Adderall is a prescription medication used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and narcolepsy. Adderall 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 tablet form to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken 2 to 3 times daily, 4 to 6 hours apart, with or without food.
Common side effects of Adderall include loss of appetite, headache, and trouble sleeping. Adderall can also cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how Adderall affects you.
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.
Adderall is a prescription medication used to treat
- ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) for children ages 3 and older and adults
- Narcolepsy in children ages 6 and older and adults. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects have been reported with Adderall. See the "Adderall Precautions" section.
Common side effects of Adderall include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Dry mouth
This is not a complete list of Adderall 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.
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), isocarboxazid (Marplan), 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)
- 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 drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects have been reported with Adderall 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
- Vision Disturbances. Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
- Difficulty focusing eyes
- Blurred vision
Do not take Adderall if you
- are allergic to Adderall 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 glaucome. 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.
Fruit juices may interact with Adderall by lowering absorption of Adderall. 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.
Before taking Adderall, 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 Adderall.
- 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 dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, 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.
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 falls into category C. There are no well-controlled studies that have been done in pregnant women. Adderall should be used during pregnancy only if the possible benefit outweighs the possible risk to the unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Adderall has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from Adderall, 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.
Take Adderall exactly as prescribed.
Adderall comes in tablet form to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken 2 to 3 times daily, 4 to 6 hours apart, with or without food.
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 at the same time.
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
The recommended dose of Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) for the treatment of ADHD depends on individual patient response. It is usually started at a low dose and gradually increased until an optimal response is seen. The first dose should be taken on awakening. Additional doses should be taken at 4-6 hour intervals if appropriate. Only in rare instances should a dose higher than 40 mg be given.
The recommended dose of Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) for the treatment of Narcolepsy is between 5 mg to 60 mg per day in divided doses and depends on individual patient response. The first dose should be taken on awakening. Additional doses should be taken at 4-6 hour intervals if appropriate.
If you take too much Adderall, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
If Adderall 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.
- Store Adderall in a tight, light-resistant container.
- Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.