Adderall is a stimulant-based medication that is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD) and narcolepsy.
This ADHD medication works by interacting with the chemicals in the brain that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control, which are the two predominant behavioral features of ADHD.
The starting dose for this medication is generally 5mg or 10mg each morning for age 6 and above.
It comes in two different versions. The regular version begins working in about 30-60 minutes and has an average duration of about 4-5 hours.
The XR (extended release) version has on onset of about 60-90 minutes and lasts longer (10-12 hours). In addition, the dosage may be adjusted in increments of 5-10 mg up to a maximum of 30mg per day. Such adjustments are made by the doctor depending on effectiveness and individual patient reactions.
This is why it is essential to inform your doctor about your individual reaction to the medication. For more detailed dosage information, see this helpful dosage guide.
Advantages Over Other ADHD Medications
You may ingest it by swallowing the tablets or by sprinkling the contents of the tablet on a spoonful of applesauce. It typically lasts longer than most other extended or sustained release stimulants. In addition, it is less likely to produce rebound. (Rebound is the phenomenon where some experience irritability or depression for up to an hour as the drug wears off.)
Since this drug is a stimulant, the possible side effects are familiar to anyone who has ever consumed too much caffeine: nausea, loss of appetite or weight loss, headache, sleep disturbances or insomnia. For additional info about side effects, click here.
Also, try this helpful article about the link between this medication and weight loss.
And for information about withdrawal click here.
Mixing With Alcohol
It is not recommended to mix this medication with alcohol. Read this warning about mixing Adderall with alcohol.
Comparisons With Other ADHD Meds
It is vital that you inform your doctor if you have any of the following conditions: a history of alcohol or drug abuse, glaucoma, heart condition or recent history of a heart attack, high blood pressure, liver disease, mental illness including anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, mania or schizophrenia.
Also report to your doctor any history of motor tics, family history or diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome, overactive thyroid, seizures (convulsions) or abnormal brain scan.
Also be sure to note any allergies to Focalin or Ritalin, medicine allergies, food allergies, are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
Any stimulant may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. The full dose of this drug is released at once if chopped, crushed and snorted. As always, keep all medication stored in a secure place and no medications should ever be shared with another.