Adderall XR

Adderall XR treats symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This medication can cause a loss of appetite and cause difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

Adderall XR Overview

Reviewed: November 5, 2014

Adderall XR is a prescription medication used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Adderall XR belongs to a group of drugs called centrally acting sympathomimetics.  These work by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain.  

This medication comes in an extended-release (long-acting) capsule to take by mouth. The extended-release capsule is usually taken once daily in the morning with or without food.  Swallow Adderall XR capsules whole; do not chew or crush them.

Common side effects of Adderall XR include loss of appetite, headache, and trouble sleeping. Adderall XR can also cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how Adderall XR affects you.

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Adderall XR Cautionary Labels


Uses of Adderall XR

Adderall XR is a prescription medication used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) for children ages 6 and older and adults.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Adderall XR Drug Class

Adderall XR is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Adderall XR

Serious side effects have been reported with Adderall XR.  See the "Adderall XR Precautions" section.

Common side effects of Adderall XR include the following:

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth

This is not a complete list of Adderall XR side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Adderall XR Interactions

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:

  • Acidifying agents such guanethidine, reserpine, glutamic acid HCl, ascorbic acid, and fruit juices 
  • Urinary acidifying agents such as ammonium chloride and sodium acid phosphate 
  • Adrenergic blockers
  • Gastrointestinal alkalizing agents such as sodium carbonate and urinary alkalizing agents such as acetazolamide
  • tricyclic antidepressants such as trimipramine (Surmontil), amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl), protriptyline (Vivactil), and clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar), isocarboxazid (Marplan), and rasagiline (Azilect)
  • Antihistamines
  • Antihypertensives
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Haloperidol
  • Ethosuximide
  • Lithium
  • Meperedine
  • Methenamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Propoxyphene
  • medications that reduce the acid level in your stomach such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex), cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid), ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Veratrum alkaloids

This is not a complete list of Adderall XR drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Adderall XR Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Adderall XR including the following:

  • Serious Cardiovascular Events. Inform your doctor if you have any heart problems. Stroke, heart attack, and sudden death have been reported in patients with serious structural heart and rhythm problems. 
  • Hypertension (increased blood pressure)
  • Psychosis. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of psychosis:
    • Thoughts and speech are unorganized
    • Experience beliefs that are not based in reality 
    • Hear, see, or feel things that are not there
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • Seizures
  • Vision Disturbances. Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
    • Difficulty focusing eyes
    • Blurred vision

Do not take Adderall XR if you

  • ​are allergic to Adderall XR or to any of its ingredients.
  • are allergic to other stimulant medications such as benzphetamine (Didrex),lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), or methamphetamine (Desoxyn).
  • have advanced heart disease.
  • have been told that you have moderate to severe high blood pressure. 
  • have glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease that damages a major nerve in your eye. Notify your doctor if you have vision problems.
  • have a history of drug abuse.
  • have problems with aggressive behavior.

Adderall XR Food Interactions

Fruit juices may interact with Adderall XR by lowering absorption of the medication. Discuss the consumption of fruit juices with your doctor.

Large amounts of beverages containing caffeine (coffee, tea, colas), eating large amounts of chocolate, or taking over-the-counter products that contain caffeine can increase the side effects of this medication. Discuss consumption of caffeine-containing products with your doctor.

Inform MD

Before taking Adderall XR, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, other stimulant medications such as benzphetamine (Didrex), lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), or methamphetamine (Desoxyn).
  • tell your doctor what nutritional supplements you are taking, especially glutamic acid (L-glutamine).
  • have glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye that may cause vision loss),
  • have hyperthyroidism (condition in which there is too much thyroid hormone in the body)
  • have feelings of anxiety, tension, or agitation. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take dextroamphetamine and amphetamine.
  • have recently had a heart attack and if you have or have ever had a heart defect, high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, hardening of the arteries, heart or blood vessel disease, or other heart problems.
  • Anyone in your family has or has ever had an irregular heartbeat or has died suddenly.
  • have or have ever had mental illness, seizures, an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG; a test that measures electrical activity in the brain)
  • anyone in your family has or has ever had depression, bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited), or mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood), motor tics (repeated uncontrollable movements), verbal tics (repetition of sounds or words that is hard to control), or Tourette's syndrome (a condition characterized by the need to perform repeated motions or to repeat sounds or words), or has thought about or attempted suicide.
  • have liver or kidney disease.
  • are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking Adderall XR, call your doctor.
  • are 65 years of age or older, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Adderall XR and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Adderall XR falls into category C. There are no well-controlled studies that have been done in pregnant women. Adderall XR should be used during pregnancy only if the possible benefit outweighs the possible risk to the unborn baby.

Adderall XR and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Adderall XR has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from Adderall XR, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Adderall XR Usage

Take Adderall XR exactly as prescribed.

Adderall XR comes in an extended-release (long-acting) capsule form to take by mouth. Adderall XR is usually taken once daily in the morning with or without food. Do not chew, divide, or break Adderall XR capsules. Swallow capsules whole.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Adderall XR at the same time.

Adderall XR Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your age

Children 6-12 years of age:

The recommended starting dose of Adderall XR (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) is 10 mg once daily in the morning. The maximum daily dose is 30 mg/day. Adolescents 13-17 years of age:

The recommended starting dose for adolescents of Adderall XR (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) for ADHD is 10 mg/day. The dose may be increased to 20 mg/day after one week if ADHD symptoms are not adequately controlled.


The recommended dose of Adderall XR (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) in adults with ADHD is 20 mg/day.


Adderall XR Overdose

If you take too much Adderall XR, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If Adderall XR is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store Adderall XR in a tight, light-resistant container.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.