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What is Adderall?
Generic Name- Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine
Adderall is a combination of Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is a central nervous system stimulant that affects the brain chemicals and nerves that contribute to control hyperactivity and impulse.
Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is a combination medication that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
This combination may also be used for other purposes that are not listed here.
Usually, amphetamines are used at the lowest effective dosage. These dosages can individually be adjusted according to the therapeutic needs and response of the patient. One should avoid late evening doses because of the resulting insomnia.
For ADHD Patients:
Adderall is not recommended for the newborns or children below 3 years.
- It is prescribed as 2.5 mg as a daily dosage for the children from 3 to 5 years of age. This dosage can be adjusted weekly in the increment of 2.5 mg until the desired response is obtained
- Adderall is prescribed for children of 6 years and older as 5mg once or twice in a day. The dosages may be increased as 5mg in a week, until required response is obtained.
- Only in rare cases, the dosage of Adderall may be exceeding a total of 40 mg in a day.
For Narcolepsy Patients:
Adderall is not recommended for children under the age of 6 to treat narcolepsy, and Adderall XR is not approved as a medication to treat narcolepsy.
Usual dose 5 mg to 60 mg per day in divided doses, depending on the individual patient response.
- Children of 6 to 11 years start on 5 mg once in a day. The dosage may be increased by 5 mg weekly until the medicine works.
- Children of 12 to 17 years start at 10 mg once in a day. The doctor may increase the dose of Adderall by 10 mg per week until the medication works.
- The dosages for 18 years or older adults may start at 10 mg once in a day. The health care provider may integrate the dose by 10 mg weekly until the medication works.
Adderall Side Effects
Seek for medical help if you feel any sign of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Consult with your health care provider at once if you have:
- signs of heart problems-chest pain, trouble breathing, feeling like you might pass out;
- signs of psychosis-hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), new behavior problems, aggression, hostility, paranoia;
- signs of circulation problems-numbness, pain, cold feeling, unexplained wounds, or skin color changes (pale, red, or blue appearance) in your fingers or toes;
- a seizure (convulsions);
- muscle twitches (tics); or
- changes in your vision.
Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, like:
- fast heart rate
- loss of coordination
- muscle stiffness
Long-term use of stimulant medications can completely stop the growth of children. Talk with your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using Adderall.
Common side effects may include:
- stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite;
- weight loss;
- mood changes, feeling nervous or irritable;
- fast heart rate;
- headache, dizziness;
- sleep problems (insomnia); or
- dry mouth.
This is not a complete list of side effects and other common or severe side-effects may also occur. Consult with your doctor for medical advice about side effects of Adderall.
Adderall and kids
Adderall is prescribed to treat ADHD in children. Drug treatment may not be directed for all children suffering from this syndrome.
Stimulants are not suggested for use in the child who shows symptoms secondary to environmental factors or other primary psychological disorders, including psychosis.
Accurate educational placement is necessary and psychosocial intervention is often helpful in the treatment. When remedial parameters are insufficient then the decision to prescribe stimulant medication will depend upon the health care provider’s assessment of the severity of the child’s symptoms.
Adderall may interact with a number of substances and medications. This can cause medicines not to work as well and lead towards side-effects.
This is not a complete list of all drug interactions other substances may also interact with Adderall. Before taking the drug, talk with your doctor about all medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements you or your child is currently using.
Drug labels don’t warn about interactions with alcohol, but some studies have shown dangerous effects from mixing Adderall and alcohol.
Because Adderall may make it more difficult to get drunk, people may drink more and suffer alcohol poisoning. It may also cause stress on the cardiovascular system, leading to high blood pressure and potential cardiovascular problems.
Adderall may interact with the following substances:
- Gastrointestinal acidifying agents such as ascorbic acid, fruit juice, guanethidine, reserpine and glutamic acid HCl can lower absorption of Adderall.
- Adrenergic blockers, or alpha-blockers, such as the blood pressure drugs doxazosin, prazosin and terazosin may not be as effective.
- Adderall can increase the potency of tricyclic antidepressants and lead to cardiovascular side effects.
- Antacids increase absorption of Adderall and should be avoided.
- Acetazolamide and some thiazides increase blood levels of Adderall.
- CYP2D6 inhibitors such as Benadryl, Wellbutrin, Paxil, Prozac and Cymbalta may increase levels of Adderall in the blood and may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome.
- Serotonergic drugs such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants and St. John’s Wort may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome.
- MAO inhibitors slow Adderall metabolism and let it last longer in the body. This may lead to extremely high blood pressure, extremely high body temperatures, metabolic acidosis and other neurological toxic effects. This can be fatal.
- Antihistamines may lose their sedative effects.
- Blood pressure medications may not work as well.
- Chlorpromazine, haloperidol and lithium carbonate inhibit the stimulant effect of Adderall.
- Adderall makes the pain-relieving effects of meperidine stronger.
- Using phenobarbital or phenytoin with Adderall may produce an anticonvulsant effect.
- Overdosing on propoxyphene while taking Adderall can cause fatal convulsions.
- Proton pump inhibitors may affect the duration of Adderall’s clinical effect and medical providers should monitor people taking these drugs together.
Snorting is a way of administering drugs. The powdered form of the medicine is inhaled through the nasal system. From here, the stimulant diffuses through the nasal membrane to the bloodstream through the surrounding blood vessels.
Snorting Adderall is increasing in popularity especially among the youth. However, this is not the best way to take Adderall because snorting usually leads to overdose due to the increased intensity of its effects and this, in turn, causes dangerous side effects.
Withdrawal and Treatment
Amphetamines have been extensively abused. Tolerance, extreme psychological dependence, and severe social disability have occurred. These are reports of patients who have increased the dosage to levels many times higher than recommended. Abrupt cessation following prolonged high dosage administration results in extreme fatigue and mental depression; changes are also noted on the sleep EEG. Manifestations of chronic intoxication with amphetamines include severe dermatoses, marked
- personality changes.
The most severe manifestation of chronic intoxication is psychosis, often clinically indistinguishable from schizophrenia.