Adderall (generic: amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) is a prescription medicine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. It contains two medications, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The exact way it works for ADHD and narcolepsy is unknown, but it is thought to work by changing the amounts of natural substances in the brain.
Adderall comes in tablet form and is usually taken twice daily. It is also available as an extended-release capsule (Adderall XR) that is usually taken by mouth once in the morning.
Common side effects of Adderall include headache, decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, and nervousness.
Adderall is a prescription medicine used to treat:
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- narcolepsy (a sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep)
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Adderall may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- changes in sex drive or ability
- dry mouth
- stomach pain
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- fast or pounding heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- excessive tiredness
- slow or difficult speech
- dizziness or faintness
- weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
- motor tics or verbal tics
- believing things that are not true
- feeling unusually suspicious of others
- hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- mania (frenzied or abnormally excited mood)
- aggressive or hostile behavior
- changes in vision or blurred vision
- blistering or peeling skin
- swelling of the eyes, face, tongue, or throat
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
Adderall may cause sudden death in children and teenagers, especially children and teenagers who have heart defects or serious heart problems. This medication also may cause sudden death, heart attack, or stroke in adults, especially adults with heart defects or serious heart problems. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Adderall may slow children's growth or weight gain. Your child's doctor will watch his or her growth carefully. Talk to your child's doctor if you have concerns about your child's growth or weight gain while he or she is taking this medication. Talk to your child's doctor about the risks of giving Adderall to your child.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- acetazolamide (Diamox)
- alpha blockers such as alfuzosin (Uroxatral), doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), tamsulosin (Flomax), and terazosin (Hytrin)
- antacids and other medications for heartburn or ulcers
- antidepressants ('mood elevators')
- anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin)
- antihistamines (medications for colds and allergies)
- ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
- beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal)
- chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
- diuretics ('water pills')
- guanethidine (Ismelin)
- haloperidol (Haldol)
- lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith)
- MAO inhibitors including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- medications for high blood pressure
- certain medications for seizures such as ethosuximide (Zarontin), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), and phenytoin (Dilantin)
- meperidine (Demerol);
- methenamine (Hiprex, Urex)
- propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvon-N)
- reserpine (Serpalan)
- sodium bicarbonate (Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, Soda Mint)
- sodium phosphate
This is not a complete list of Adderall drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Do not take Adderall if you are allergic to amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, other stimulant medications such as benzphetamine (Didrex), lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), or methamphetamine (Desoxyn).
Adults over 65 should not usually take Adderall because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or perform activities that require alertness, until you know how this medication affects you.
Talk to your doctor about drinking fruit juice or taking vitamin C while taking Adderall. These can make your body absorb less of this medicine.
Before you receive Adderall, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions including if you have:
- heart problems (irregular heartbeat, recent heart attack, heart defect, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries or other heart problems)
- bipolar disorder
- motor tics
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you have recently taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor.
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Adderall, amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, other stimulant medicines, or any other medicine.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Tell your doctor if you are over 65.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Adderall will harm your unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. It is not known if Adderall is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your baby.
Adderall comes as a tablet or extended-release capsule to be taken by mouth, with or without food. Because it is a stimulant, Adderall doses should be taken early in the morning, if possible, so you do not have trouble sleeping at night. If you are prescribed more than one daily dose, take the second dose 4 to 6 hours after the morning dose.
If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses at once.
Take Adderall exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription bottle. Your doctor will determine the best Adderall dose for you based on your age, the condition being treated, other medical conditions you have, other medicines you take, and how you respond to the medicine.
For the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the total daily dose of Adderall may be as high as 40 mg. Your doctor may start you on a low dose and gradually increase the dose as necessary.
For the treatment of narcolepsy, the total daily dose ranges between 5 mg and 60 mg.
If you take too much Adderall contact your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.
Adderall tablets are available in the following strengths: 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg. 12.5 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg and 30 mg. Each tablet contains equal amounts of the active ingredients dextroamphetamine saccharate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, and amphetamine sulfate.
Adderall XR (extended-release) capsules are available in the following strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg, and 30 mg. Each capsule contains equal amounts of the active ingredients dextroamphetamine saccharate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, and amphetamine sulfate.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature, away from light and excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
AMPHETAMINES HAVE A HIGH POTENTIAL FOR ABUSE.
ADMINISTRATION OF AMPHETAMINES FOR PROLONGED PERIODS OF TIME MAY LEAD TO DRUG DEPENDENCE AND MUST BE AVOIDED.
PARTICULAR ATTENTION SHOULD BE PAID TO THE POSSIBILITY OF SUBJECTS OBTAINING AMPHETAMINES FOR NON-THERAPEUTIC USE OR DISTRIBUTION TO OTHERS, AND THE DRUGS SHOULD BE PRESCRIBED OR DISPENSED SPARINGLY.
MISUSE OF AMPHETAMINE MAY CAUSE SUDDEN DEATH AND SERIOUS CARDIOVASCULAR ADVERSE EVENTS.