Adderall is a commonly used ADHD medication. It belongs to a group of medicines called stimulants. Stimulants are the most commonly prescribed drugs for treating ADHD (also known as ADD), and they are effective for many kids with ADHD.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a drug that has been used to treat ADHD since 1996. Like all psychostimulants, it works by improving communication between certain parts of the brain.
Learn how ADHD medicine works in the brain.
Adderall is different from other common stimulant brands. This psychostimulant contains amphetamines, while brands like Concerta and Ritalin are methylphenidate psychostimulants.
Adderall side effects
Adderall has the same possible side effects as all other stimulant medications. The most common are decreased appetite and difficulty falling asleep. Other less common side effects include stomach pain and nausea. Side effects can be more pronounced with the long-acting form called Adderall XR, especially if taken on an empty stomach.
Other side effects are less common. These include:
- Irritability and bad mood
If your child experiences side effects, your doctor may recommend adjusting the dose or changing the medication. This is especially true if your child experiences rare side effects.
Dosage and directions for taking Adderall
Adderall is a short-acting drug that lasts for 4 to 6 hours. There is also the extended-release preparation under the name Adderall XR. Time-release means it is released into the body slowly throughout the day. Its effect on children can last from 6 to 10 hours.
Adderall is available in seven strengths: 5 mg; 7.5 mg; 10 mg; 12.5 mg; 15 mg; 20 mg and 30 mg. Guys usually take it twice a day. When they are at school they usually go to the infirmary to get their second dose.
Adderall XR comes in five strengths: 5 mg; 10 mg; 15 mg; 20 mg and 30 mg. The extended-release version usually stays in the body for up to 10 hours. Therefore, some guys only need one dose once a day.
The duration of its effect depends on the particular metabolism of each individual. Some need to take a short-acting “booster” dose toward the end of the day. Taking a booster dose is not unusual for high school students studying at night.
Adderall XR comes in capsule form and can be swallowed whole. You can also open the capsule and spread the content on food, such as yogurt.
Common Questions From Parents About Adderall
Adderall is a drug that has generated controversy in recent years. If you are considering it for your child’s treatment, you may have questions about how it works and how it might affect your child. Here are the answers to common questions parents ask about Adderall.
What is the generic name of Adderall?
Adderall is a combination of two stimulants: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Its generic name is dextroamphetamine-amphetamine, but in the prescription, it could be abbreviated to “mixture of amphetamine salts” or MAS.
Is Adderall Addictive? Is there a danger of abuse?
It seems that Adderall is more present in pop culture than other ADHD medications. It has been the subject of recent books and movies that claim it can be addictive or increase the risk of abuse.
There is research that reports that Adderall is not addictive or increases the risk of abuse, as long as the dose prescribed by the doctor is taken. There are even those who claim that those who take Adderall in the prescribed dosage have less danger of abusing the drug.
However, the fact that amphetamines improve attention and concentration in all people, and not just in those with ADHD, increases the likelihood that they will be misused. For example, high school and college students who use them to study. They may also be used by people who have other addictions.
Like all stimulant medications, Adderall is a controlled substance. That means there are restrictions to reduce your potential for abuse and addiction. For example, prescribers can only do so once a month.