What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a medication used to stimulate chemicals in the central nervous system that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Adderall withdrawal typically consists of headache, tiredness, upset stomach, and extreme appetite. Depression is also a major factor. Adderall, aside from its use in ADHD, is also used to treat fatigue disorders in patients with MS or adults suffering from narcolepsy. Before Adderall and other medications like it were introduced, people who suffered from these conditions had to deal with the ramifications of the conditions. With the help of Adderall, adults and children can live normal lives.
In 1996, before Richwood Pharmaceuticals merged with Shire, introduced the current Adderall brand as an instant release tablet. In 2006, after the merger, Shire decided to sell the rights to the Adderall name for the instant release medication to DuraMed Pharmaceuticals. Later, DuraMed was bought out by Teva Pharmaceuticals and also acquired Barr Pharmaceuticals.
The first generic version of Adderall was put on the market in 2002. In 2009, an agreement was made allowing Barr to offer a generic version of the drug as well.
Today, Adderall can be prescribed in a variety of milligrams, in a rapid or extended release form, and either the name brand or generic brand can be purchased.
How To Use Adderall
How a patient uses Adderall depends on what their doctor prescribes. This medication is usually taken one to three times a day, with or without food. The first dose is often taken when the user wakes up. After that, it is taken every 4 to 6 hours. It is advised that Adderall is not taken too close to bedtime, as it can lead to insomnia. The dosage is often based on the patient’s medical condition and its severity. It the user does not take the medication according to the doctor’s instructions, either it will not be helpful in treating the condition, or they will abuse it, causing severe dependency issues.
Adderall Use For ADHD
Adderall is often given to children who suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children who suffer from this disorder often have problems concentrating. This can make them have serious difficulties in school. When they cannot concentrate, they cannot pay attention in class and they have difficulty learning. ADD and ADHD can also make it difficult for children to socialize and make friends. Adderall is given to help children with their focus and attention so that they can live a more normal and happy life. If the medication is not abused, withdrawal typically does not occur, however, it can still manifest if taken for an extremely long period of time.
Adderall has several benefits. The primary benefit is mood elevation. Some patients who take Adderall report feelings of euphoria. Adderall causes an increase in the levels of Dopamine, Serotonin, and Adrenaline in the brain. The increase in these levels can make users feel more focused and attentive. They also often have higher motivation and increased energy. There is some evidence that this drug can lead to an increase in the size of certain areas of the brain, which can help to control attention, focus, and motivation. Because Adderall contains amphetamines, it acts as an appetite suppressant, therefore, it is sometimes used for patients who are struggling with their weight.
Adderall comes in an oral tablet, oral capsule, or an extended release pill. The active ingredients in Adderall include Dextroamphetamine saccharate, Amphetamine Aspartate, Dextroamphetamine Sulfate, Amphetamine sulfate. To avoid Adderall withdrawal, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine should be supplemented, It nearly eliminates all withdrawal symptoms because it helps the brain improve its dopamine receptors much faster.
Like most medications, Adderall has side effects. Most of these side effects are minor and do not cause too many problems with a person’s everyday life. If the side effects become too much, it should be reported to the doctor. Some of the most common side effects reported include:
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased appetite
- Loss of interest in sex
There are also less common side effects, that are more serious. If a patient experiences any of these symptoms, they should contact their doctor or call 911 immediately. Some less common and more serious side effects include:
- Trouble breathing
- Changes in vision
- Fainting and dizzy spells
- Chest pain
- Severe weakness
- Numbness of the limbs
- Irregular heartbeat
- Severe skin rash
- Aggressive behavior
- Uncontrollable behavior
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Difficulty talking
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling of the face, lips, and tongue
- Uncontrollable movements or voice sounds
While there are only mild common side effects of Adderall, there are people who should not take this drug. It should be not taken if an adult or child has any of the following conditions:
- History of heart disease or hardening of the arteries
- Suffer from hypothyroidism
- Have moderate to severe high blood pressure
- Have a history of drug abuse
- Have anxiety
- Have a tendency of feeling tense or anxious
- Sensitivity or a history of allergic reactions to other stimulant medications
- Taking MAOI medications, or have done so within the past 14 days
- Suffer from glaucoma
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Not recommended for children under 3 years old
It is important that people who are taking Adderall regularly do not stop taking it without talking to a doctor first. It is important that they are weaned off of the medication. If a person stops taking the medication, they can suffer from depression, sleep disorders, such as insomnia, irritability, and extreme fatigue. When a person experiences these symptoms, they are said to be having an “Adderall crash”. Multiple Adderall crashes, on a regular basis, can lead to what doctors call “Adderall withdrawal,” and causes brain function to dramatically drop until both the drug is out of one’s system, and one’s receptors are entirely healed.
What Does Adderall Withdrawal Feel Like?
When a child takes Adderall, it can make it easier for them to sit still. They will be more focused on what is going on around them, whether it be a lecture given by a teacher or their favorite television show. When an adult takes Adderall, they will have much more energy than they did before they took the medication. They will also be more focused on whatever activity they are doing. Adults who take the medication report getting much more done at work while on the medication because they are more focused. When both adults and children take this medication, they will feel less hungry. Adderall withdrawal, however (and most drug withdrawals for that matter) is the exact opposite of this. Withdrawal consists of headache, depression, sluggishness, and increased appetite.
Some people who take Adderall report a feeling of euphoria when they take the medication. This is what can lead to dependency and addiction.
Studies have shown that Adderall can take a child who is unable to sit still, concentrate, and socialize, and make them more focused. Studies have also been conducted on adults with fatigue issues caused by Multiple Sclerosis and narcolepsy. The studies showed that the majority of people who suffer from these conditions showed a significant improvement.
During the initial adult study, participants who were overweight or obese lost a great deal of weight, due to the side effect of Adderall, which suppresses the appetite.
Adderall vs Provigil
Adderall was introduced in 1996 to treat ADD, ADHD, and fatigue disorders. Provigil was approved in 1998 for the treatment of daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. Since then, the FDA has also approved it for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder. Provigil is superior in regards to promoting vigilance, hence its name. Adderall is regarded as superior for treating ADD and ADHD. While only Adderall is used off label for appetite suppression and weight control, both medications are used off label for cognitive enhancement by business executives and college students. Provigil alters dopamine and histamine and stimulates orexin receptors. Adderall increases dopamine and norepinephrine by inhibiting the reuptake.
Many people believe that Provigil is the safer choice for long term use because abuse and dependency are not as common as they are in Adderall.
Adderall vs Ritalin
Adderall and Ritalin are similar in the sense that they are both are central nervous system stimulants, therefore, they are prescribed to treat many of the same conditions. They both speed up the transmission of chemical and electrical systems in the central nervous system. Adderall is considered more addictive than Ritalin, however, Ritalin is known to have more adverse side effects. Because Ritalin causes a faster drop off, it can make the side effects that much more serious. This is not an issue with Adderall. As Adderall begins to wear off, it happens much easier and smoother, creating fewer problems with side effects.
Adderall’s Legal Status
Adderall is legal as long as you possess it with a prescription from a doctor. Legally, Adderall is not considered a narcotic. A drug is considered a narcotic only when it binds to the opiate receptors of the brain. Adderall does not fit this description. It is considered a controlled medication. This is because Adderall is addictive, and has the potential for abuse when it is not used according to a doctor’s prescription.
Just because Adderall is not considered a narcotic, it is still illegal for someone to use it if they do not have a prescription from their doctor. If a person is caught in possession of the medication without a valid prescription, they can be arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Children who suffer from ADD and ADHD have it rough. They struggle to concentrate in school, making it difficult for them to learn. Because both of these conditions make it difficult for children to sit still and focus, they get labeled as being a discipline problem in school. This can lead to further academic difficulties. At home, these conditions can make life just as difficult for children as they do in school. Doing something as sitting down with the family to watch a television show can be difficult because they cannot sit still and they cannot concentrate. When a child with either of these conditions begins taking Adderall, it can create major changes in their life. After starting the medication, their behavior, grades, and social skills all improve. At home, they are much calmer and can be a part of the family again.
As they get older, many children stay on the medication, because it helps them concentrate and study in school and in college.
When a person has a fatigue disorder, such as Multiple Sclerosis or narcolepsy, staying awake all day can be very difficult. This can make things like going to work, running errands, and even cleaning the house difficult. Adderall makes it possible for these people to stay awake during the day, resulting in a more productive life.
For many people, Adderall is a tool to help them live a more normal and productive life.