Adderall is a prescription medication that was specifically designed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is a stimulant medication and has been shown to help people who have ADHD focus and stay on task, as well as assist those with narcolepsy to stay awake during the day.
Recently about seven years ago, my youngest son and I were both diagnosed with ADHD. I am a writer, and he is a grade school student. I particularly have a hard time staying on track, especially with writing. I have a hard time sitting for too long, so I try to take breaks to get up and stretch my body. Although, I have to admit that I have been considering possibly starting medication as I feel like I could do better for my company if I could stay focused longer. But then again, I also struggle with perfectionism, so there’s that to consider!
My son struggles with staying on task too, but also with being easily distracted/distractable while the teacher is talking, and he should be listening. This has caused many uncomfortable times for him, and it also affects his grades because he is in a rush.
Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, two central nervous stimulants that improve focus and reduce impulsivity by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Adderall in 1996.
Below are some common questions to ask yourself when considering this medication or those like it.
What is Adderall and its effects on the body?
As described above, Adderall is a stimulant that affects the chemicals in the brain which contribute to hyperactivity and impulsivity.
It is available both in immediate-release as well as extended-release forms. The immediate-release form is usually taken two to three times a day, whereas the extended-release version is only taken once a day.
Adderall can definitely be habit-forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Because addiction runs in my family and my son’s father’s family, we are concerned about the risk of addiction. It is highly suggested to always contact your doctor or team of doctors to determine whether or not you are a good candidate.
Stop in and speak with your pharmacist for more information about Adderall. After doing the proper research, meeting with your doctor and getting the prescription, visit an online pharmacy for secure delivery and possibly financial assistance in obtaining the medication you need.
How does Adderall work, and how long does it stay in your system?
The effects of Adderall typically last for four to six hours, although the exact duration may vary depending on individual factors. The drug is eliminated from the body through urine and has a half-life of about 10 hours. Therefore, it takes approximately five half-lives for Adderall to flush from the system thoroughly. This process may take up to two weeks for people who take the extended-release formulation.
What are the risks associated with taking Adderall?
As mentioned, Adderall is a potent medication which could potentially cause serious side effects. Possible side effects of Adderall include weight loss, insomnia, and dry mouth. The most common side effects include headaches, dry mouth, and stomach issues. However, the drug can also lead to more severe problems, such as heart problems, mental health issues, and addiction. One of my oldest and dearest friends has ADD and she takes Adderall. She struggles with insomnia, headaches, stomach issues, and dry mouth. But she also just went through extensive chemotherapy, radiation, and aftercare cancer drug therapies which can wreck a digestive track. Recently, she went off all her meds and is currently adding them back in, one by one as an experiment to see what works, what doesn’t, and what causes what side effects. Girl has got some stamina for sure!
Because of these risks, Adderall should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor. Adderall should not be taken with other medications that contain amphetamines.
Are there any alternatives to taking Adderall for ADHD treatment?
One alternative to Adderall is bupropion, which is a medication that is typically used to treat depression. However, bupropion has also been shown to be effective in treating ADHD.
For example, my son has ADHD and Tourette’s. Unfortunately, he cannot take Adderall as it will dramatically increase his tics from his Tourette’s. So for him, he takes bupropion. On the flip side of that; I cannot take bupropion because I am allergic. My doctor once prescribed it to me to help quit smoking and I broke out in an all-over-body rash. (Acupuncture helped me quit eventually)
It works by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine, which helps to improve focus and attention span. Bupropion may cause fewer side effects than Adderall, but it can still cause insomnia, loss of appetite, and irritability. And I can tell you that he has experienced all of these side effects to some degree.
Additionally, bupropion can interact with other medications, so speaking with a doctor before starting this medication is essential.
Another alternative to Adderall is atomoxetine, which is a medication that is typically used to treat ADHD. Atomoxetine works by increasing levels of norepinephrine in the brain, which helps improve focus and attention span.
Atomoxetine may cause side effects such as dry mouth, loss of appetite, and constipation. However, these side effects are typically mild and go away after a few weeks of treatment. If you are looking for an alternative to Adderall for your ADHD treatment, speak with your doctor about bupropion or atomoxetine.
What does Adderall abuse look like?
When someone abuses Adderall, they may exhibit signs of addiction, such as fatigue, irritability, anxiety, depression, confusion, and/or sleep troubles. They may also take higher doses of the drug than prescribed or use it for non-medical reasons.
If someone is addicted to Adderall, they may experience the above-mentioned withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. Therefore, treatment of Adderall addiction may include drug detox to overcome withdrawal symptoms, inpatient or live-in rehab, therapies, etc.
If you think someone you know may be abusing Adderall, it is crucial to speak to a professional about treatment options.
How do you know if Adderall is working for ADHD?
How can I tell if Adderall is working? It’s unlikely Adderall will make every symptom of ADHD go away, but you’ll know it’s working when some symptoms improve, like the ability to stay focused on a task and complete it. Adderall may be working if a person with ADHD says they are doing better at work or school.
Remember how I mentioned what my friend was doing with her medication? That’s what we have to do for ourselves; our own personal (physician-guided) experiments. For example, my son was on another medication for his Tourette’s that he did not see much benefit to and, he said it made him super sleepy, which he didn’t like (nor did his teachers!). Under his doctors’ and his therapist’s supervision, we weaned him off of it. Literally yesterday, he told me he wanted to go back on it because it was helping his Tourette tics and his insomnia from the bupropion. It’s a trial and error situation my friends; that’s why they say, “practicing medicine”. We learn new things every day. Technology is helping to make giant leaps in healthcare but that’s another article.
When used correctly, Adderall can be an effective treatment for ADHD. The first step is to consult a doctor to determine if Adderall is the proper medication for you. Once you begin taking Adderall, you may not notice an immediate difference. However, over time you should start to see improvements in your ability to focus and pay attention. You may also find that you can control your impulsive behavior better. Talk to your doctor if you do not notice any changes after taking Adderall for a few weeks. It is possible that the dosage needs to be adjusted or that you may need to try a different medication.
Should you take medication if you have ADHD?
Not everyone with ADHD needs medicine. But medicine can help most people with ADHD stay focused longer, listen better, and fidget less. People also benefit from therapy to learn and practice skills like staying organized, managing schoolwork, or dealing with stress. Medicine isn’t a shortcut to mastering these skills.
If you have been diagnosed with ADHD, you may wonder whether medication is the right treatment option. Stimulant medications are the most commonly prescribed treatments for ADHD and can be very effective in managing symptoms. However, they are not suitable for everyone. Some people with ADHD find that non-stimulant medications or other therapies are more helpful.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to take medication for ADHD is personal. However, if you are considering medication, you must discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor. For example, medication can help to improve focus, concentration, and impulsivity, but it is not a cure for ADHD. In addition, side effects are a possibility with any medication. As such, weighing all the factors before deciding on treatment is essential.
What does Adderall do to you?
Whether you are considering medication or other therapies, it is important to weigh all the factors before deciding on treatment. ADHD can be a challenging condition to live with, but there are treatments available that can help manage symptoms. I cannot stress this too many times; speaking to a doctor about what treatment options are best for you is essential.