Adderall

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Adderall Brand Name(s): Adderall.

Uses

What is Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) used for?

Adderall® is commonly used for the treatment of narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Adderall® may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

How should I take Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)?

Take Adderall® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Using this medicine improperly can cause death or serious side effects on the heart.

You may take this medicine with or without food. It is best to take Adderall® first thing in the morning.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open an Adderall XR® extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole.

To make swallowing easier, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use.

How do I store Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)?

Adderall® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Adderall® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Adderall® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Adderall® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Adderall® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Adderall® may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

While using Adderall®, your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your heart rate, blood pressure, height and weight may also need to be checked often.

Adderall® can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.

You should not use Adderall® if you have glaucoma, overactive thyroid, severe agitation, moderate to severe high blood pressure, heart disease or coronary artery disease, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

Do not use Adderall® if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, including isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Adderall® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Adderall®. Adderall® is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)?

Common side effects may include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Mood changes
  • Feeling nervous
  • Fast heart rate
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Dry mouth

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, feeling like you might pass out
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real)
  • New behavior problems
  • Aggression
  • Hostility
  • Paranoia
  • A seizure (convulsions)
  • Numbness, pain, cold feeling, unexplained wounds, or skin color changes (pale, red, or blue appearance) in your fingers or toes
  • Muscle twitches (tics)
  • Changes in your vision
  • Unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine)
  • High levels of serotonin in the body – agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction such as hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Adderall® can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)?

Adderall® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Medicine to treat depression
  • Medicine to treat a psychiatric disorder
  • A narcotic (opioid) medication
  • Medicine to prevent nausea and vomiting
  • Blood pressure medicine
  • A blood thinner such as warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven
  • Cold or allergy medicine that contains a decongestant
  • Seizure medicine
  • A stomach acid reducer such as AcipHex, Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix

Does food or alcohol interact with Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)?

Adderall® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)?

Adderall® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Moderate to severe high blood pressure
  • Heart disease or coronary artery disease (hardened arteries)
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Glaucoma
  • Severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (stimulant medicine can make these symptoms worse)
  • A history of drug or alcohol addiction
  • Heart problems or a congenital heart defect
  • High blood pressure
  • A family history of heart disease or sudden death
  • Depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Motor tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • An abnormal brain wave test (EEG)
  • Blood circulation problems in the hands or feet

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine).

What is the dose of Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) for an adult?

Narcolepsy

Tablets:

  • Initial Dose: 10 mg per day orally upon awakening.
  • Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be increased in increments of 10 mg at weekly intervals, up to 60 mg per day in 2 to 3 divided doses. Give first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours. If bothersome adverse reactions appear (e.g., insomnia or anorexia), dosage should be reduced.

Attention Deficit Disorder:

Extended Release Capsules:

  • Initial Dose: In adults with ADHD who are either starting treatment for the first time or switching from another medication, the recommended dose is 20 mg/day.

What is the dose of Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) for a child?

Narcolepsy:

Tablets:

<6 years: Not recommended.

6 years to 12 years:

  • Initial Dose: 5 mg per day orally upon awakening.
  • Maintenance Dose: The daily dose may be raised in increments of 5 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained, up to a maximum of 60 mg/day. Give first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours. If bothersome adverse reactions appear (e.g., insomnia or anorexia), dosage should be reduced. Narcolepsy seldom occurs in children under 12 years of age; however, when it does, this drug may be used.

>=12 years:

  • Initial Dose: 10 mg per day orally upon awakening.
  • Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be raised in increments of 10 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained, up to a maximum of 60 mg/day. Give first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours. If bothersome adverse reactions appear (e.g., insomnia or anorexia), dosage should be reduced.

Attention Deficit Disorder:

Tablets:

<3 years: Not recommended.

3 to 5 years:

  • Initial Dose: 2.5 mg once a day orally upon awakening.
  • Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be raised in increments of 2.5 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained. Only in rare cases will it be necessary to exceed a total of 40 mg per day in 2 to 3 divided doses. Give first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours.

>= 6 years:

  • Initial Dose: 5 mg once or twice a day orally upon awakening.
  • Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be raised in increments of 5 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained. Only in rare cases will it be necessary to exceed a total of 40 mg per day in 2 to 3 divided doses. Give first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours.

Extended Release Capsules:

<6 years: Not recommended.

6 to 12 years:

  • Initial Dose: 5 mg to 10 mg once a day orally upon awakening.
  • Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be raised in increments of 5 mg to 10 mg at weekly intervals.
  • Maximum Dose: 30 mg once daily upon awakening.

13 to 17 years:

  • Initial Dose: 10 mg once a day orally upon awakening.
  • Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be increased to 20 mg once a day orally upon awakening after one week if ADHD symptoms are not adequately controlled.
  • Maximum Dose: 20 mg once daily upon awakening.

How is Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) available?

Adderall® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet
  • Capsule

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Adderall®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: July 6, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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