What is Adderall?
Adderall is a drug that comprises of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. These two compounds stimulate the central nervous system. They have an impact on the chemicals in the brain and nerves that control impulse and hyperactivity. Adderall cures attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. However, these are not the only conditions that this drug treats. One of the challenges with Adderall is that it is addictive. Someone with a history of drug abuse or dependency should stay away from it. Misuse of this drug can result in severe side effects or even death. The use of Adderall for studying for major tests and exams is becoming a very common, and unfortunately, a growing problem. Adderall is typically used for studying by college students looking for a last-minute boost around exam time.
This drug does not work well with individuals who have the following conditions:
- High or low blood pressure
- Heart-related ailments or family history with such conditions
- Intense typhoid
- Severe depression, anxiety, psychosis, and bipolar disorder
- Muscle twitches
- Epilepsy or seizures
There are detailed studies on the effects of this drug on the unborn and it can cause low birth weight, premature birth and withdrawal symptoms in the child.
Adderall is a drug from Richwood Pharmaceuticals which is now part of Shire Plc. Adderall first came to life as an instant-release tablet in 1996. Shire then sold its patented name, Adderall, to Duramed Pharmaceuticals.
Additionally, Teva Pharmaceuticals acquired DuraMed Pharmaceuticals in 2008 as part of the acquisition of Barr Pharmaceuticals.
Moreover, Adderall has been available in the market since 2002. Barr and Shire agreed to let Barr present the original drug in the market from 2009.
Use For ADHD
Adderall treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It treats the symptoms related to social and psychological difficulties. It further enhances the ability to concentrate, focus and be attentive. This combination medication is used to treat ADHD as part of a total treatment plan, including psychological, social, and other treatments. It may help to cease twiddling.
Adderall is also a stimulant. It restores the balance of the neurotransmitters in the brain. In addition, it treats the condition of excessive sleepiness. This drug is not good for use in treating fatigue or to delay sleep in normal people.
How To Use Adderall
There are instructions that come with this drug and it helps to read them first. Also, check on the instructions each time you get a refill. The doctor or pharmacist can also provide clarification where needed.
This drug is a tablet and it is administered through the mouth. It can be taken during, before or after meals but do follow the doctor’s instructions on this. The usual intake is one tablet, three times a day. Take the first dose when you wake up and the others as the doctor directs.
The usual interval between intakes is about six hours. Do not take it late in the night because it results in lack of sleep. The dosage prescribed also depends on the condition and response to the drug which the doctor can vary as appropriate.
Adderall treats ADHD and depression. It does this by increases the level of dopamine while conquering epinephrine levels. It increases concentration, alertness, enhances cognitive functions, and mood. Adderall further lessens exhaustion, and it is at times abused to serve as a stimulant. Specific beneficial uses of Adderall include:
- Treating narcolepsy
Adderall reduces hallucinations and excess sleepiness. The condition of excessive sleepiness is called narcolepsy and it causes hallucinations.
- Repressing ADHD
ADHD has symptoms such as poor concentration, and inactivity. This condition gets worse with time and affects social interactions. Adderall, therefore, causes hyperactivity through increasing dopamine levels in the brain. It acts as a sedative.
- Other Uses
This medication may also be prescribed for depression. The doctor can advise on the good and bad of using this drug. Further, only take the required dosage for positive output. The benefits of Adderall for studying typically include increased focus, energy, memory, and subtle euphoria.
Adderall is a prescription drug and the doctor provides instructions on how to take it. Follow the doctor’s instructions to the letter. There are serious repercussions of diverting from the required dosage.
It also helps to get more information from medical guides, instruction sheets, and patient information. The doctor or pharmacist can further assist you with answers on what you need to know.
The doctor can at times change the dosage to ensure it works optimally for you. Ensure that you only take the dose for the prescribed period and amount. Do not increase or lessen the dosage. It is also an offense to share or sell your drugs.
You can take Adderall with or without food. It is more effective when consumed in the morning. While taking, swallow the capsule as it is and do not break, crush, chew or open it.
Normally, the dosage ranges from 2.5 to 10 milligrams depending on the age of the patient. The normal upper limit for intake is 20 milligrams. The typical dosage of Adderall used for studying is at therapeutic levels and ranges from 10-60mg per day. However, often times Adderall is abused, and as such doses can get much higher (the route of administration can also change to snorting, as it very often does).
Adderall has several side effects. It is crucial to seek professional help when you experience these side effects. Severe allergic reactions such as swelling on the face, tongue, lips, and throat and difficulty breathing require immediate medical attention. Adderall is very common in use for studying.
Discontinue using this drug and seek medical assistance if you experience any of the following side effects:
- Aggression or hostility
- Hallucination and paranoia
- Difficult breathing
- Chest pain
- Pain, change in skin color and numbness
- Deteriorating vision
- Muscle twitching, muscle pain, weakness or tenderness
- Dark urine
Other common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Poor appetite
- Irregular heartbeat
- Irritability or mood swings
There are other side effects that may occur and you need to consult your doctor on how to proceed.
What Does Adderall Feel Like?
Adderall has acceptable effects on the body. It negates the effects of ADHD. It boosts alertness, invigorates the body and increases attention. It also makes the body to feel more energetic. Overall, it has similar feelings to cocaine.
Adderall also suppresses appetite, causes irritation and restlessness. It makes the body feel more awake.
An overdose of this drug results in hyperactivity and deep invigoration just like cocaine. Additionally, it causes feelings of elation. The negative feelings set in when the positive ones fade. There may also be a combination of exhaustion and depression.
Studies present Adderall as a stimulant that helps to boost the body’s energy level. It cures narcolepsy and ADHD by stimulating the operation of the brain. Most of these studies portray this drug as a booster of focus, concentration, and recollection.
A few studies, however, dispute the ability of Adderall to increase the capability of the brain. An example is a research study from the University of Pennsylvania. According to this research, Adderall does not improve their cognitive abilities. It only made the subjects think that they did.
Adderall vs Ritalin
Ritalin has more severe side effects in comparison to Adderall. In contrast, Adderall creates more dependency than Ritalin in the long run. These two are psychostimulant used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD. Ritalin however further treats postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.
Adderall is more popular in the market than Ritalin. Adderall is made from a combination of amphetamine salts: levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine, while Ritalin is made from methylphenidate.
Adderall and Ritalin are prescription-only drugs in the United States while Adderall is a Schedule I drug in Canada and Ritalin is a Schedule III drug.
These two drugs are prescribed for individuals with depression and obesity. Shire manufactures Adderall while Novartis manufactures Ritalin.
These two should not be taken during pregnancy or with other antidepressants. They are also oral drugs. Adderall can further be administered insufflated or intravenous while Ritalin trans-dermal.
Adderall vs Provigil
Adderall and Provigil are enhancement drugs that help with wakefulness, motivation, and focus. They both treat individuals with ADHD, narcolepsy and cerebral related complications.
Among the two, only Adderall is sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration. Psychiatrists use Provigil off-label for these treatments.
The exact way of operation for these two is unknown. However, they both have an impact on the operation of the brain. The impact varies from one person to the other. The overall effect is mainly on focus, productivity, and mood.
Provigil and Adderall increase concentration but Provigil works through increasing the brain operation and therefore increases energy in the body.
They both have low to severe side effects but it is only Adderall that is likely to result in addiction.
All around the world, this drug is classified differently. Canada considers this drug as a Schedule I drug in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. It is therefore only obtainable through prescription and is in the amphetamines category.
South Korea bans amphetamines and therefore does not permit the use of this drug. It is also a Type 1 Narcotics in Thailand.
Japan prohibits the use, import or production of amphetamine. The United States classifies amphetamine as a Schedule II of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. In addition, this is how the United Nations and most other countries classify Adderall.
The United Kingdom considers amphetamines as Class B medication. They are therefore not allowed and attract a maximum penalty of five years for unauthorized possession which goes with an unlimited fine. Illegal distribution of this drug attracts 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine.
Adderall is generally more beneficial to patients with narcolepsy and ADHD. To normal individuals, the benefits versus the negatives can be argued either way.
There are also individuals who should not take this drug because of their current medical condition. These individuals include those with high blood pressure, history of drug abuse or heart conditions. It also does not work with other stimulants.
Adderall is a useful drug but its side effects cannot be ignored. It is also paramount to consider the legal status of the drug before using it in a different location. It is permissible in some countries while prohibited in others. While using Adderall for studying off-label is generally a bad idea, if taking it means the difference between failing and passing……then well….that’s a decision I leave to you.