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Adderall is the brand name for amphetamine salts, and it is a central nervous system stimulant. It most often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition in which people have difficulty focusing or paying attention to a single task and act impulsively. Individuals with ADHD generally take medication daily. It produces a calming effect, allowing them to focus on a task at hand.
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Adderall® is a central nervous system stimulant prescription medicine. It is used for the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Adderall® may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.
Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine [Shire U.S. Inc]) is a central nervous system stimulant medication commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although effective in its treatment of ADHD, Adderall carries a high potential for abuse and dependence—its nonmedical use among college students for neurocognitive enhancement has been well documented, with a prevalence estimated from 9% to 23%. The overall nonmedical use of prescription stimulants has been estimated at approximately 8% in adults.4 Inherent to the abuse of amphetamines are risks including weight loss, cardiovascular events, psychological dependence, and morphologic brain changes. Owing to its high potential for abuse, which could lead to severe psychological or physical dependence, Adderall is classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a schedule II medication.
Adderall (amphetamine-dextroamphetamine) is a controlled substance with harmful adverse effects if abused or misused. We assessed the availability of Adderall from common search engines, and evaluated the safety and marketing characteristics of online pharmacies selling Adderall.
Developed by the pharmaceutical company Shire in 1996, Adderall is a prescription stimulant used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. The drug can cause numerous side effects and behavioral issues, including euphoria, sleep disruption, mental health problems or addiction.
Adderall is a useful therapeutic for people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy, but it is also used illegally, without a prescription as a “study drug” by students—and, increasingly, young professionals—looking for an edge that will help them stay awake longer and get more done. However, it is far from a benign drug, and its influences on the brain and the rest of the body can be profound.
It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that works by increasing the availability of dopamine and norepinephrine (both “feel-good” neurotransmitters) in the brain’s CNS connections, which speeds up brain activity. It also binds to the epinephrine receptors in the adrenal gland. For people with ADHD, it is designed to improve impulse behavior, hyperactivity, and attention span. Some things discussed will be the addictiveness of Adderall, side effects, Adderall half-life, tests, symptoms and more.
Adderall is a combination of two central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. When these get to the brain, they act like the naturally occurring neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) and norepinephrine. Therefore, to understand the effects of Adderall, we need to look at what these chemicals do in the brain normally.
Some people use Adderall as a recreational drug, either to feel more alert and awake or to trigger feelings of euphoria. It is also a popular performance-enhancing drug, particularly among college students, who believe that this stimulant may make it easier to study or stay awake.
Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Amphetamines are sympathomimetic amines that stimulate the central nervous system (CNS). Amphetamines stimulate norepinephrine and dopamine release in the CNS, increasing their levels in the extraneuronal space.
Adderall side effects
These effects come at a cost, however. “Side effects tell the tale of what is happening in the brain and the body,” Grayson said, and Adderall side effects include dizziness, headache, insomnia, psychosis and depression. It also lowers the convulsion threshold, meaning Adderall creates so much activity in the brain that if a person is prone to seizures, the drug makes these much more likely.
Heart disease. Adderall can increase your blood pressure and heart rate. If you have a serious heart condition, Adderall might increase your risk of sudden death, heart attack, and stroke. It might also worsen high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. If you have a heart condition, your doctor may want to evaluate your heart function before prescribing this medication.
Some people who take Adderall may experience feelings of being energetic, focused, excited, or self-confident. Feelings of euphoria also sometimes occur. These effects are more likely when the medication is misused. For more information, see the “Adderall misuse (also called abuse)” section below.
In some cases, Adderall can temporarily cause your pupils (the black centers of your eyes) to dilate (become bigger). For most people, this isn’t a problem. However, for people with glaucoma, this effect could worsen their condition. People with glaucoma shouldn’t take Adderall.
Even at normal therapeutic doses, Adderall can exaggerate existing psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia. These results can be unpredictable. “Everybody’s psychiatric baseline is a little different,” Grayson said. “It really depends on the starting point where the patient is. It’s an enhanced state of normal human emotions: anger, sadness, fear.”
Taking Adderall with certain medications that block how the body breaks down Adderall can result in an increased risk of serious side effects, including serotonin syndrome. If you take these medications, you may need to start with a lower dosage of Adderall. Examples of these medications include:
Adderall is responsible for effects outside the brain as well, and these can happen to anyone, even those taking the drug as prescribed for an approved medical reason. “These drugs affect individual organ systems independently,” Grayson said, “so appropriate doses for the brain may still cause side effects in the heart, for example.”
In patients known to be hypersensitive to amphetamine, or other components of Adderall®. Hypersensitivity reactions such as angioedema and anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients treated with other amphetamine products [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Long-term use of Adderall or other stimulants may cause some changes in the brain, such as decreases in the amount of the chemical messenger dopamine. This seems more likely to happen in people who misuse Adderall in high doses. (Drug misuse is also called abuse.)
“This is a serious drug that has serious consequences,” said Eric Grayson, PharmD, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy. “We have to ask ourselves, ‘Are the benefits we’re getting from the medication worth the risk of side effects?’” In the case of Adderall, the risks can be extreme: they include stroke and sudden death. People taking the drug without a doctor’s supervision, of course, haven’t had the risk versus benefit discussion with their physician, and they haven’t been evaluated for pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure or glaucoma that could make the drug even more dangerous.
While these uses aren’t approved by the FDA, doctors may prescribe Adderall to treat other conditions besides ADHD and narcolepsy. This means a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is prescribed by a doctor to treat another condition that’s not approved. If you’re taking Adderall without an ADHD or narcolepsy diagnosis, this could be an off-label use.
Before approving coverage for Adderall, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.
Adderall is FDA-approved to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. Modafinil is approved to treat narcolepsy, shift-work sleep disorder, and sleep apnea. Modafinil is used off-label to treat ADHD. This means that it’s not FDA-approved for this purpose, but there is some scientific evidence that it might help.
If your doctor has prescribed Adderall and you’re interested in the generic version instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check your insurance plan, as it may only cover one or the other.
Adderall or similar stimulant medications are sometimes prescribed off-label for people with anxiety, especially for those who have both ADHD and anxiety. Some research suggests that combining stimulant medication with antidepressants might improve symptoms of ADHD and anxiety.
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use Adderall® for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Adderall® to other people, even if they have the same condition. It may harm them and it is against the law. This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about Adderall®. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about Adderall® that was written for healthcare professionals. For more information about Adderall® , please contact Teva at 1- 888-838-2872.
Adderall® tablets contain d-amphetamine and l-amphetamine salts in the ratio of 3:1. Following administration of a single dose 10 or 30 mg of Adderall® to healthy volunteers under fasted conditions, peak plasma concentrations occurred approximately 3 hours post-dose for both d-amphetamine and lamphetamine. The mean elimination half-life (t1/2) for d-amphetamine was shorter than the t of the l-isomer (9.77 to 11 hours vs. 11.5 to 13.8 hours). The PK parameters (Cmax, AUC0-inf) of d-and l-amphetamine increased approximately three-fold from 10 mg to 30 mg indicating dose-proportional pharmacokinetics.
People may sometimes misuse Adderall without their doctor’s recommendation or prescription. In some cases, this type of misuse of Adderall can lead to taking too much of the drug. You should never use Adderall if it hasn’t been prescribed for you by your doctor.
Taking these medications for long periods of time can cause psychological and physical dependence. (With dependence, your body needs a drug in order to function like usual.) This may lead to obtaining Adderall illegally and using it for nonmedical purposes.
Before taking Adderall, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.