Adderall Review: Is It Safe and Effective?

AdderallXR8Adderall is a prescription medicine that is prescribed to treat symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Adderall is the brand name for the generic prescription drug amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The tablet is available in several different dosage amounts. Depending on the dosage and an individual’s specific needs, the tablet may be taken several times per day or once as an extended release tablet.

 

Is Adderall Safe? Who Should NOT Take Adderall?

When taken under doctor supervision for the treatment of ADHD or narcolepsy, Adderall is safe to take. However, there are some pre-existing health conditions that may contraindicate the safe use of Adderall.

You should not take Adderall if you have glaucoma, an overactive thyroid, moderate to severe high blood pressure, heart disease or coronary artery disease, or have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. Since Adderall may be habit forming, you should not take Adderall if you have a history of drug abuse or addiction. Talk to your doctor if you have been diagnosed or experienced in the past any of the following: depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, suicidal thoughts/action, seizures/epilepsy, an abnormal brain wave test, and/or blood circulation problems in the hands or feet.

It is not known whether Adderall can harm an unborn baby. The medication is associated with a lower birth rate and withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby. Talk to your doctor if you become pregnant or are considering pregnancy.

The Science Behind Adderall: Does Adderall Work?

Adderall is made from two active ingredients, dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. These ingredients alter the levels of naturally occurring chemicals in the brain. It also increases the level of dopamine. Higher dopamine levels bring a calming sensation to the brain, enhancing focus. Adderall’s chemical structure is similar to stimulants including the recreational drugs MDMA (ecstasy) and certain neurotransmitters produced naturally by the brain, including dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Normally, dopamine functions along the brain’s reward and pleasure pathways. Epinephrine (better known as adrenaline) contributes to the rush we feel when we are nervous or excited. Adderall works by flooding the brain with these chemicals, “leaving us feeling alert, euphoric and ready for anything,” reports Columbia Science Review.

Adderall may be habit forming. For this reason, it is essential to only use the medicine in accordance with your doctor’s prescription. It should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance, and has a high risk of dependency similar to cocaine, opium, oxycodone and methamphetamine should the drug be abused. Adderall should not be taken recreationally without a doctor’s supervision and prescription.

Adderall Side Effects: What Should I Expect?

The most common side effects associated with Adderall are restlessness, nervousness, headache, difficulty falling or staying asleep, and uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body. Dry mouth, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss are also common side effects.

In rare cases, some side effects are considered by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to be severe and require immediate medical attention. Severe side effects include the following:

  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Slow or difficult speech
  • Weakness or numbness in the arm or leg
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Seizures
  • Motor tics or verbal tics
  • Hallucinating
  • Mania (frenzied or abnormally excited mood)
  • Aggressive or hostile behavior
  • Blurred vision
  • Fever

In rare cases, Adderall may also trigger an allergic reaction. Immediate medical attention may be necessary; contact your doctor. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include the following:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, and/or throat
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Hoarseness

How Can I Better Manage Adderall Side Effects?

If you struggle with the symptoms of ADHD, Adderall can be truly life changing, putting you in control of your symptoms. For adults with ADHD, Adderall can give you the ability to clearly focus on tasks and stay present during conversations. Some side effects like nausea or loss of appetite can be frustrating to experience, however. Learning how to manage these side effects can make it easier to take Adderall. Here’s how to better manage some of the most common Adderall symptoms:

  1. Nausea. Take medicine with food to reduce feelings of nausea. If you need to take your breakfast in the morning, be sure to take it with food, even if you’re not a “breakfast person”.
  2. Loss of appetite. Some stimulant-based medications, like Adderall, can suppress appetite. Even if you do not feel hungry, it is still important to eat regular, balanced meals, since skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar. Protein shakes are one easy option for getting more nutrients throughout the day. Stick to a consistent schedule of small, balanced meals.
  3. Headaches. Taking Adderall on an empty stomach may increase the risk for headaches. If you get headaches with Adderall, take the drug on a full stomach or with food. Be sure that you stay hydrated. If you experience headaches as the drug wears off, talk to your doctor about balancing your dose.
  4. Dizziness. Feeling dizzy after taking Adderall may be a sign that you’re taking too much medication. Talk to your doctor about your dose. Your doctor may also wish to check your blood pressure.
  5. Difficulty sleeping. Since Adderall is a stimulant, this drug may also make it more difficult to fall asleep if you take it too close to bedtime. Take your medication earlier in the day or try a shorter-acting medication that will fade before bedtime. Avoid caffeine close to bedtime as this can make it more difficult to sleep
  6. Tics. Some Adderall users report the occurrence of a tic. While Adderall itself does not cause the tic, it may bring out an underlying tic that has not been evident since childhood. The tic typically fades with time. Talk to your doctor of it does not go away.

Adderall Review Conclusion

When taken under a doctor’s supervision, Adderall is a safe and effective medication for managing ADHD symptoms and narcolepsy. Short-term side effects associated with Adderall are manageable. However, keep in mind that potential long-term side effects are not yet known.

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