Should You Use Adderall For Finals?

What Is Adderall?

Comprised of a combination of four amphetamine salts, including amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that is most commonly prescribed for childhood and adult ADHD. Due to its stimulant effects, it may also be prescribed for individuals suffering from extreme fatigue resulting from various medical conditions, including narcolepsy and multiple sclerosis. If taken sparingly and in low doses (even off-label) it may be worth it if you can get your hands on it. However, nootropics are a far safer alternative and can have just as good of benefits.

Adderall History

Adderall is derived from Obetrol, a diet pill that was popular in the 1950s and 1960s. The FDA approved Adderall for the treatment of patients with ADHD in 1996. In 2001, the FDA approved Adderall XR (Extended Release) for the treatment of ADHD.

Adderall does contain amphetamine, which was first synthesized in 1887 in Germany and has been used since 1927 in the United States. During World War II, amphetamine was given to American pilots and soldiers as “go pills” to help maintain alertness and fight fatigue.

How To Use Adderall

It is important to understand that Adderall has the potential to be highly addictive. It should only be used for the condition it is prescribed for. While it is not unusual for high school and college students to take Adderall in an attempt to enhance their studying abilities, this is not one of its intended uses.

Use For ADHD

Due to its ability to stimulate the central nervous system, Adderall is highly effective when used to treat ADHD. It gives users the ability to focus and concentrate, which improves school performance and can enhance the overall quality of life.


While Adderall has a number of benefits, its primary benefit involves mood elevation. Due to its ability to increase the levels of adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin in the brain, users often feel a positive change in their overall brain chemistry. This results in enhanced concentration, motivation, and focus, as well as increased productivity and decreased fatigue. In addition, Adderall does act as an effective appetite suppressant, which is why it is sometimes prescribed for off-label weight loss.

Recommended Dosage

Adderall should be taken exactly as it is prescribed by your physician. Dosages range from 5mg to 30mg in both an immediate release tablet and an extended-release capsule. The proper dosage is determined by the severity of symptoms, as well as body weight.

Side Effects

While there are a number of common side effects reported by adults who take Adderall, they tend to be mild and slowly go away with time. They include loss of appetite, difficulty falling and staying asleep, nervousness, headache, dizziness, stomach ache, and dry mouth.

In some cases, heart rate and blood pressure may increase and patients may experience heart palpitations. In rare cases, hallucinations or motor tics may occur. If you experience any of these side effects or signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling of your lips, tongue, throat, or face, seek emergency medical help immediately.

It is also important to understand that Adderall can be habit-forming. Chronic use has the potential to lead to abuse and dependence.

What Does Adderall Feel Like?

How Adderall makes you feel is largely dependent upon whether or not it is being taken for ADHD. Most users who have ADHD report feeling calmer and more relaxed, while also slowing down your thoughts. If you do not have ADHD, it can cause a feeling of euphoria. You may also feel as if your brain is in overdrive and also have an overwhelming desire to talk and work.


Adderall has been the focus of numerous studies. Recent studies include:

l Prescription Stimulants in Individuals With and Without ADHD: Misuse, Cognitive Impact, and Adverse Effects

l A Comparison of Ritalin and Adderall: Efficacy and Time-course in Children With ADHD

l Adderall is Definitely Not a Drug

l A Study of Adderall Use Among College Students: A New and Upcoming Trend

Adderall vs. Ritalin

Definitely two of the best-known medications for ADHD, Adderall and Ritalin are both central nervous system (CNS) stimulants that increase the activity dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which speeds up the transmission of chemical and electrical signals throughout the CNS. They are both available in immediate and extended release formulas and have similar side effects.

There are also a number of differences between Adderall and Ritalin. For example, Adderall increases the release of dopamine and norepinephrine by making the brain cells pump out more of the two neurotransmitters, while also prolonging their action. As a result, Adderall works for approximately 4 to 6 hours. Ritalin is unable to increase the release of the neurotransmitters, which means that it takes effect and reaches its peak performance more quickly than Adderall, but it only works for 2 to 3 hours at a time.

While Adderall is often preferred by individuals who need its benefits for extended periods of time, other people prefer Ritalin because it is shorter-acting and allows them to have better control of side effects, such as sleeplessness.

Adderall vs. Provigil

Provigil was approved in 1998 for the treatment of excessive sleepiness throughout the day. While Adderall works as described above, it is not completely known how Provigil works. It is believed to alter histamine, dopamine, other monoamines, and stimulate orexin receptors in the brain. While they are similar, Provigil isn’t really intended for ADHD, while Adderall isn’t really intended to treat excessive sleepiness. That being said, they are both commonly used off-label for these effects.

On an important note, Provigil does not have a high risk of addiction and abuse that Adderall does. Overall, Provigil tends to be thought of as safer for long-term treatment.

Legal Status

Labeled as a schedule II drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Adderall is a controlled substance that can only be obtained with a hardcopy prescription. It cannot be called in. It is illegal to sell or give away Adderall.

Final Thoughts: Should I Use It For My College Final Exams?

Overall, Adderall is a highly effective medication for the treatment of ADHD when it is taken as prescribed. However, it is also strongly linked to abuse and addiction, which are two serious side effects that should not be ignored by potential users.

Considered to be one of, if not the most abused prescription drugs in America, Adderall often gets a bad reputation. However, this doesn’t mean that it does not have numerous benefits for individuals who truly need it. The following takes an in-depth look at Adderall. Adderall does have its perks, however, and if its the difference between passing a class or getting your bachelor’s, it may be something worth looking into if you absolutely need a boost in a crunched timeline. Taking Adderall for finals may hurt you more than it helps you. Nootropics are a much safer alternative.

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