Adderall and ADHD: Is Adderall the most prescribed medicine for ADHD?

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Adderall and ADHD

What is ADHD, and how can we treat it?

Adderall is a medicine that the general public is talking about. But before getting into the pros and cons of medicine, let’s take a look at what condition Adderall exactly treats. ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a medical condition in which a person has differences in brain development and activity that affect self-control, attention, and the ability to sit still.

Visible effects of ADHD

ADHD produces several adverse effects in a person that disrupts both personal and professional relationships. Some visible effects of ADHD include:

Diagnosis of ADHD
Diagnosis of ADHD
    • Distractibility or poor sustained attention
    • Impulsivity or impaired control of impulse
    • Hyperactivity or excessive physical restlessness
    • Low self-esteem
    • Social anxiety leading to anxiety disorder
    • Depression
    • Self-harming or self-mutilation behaviors

ADHD is a hyperactive, impulsive disorder. It is treatable through central nervous system stimulants such as amphetamine-based stimulants (Adderall, Dextrostat), dextroamphetamine (Desoxyn), methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concentra). In the United States, Adderall and Ritalin are the first-line treatment options for ADHD. Adderall is one of the most widely prescribed medications, with over 17 million prescriptions in the year 2016 in America.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription medication containing four different salts of amphetamine. It is a central nervous system stimulant helpful in the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sleep disorders. People also use Adderall as a cognitive enhancer and an athletic performance enhancer. It helps increase attention and reduce hyperactivity and impulsiveness in patients with ADHD.

ADHD Statistics
ADHD Statistics

Doctors may prescribe Adderall as a part of a complete treatment plan that includes counseling and other therapies.

Ingredients of Adderall:

Active ingredients: amphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, dextroamphetamine saccharate.

Inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, lactitol, magnesium stearate, colloidal silicon dioxide, and other components.

What are the daily dosages of Adderall?

Doctors should prescribe amphetamine medications like Adderall at the minimum beneficial dosages, and individually set the dosage regime adjusting to therapeutic needs and response of each patient.

Adderall is a short-term medication. Clinical researches have no evidence of its effectiveness in the long term. Carefully reassess its benefits periodically while taking medicine for a more extended period.

Avoid taking late evening or night doses of Adderall as it can cause difficulty sleeping or insomnia.

How ADHD affects the brain
How ADHD affects the brain

Adderall is not recommendable for children below 3 years of age. For children between 3-5 years, initiate the dose with 2.5 mg per day, raising the dosage at weekly intervals with 2.5 mg.

In children of 6 years and older, initiate with 5 mg given one or two times a day, raising the dosage at weekly intervals with 5 mg. The usual maximum daily dosage is 40 mg.

What are the available strengths of Adderall?

Adderall 5 mg: round, flat-faced, white-colored tablets, with an imprint of strength “5” on one side with a partial bisect and “AD” on the other side

Adderall 7.5 mg: oval, convex, blue-colored tablet, with an imprint of strength “7.5” on one side with a partial bisect and “AD” on the other side with a full and partial bisect

Adderall 10 mg: round, convex, blue-colored tablets, with an imprint of strength “10” on one side with a complete and partial bisect and “AD” on the other side

Adderall 12.5 mg: round, flat-faced, orange-colored tablets, with an imprint of strength “5” on one side and “AD” on the other side with a full and partial bisect

Adderall 15 mg: oval, convex, orange-colored tablet, with an imprint of strength “15” on one side with a partial bisect and “AD” on the other side with a full and partial bisect

Adderall 20 mg: round, convex, orange-colored tablets, with an imprint of strength “20” on one side with a full and partial bisect and “AD” on the other side

Adderall 30 mg: round, flat-faced, orange-colored tablet, with an imprint of the strength “30” on one side with a full and partial bisect and “AD” on the other side

What are the unwanted effects of Adderall?

There are some unwanted effects associated with the use of Adderall:

    • Palpitations
    • Tachycardia
    • Hypotension
    • Myocardial infarction
    • Restlessness or irritability
    • Euphoria
    • Tremors
    • Depression
    • Aggression
    • Blurred vision
    • Dry mouth
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Gastrointestinal disturbances
    • Urticaria
    • Anaphylaxis
    • Impotence

What precautions do we need to take while on Adderall treatment?

Follow the below precautions while taking Adderall:

    • Take the least amount of amphetamines to minimize the possibility of overdose
    • Amphetamine, like Adderall, exacerbates phonic or motor tics and Tourette’s syndrome. Therefore, clinically evaluate these conditions before taking Adderall.
    • Adderall impairs the ability to perform potentially hazardous activities. Be cautious about doing such activities while on the medication.
    • It is essential to read the medication guide first before starting the treatment with Adderall.
    • Raynaud’s phenomenon can occur at the beginning of the treatment. Circulation problems may develop in fingers and toes. Patients should report any new pain, numbness, temperature sensitivity in fingers or toes, and change in skin color.
    • Infants born to mothers taking long term Adderall treatment have a risk of premature delivery and low birth weight. They may also experience withdrawal symptoms such as dysphoria, significant lassitude, and agitation.
    • Adderall has amphetamines which excreted in human milk. Mother taking Adderall should not nurse their babies.

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