Adderall. You must have heard of this drug at least once in your life at different periods of time, maybe at a college party or a rap song.
Have you ever wondered what Adderall is and how it gives you that ‘high’ that everyone talks about? Well, you are at the right place.
From what it is for to how it works, we will go through every question that may have popped up in your head!
What is Adderall?
I am sure most of you, if not all, have heard about the name of this drug. It is a combination medicine mostly made from amphetamine salts and their derivatives.
It is a prescription medication given to people who suffer from Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, and narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that affects the patient’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles. The generic name of Adderall is Dextroamphetamine-Amphetamine.
How Does Adderall work?
To understand how it works, you need first to understand what amphetamines’ are. To put it in fancy terms, amphetamine is a synthetic stimulant that acts on the central nervous system.
Confused? Let me explain it in easier terms. It is an artificial chemical that acts directly on your central nervous system that consists of the spine and brain.
It increases stimulation in the CNS that leads to active neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine.
Neurotransmitters transfer the signals and messages to and from the CNS to and from the body.
High activeness of neurotransmitters leads to longer attention time, better focus, a positive burst of energy, and increased confidence.
Since everything has a positive and a negative response, there are bound to be a few negative effects of Adderall on the body.
Some include tachycardia (faster heartbeat) and constricted blood vessels leading to higher blood pressure.
Because it leads to more release of glucose in your body, your appetite decreases, this is why weight loss is one of the most common side effects of Adderall.
Is Adderall Abused?
Because Adderall boosts function, increases your memory and concentration, it is a performance enhancement drug. Dependency is very common with this drug.
Many people need it to function properly, due to which they crave a hit. Sometimes, people take the drug more times than prescribed by their physician, leading to addiction.
Many students abuse Adderall to retain their study material better. So yes, Adderall is abused.
How Much Adderall Can I Take?
There are a few things you need to know before we go into the dosage
1. There are 2 types of tablets, Immediate-Release Adderall and Extended-Release Adderall.
2. Most medicine is available at different potencies. For example, Risek is available in 20mg and 40mg strengths.
3. The dosage depends on the patient’s age and how much medicine they need. The amount depends on the patient.
Adderall XR (extended-release) comes in 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 25mg and 30mg.
Adderall IR (immediate-release) comes in 5mg, 7.5mg, 10mg, 12.5mg, 15mg, 20mg and 30mg.
An adult dose of Adderall should not exceed 40mg in 24 hours in ADHD patients.
People with narcolepsy should not exceed 60mg in 24 hours.
How long does Adderall Last in the Body?
The half-life of Adderall is 10 hours. That means that after every ten hours, half of the remaining drug will be removed from your system.
To illustrate, if you have 10mg Adderall in your system at midnight, after ten hours, only 5mg will be remaining.
After another ten hours, 2.5mg will be left behind. Going by this formula, it should take your body about 55 hours to get rid of an adult dose of Adderall from your body.
If you have taken higher amounts of the drug, you can calculate the time it will take to break down the drug and clear it out from your body.
What Happens When You Stop Using Adderall?
If you stop taking Adderall all of a sudden, you will experience what we call a ‘crash.’ Some withdrawal symptoms are listed below:
2. Increased hunger
3. Sleeping too much
8. Difficulty focusing and remembering things
9. Cravings for Adderall
10. Suicidal thoughts
11. Panic Attacks
The best way to stop the use of Adderall is by tapering down the dosage so that your body has time to get used to the change that will be brought upon the CNS by the discontinuation of the drug.
Your physician will help guide you better about how to do that.
Signs of Adderall Abuse and Addiction
Some signs can be seen by only the people that are close to the user, like their family members, co-workers, and close friends. A few adverse effects are listed below
1. Talking a lot
2. Being hyperactive
3. Feeling social
4. Having a lot of nervous energy
Other adverse effects are more physical and can be spotted more easily
2. Change in the level of sexual interest
3. Frequent headaches (possibly due to high blood pressure)
4. Difficulty in falling or staying asleep
6. Xerostomia (dry mouth)
7. Sudden weight loss
8. Nausea and vomiting
If you see notice anyone portraying these symptoms, please reach out to them immediately and get them help.
Symptoms of Adderall Overdose
Overdosing is dangerous. It can lead to serious complications and sometimes even cause death of the person. Symptoms of Adderall overdose are as follows:
1. Panic attacks (high heart rate)
3. Cardiac rhythm abnormalities (rapid heartbeat) that can lead to a heart attack
Does Adderall Help With Anxiety And Depression?
Although the FDA only approves this drug for ADHD and narcolepsy, numerous researches have indicated that it helps fight off depression. That is because
1. It gives the user more confidence
2. It stimulates the CNS and makes it more active. That fights off the ‘tiredness’ symptom of depression and anxiety
3. It helps people fight off their clouded minds by giving them more focus
4. It makes them more social
There are a few reasons why the FDA did not approve of Adderall in the treatment of depression.
1. There are more treatment options, especially after the discovery of TCAs and other antidepressants
2. Since Adderall is mainly made for people with ADHD, this stimulant effect eventually wears off
3. People become dependant on the drug
4. Withdrawal symptoms worsen depression
5. It hasn’t been approved by the FDA, so prescribing this drug in the USA is opening yourself to a possible legal battle between you and your patient
The researched treatment plan included Adderall with TCAs.
Does Adderall Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, it does. Since it stimulates your body to release glucose into your blood, your body does not feel the need to eat.
Since this glucose is being consumed from your body itself, the increased glucose level and decreased food intake will lead to weight loss.
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your Urine?
It can stay in your urine for 24-48 hours even after the effects of Adderall have worn off.
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your Blood?
According to the half-life formula, the average dose of Adderall should be out of your blood after approximately 55 hours.
How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your Saliva?
It can still be detected 20-50 hours after use.
How to Get Adderall out of Your System?
1. Wait for it to leave your system naturally
2. Increase water intake
3. Juices full of antioxidants (blueberry juice, cranberry juice, green tea)
4. Drinking acidic beverages (orange juice, vinegar)
5. Physical exercise
Is It Safe to Take Adderall to Improve Your Performance?
Adderall indeed helps your performance, especially when it comes to academics and physical exercise. There are a lot of red flags that come with this drug.
There is a reason Adderall is not available without a prescription. Since it is a stimulant drug, the body becomes dependent on it to function if taken for a long time.
Its dangerous side effects trump the euphoric effects it has on a user due to its potential for abuse.
Getting Help For Adderall Misuse
Since Adderall dependency is pretty common, multiple places provide addiction treatment. Your local hospital will better guide you about the rehab centers covered by your health insurance plans.
Major insurance companies usually cover the detox center and recovery center when a health plan is made.
There are countless communities online where you can share your experiences with others who have gone through what you are going through.
The fight to be off addictive drugs is tough, but you are sure to succeed with the right help and mindset.
Adderall is a very strong stimulant. It decreases stress levels and increases the energy levels of the user.
As time goes by, the user’s tolerance level increases, leading to them taking larger doses to get the same effect.
That leads to an increased number of pills taken by the user, eventually resulting in addiction.
Yes, a very common side-effect of Adderall is constipation. It is usually seen in females aged between 40 to 49 years. It is seen commonly in patients that have been taking the drug for more than 2 years.
If you are using this drug and experiencing constipation, you may want to talk to your physician about what can be done. They will prescribe you mild laxatives and perhaps increase fiber in your diet to keep your bowel movements healthy.
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Adderall is contraindicated in children that are less than 3 years of age. Since Adderall passes into breast milk, remember not to nurse your baby if you’re on it.
There have been researches that have proven that using Adderall does not increase cardiovascular risk in children.
On the other hand, many medical professionals are not comfortable with prescribing such a strong stimulant to children.
There are milder alternatives that can be given to children, but they do not have the same effect that Adderall has. The decision to give it to your child depends on you and your physician.
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Even though there are no proven harmful effects of taking Adderall during pregnancy, they are not certified to be completely safe either.
The decision to take Adderall during pregnancy lies on the mother and her physician.
Adderall passes into breastmilk. Since Adderall is not proven to be completely safe for babies, the mother should stop taking it while she breastfeeds her baby.
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The following drugs interact with Adderall
1. Blood pressure medications (adrenergic blockers, alpha-blockers)
2. Seizure medication (phenobarbital, phenytoin, ethosuximide)
3. Blood thinners (warfarin)
4. Antidepressants (MAO inhibitors, TCA, SSRI, bupropion)
5. Ant-acids (PPI)
Before you start taking Adderall, make sure you tell your physician the history of drug use and the current medication you are taking along with your current dose.
That will reduce any dangerous drug interaction.
It is important to note that mixing alcohol with Adderall has seriously strong effects on your health.
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The effects of Adderall will start to manifest themselves in front of the user about 60 minutes after ingestion.
People who have a higher tolerance for psycho-stimulants may feel the effect after 60 minutes of administration.
It depends on the body weight and dosage given. The higher the weight, the longer the wait. The smaller the dose, the longer the wait.
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Adderall or Adderall IR is ‘immediate release,’ and the effects are seen very quickly. Adderall XR is an extended-release version.
The immediate-release version needs to be taken multiple times during the day because the effects wear off faster than Adderall XR.
Adderall IR is much stronger and more potent than Adderall XR.
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Adderall XR is used to manage ADHD, ADD, and narcolepsy symptoms.
The only difference between Adderall IR and Adderall XR is its time to act on the body.
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10mg of Adderall is not a very high dose.
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Even though Adderall helps manage the symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy, it is important to remember that addiction is quite possible with such a potent drug.
Consult your physician if you feel any side effects of Adderall.