?
You should take the medication as and when prescribed by the doctor. You must follow the instructions as specified on the label of the medicine. Do not take this medicine in an extra amount or for a more extended period as may be prescribed. Adderall is a habit-forming drug. Never share adderall with anyone, especially with someone who has a record of abuse and addiction to drugs. You must be aware that it is addictive medicine, and buying or selling Adderall is an offense under the law.
While taking this medication, you should be clear with all the instructions, and if you have any questions, ask your doctor. You can take Adderall before or after taking food; you can also take this medicine as the first thing after waking up. It will be best if you visit the doctor regularly till the time you are on this medication.
The dosage of this medication is entirely dependent on the following factors.
- The age of the patients.
- The form Adderall you take
- The other medication you take along with adderall.
The dosages of adderall will be different in the case of ADHD and narcolepsy.
Dosage for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
For adults (18 years or above)
Doctors can start adderall medication, 5 mg in a day, or twice a day.
The dosage of this medication can be increased or decreased as per the requirement of the patient.
For Children ( between 6-17 years of age)
Doctors can prescribe the dosage of adderall for this age group as 5 mg a day or twice a day. Doctors can increase the dosages by 5 mg per week until it starts showing the desired result.
For Children ( between 3-5 years of age)
Dosage should not increase by 2.5 mg in a day or twice a day.
It is upto doctors; they may increase or decrease the dosages accordingly.
Doctors should not use adderall tablets to treat children below three years of age.
Note: You should take the first dose of the medication when you first wake up. You should take any additional doses every four to six hours
Adderal XR extended-release Capsules
For adults (18 years or above)
20 mg in a day is the ideal dose of this medication. However, doctors may increase or decrease the dose as per requirement.
For children (between 13-17 of age)
10 mg once a day. Doctors can increase or decrease the dosages of adderall if they think fit.
For children (between 6-12 years of age)
The ideal dose of this medication for this age group is 5 mg or 10 mg daily. Doctors may further increase or decrease the dosage till they get the desired result.
Doctors should not recommend Adderall XR for children below five years of age.
Note: You should take the first dose of the medication when you first wake up.
Dosage for Narcolepsy
For adults ( 18 years or above)
Daily 10 mg once a day. However, doctors may increase or decrease the dosage of adderall to reach the desired result.
For children ( 12-17 years of age)
10 mg once a day. The doctors can increase the dosage by 10 mg per week until it has the desired effect.
For children (6-11 years of age)
The ideal dose of this medication to treat narcolepsy is 5 mg once a day.
Doctors should not recommend adderall tablets to treat narcolepsy in children below five years of age.
Note: You should take the first dose of the medication when you first wake up. You should take any additional doses every four to six hours.
If you ever feel any Adderall overdose symptoms, you should seek medical help as soon as possible or call on the emergency helpline number 1-800-222-1222 or 911. You should not ignore these overdose symptoms as an overdose of Adderall can be fatal.
The following are some Adderall overdose symptoms.
- Muscle twitches
- Rapid breathing
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Dark-colored urine.
Some Other overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, uneven heartbeats, light-headedness, fainting, seizure (convulsions), or coma.
What to avoid while using Adderall?
If you are on this medication, it may weaken your thinking and reactions. You should not try to drive or do anything that requires you to be attentive. You should avoid fruits rich in vitamin C while you are on this medication to make your body absorb less medicine.
Adderall side effects
The common side effect of this drug may include
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble in sleeping
- Weight loss
- Dry mouth
The list mentioned above of symptoms is inclusive. You may experience these symptoms for a few days or a couple of weeks. If you face them beyond this, do consult the doctor.
If you face any severe side effects, you should seek medical help right away. You can also call on 911 and ask for help.
The following are some severe side effects of taking Adderall.
- Heart issues, including heart stroke, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, heart attack.
- Blurred vision
- Impaired or delusional vision
- Aggressive behavior
- Muscles breakdown
- Severe allergic reaction
What drugs can interact with Adderall?
It will be best if you tell your doctor everything about the current medicines you start or stop using, such as
- Lithium, buspirone, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs (including citalopram paroxetine, sertraline, fluoxetine, etc., tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline or other medicine to treat depression or mental illness;
- Blood pressure medications
- Heartburn medicine
- Blood thinner medications
- seizure medicine
The above list of medications that can interact with adderall is inclusive.