Adderall For substance abuse treatmentAdderall is the brand name of a prescribed drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This medication has a combination of two stimulants:  amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It has also been prescribed to treat narcolepsy. Patients struggling with ADHD can use this medication to increase their attention spans and control activities. The drug may also help to prevent symptoms associated with narcolepsy.

Adderall was FDA approved in 1960. The combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine has also been approved as a generic drug. The brand-name drug is made by DSM Pharmaceuticals. Other companies make the generic form. Adderall XR is one of these forms which come as a capsule, while Adderall is a tablet.

The drug belongs to a group of substances termed central nervous system stimulants. It increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine stimulates the brain and has a soothing and focusing effect on individuals with ADHD.

Side Effects

Side effects of Adderall may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Faintness
  • Headache
  • Stomach problems
  • Reduced appetite
  • Sleeping problems
  • Dehydrated mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Low sex drive

When more severe side effects develop, patients should call a doctor immediately. Serious side effects can include:

  • Vision disturbances
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Numbness or severe weakness
  • Uninhibited movements
  • Delusions and hallucinations
  • Violent behavior
  • Intense behavior
  • Chronic skin disorders
  • Face, lips, or tongue swollen
  • Trouble talking or swallowing
  • Arrhythmia

Adderall has been classified by the FDA as a Pregnancy Category C. ¬†There isn’t sufficient information to know whether or not it will hurt an unborn baby. Based on studies this medication can show adverse effects in their babies. Nevertheless, there are not enough or acceptable studies to prove these same effects occur in humans. The doctor local pharmacist should be able to tell whether or not the patient should take this medication during pregnancy.

Adderall Dosage

Doses of Adderall are administered according to the patient’s condition. It all depends on how someone is taking this medication and how he or she responds to it. Doctors generally prescribe a low gradual dosage, which can be increased depending on a patients individual needs.

Children older than 5 taking Adderall for ADHD generally start with 5 milligrams increasing it gradually to 30 mg. Adult dosage for patients with narcolepsy start at 5 mg and increase to 60 mg. Adderall and Adderall XR can be taken with or without food. The tablets are taken several hours throughout the day, preferably in the morning since Adderall taken at night can disturb sleep. Many patients take three doses each day for their ADHD impairments.

The substance should be taken exactly as directed by a physician. Patients should not stop taking this medication suddenly. It can cause severe depression, drowsiness, and other symptoms of withdrawal. When a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible. However, if the next dose is coming up, the missed dose should be skipped. Doses should not be doubled to make up for a missed dose.

Abuse and addiction

In recent years, Adderall has become very popular. Studies demonstrate that the amount of ADHD medications administered to children went up 45 percent between 2002 and 2010. Also, Adderall has become the second most prescribed drug. Sales of this drug have jumped and the amount of prescriptions has topped 18 million.

The reason why this happens is because more young adults are being diagnosed with ADHD. Nevertheless, doctors are also prescribing it more to patients who do not have ADHD. The availability of this medication has increased its abuse. Individuals who do not have a medical condition, allowing them to take it, can experience intense euphoria due to the increase of dopamine levels in the brain. Due to this, many people have become addicted to it. Some may crush, snort, mix or inject them.

Drugs in the stimulants category increase alertness and attention. Many individuals who do not have an ADHD diagnosis have used this drug to improve their ability to think and focus. It has become very popular among students in order to boost their academic performance.

Stimulants in the same category as Adderall are generally called smart pills. This is the second most common type of drug used on university campuses. Adderall can only enhance thinking ability in those who have ADHD. Students who take this drug for academic performance can experience potentially harmful side effects. Abuse of this drug is not only dangerous, but it may serve as a gateway to more serious drugs as well.

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