Adderall is the amphetamine form which is used legally in specific countries such as Canada and the United States. It is used for treating ADHD (also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy). Adderall is usually classified into 2 forms and these are extended release and instant release. These two forms both work to treat ADHD. However, only the instant release form has been approved to be used in treating narcolepsy.
This form of treatment has been unofficially applied for treating severe depression, obesity and even disorders that are sleep-related. Even in some countries where Adderall has been legally prescribed, it is still considered as the drug having a great potential for abuse. For this reason, this form of the drug is supplied in limited quantities.
In fact, there are also some concerns with regards to Adderall prescription to children. For instance, the physicians in the United Kingdom have been advised to stop prescribing this drug to children with ages below 5 years in all circumstances. They only allow prescribing it to kids who are over 5 years old if there are no viable options available. In other countries, the concerns regarding Adderall have been so strong and that is why the drug has been banned completely.
Short-Term Side Effects
Adderall side effects may vary widely and they also depend on individuals taking this drug. A person may experience short-term or long-term effects. The effect of this drug on the heart rate may bring cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and disrupted heart rhythm. Users may experience appetite loss leading to excessive weight loss and other related issues.
When Adderall has been used for a short period of time, it counteracts narcolepsy and ADHD through triggering of the adrenaline release. It then increases the blood flow to muscles and increases the heart rate. As a result, it may cause a feeling of invigoration and energy, similar to what a person experiences after exercising. Other users also stated improvements when it comes to concentration and focus.
Long-Term Side Effects
Using this drug for a long period of time may trigger the risk of having critical problems with cardiovascular issues and strokes. It is also possible to obtain mental health problems like paranoia, hostility, and depression. For children, protracted Adderall usage has a chance of inhibiting growth.
Adderall interactions with different medications and may change the chemistry of the body and cause problems. These drug interactions may be caused by the following medications:
- Ammonium chloride
- Sleep medications like diphenhydramine
- MAO inhibitors
- High blood pressure medications
- Tricyclic Anti-depressants
- Nutritional and herbal supplements like glutamic acid, ascorbic acid, and melatonin
- Antacids like calcium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate
How It Works
The chemical structure of Adderall is closely related to catecholamine family of hormones and neurotransmitters including dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Catecholamines work in various brain areas that control arousal and emotion.
Dopamine plays a crucial role when it comes to pleasure and reward pathways. Norepinephrine modulates the nervous system which usually drives the “flight or fight” response. The epinephrine hormone (or adrenaline) has a portion in catecholaminergic sympathetic response. It also contributes to the feeling of rush whenever a person is excited or nervous.
There are several different generic alternatives for Adderall and most are called dextroamphetamine-amphetamine or similar.