Adderall is a stimulant of the central nervous system from the group of amphetamines. Adderall contains four mixed amphetamine salts, such as:
- Dextroamphetamine in the form of Sulfate and Saccharate.
- Amphetamine in the form of Aspartate Monohydrate and Sulfate.
Adderall is intended for the treatment of narcolepsy or ADHD in adult adolescents or children older than three years.
The action mechanism of Adderall lies in the brain activity enhancement and in increasing the production of hormones that regulate behavior and attention: norepinephrine and dopamine.
By acting on the functions of the CNS, Adderall helps improve cognitive functions, including:
- Improve memory
- Increase concentration
- Reduce anxiety or excitability
Adderall helps to effectively alleviate such common symptoms of ADHD, as impulsivity, hyperactivity, or inattention.
Adderall is available in two dosage forms that contain a different concentration of mixed amphetamine salts:
- film-coated tablets – 20 mg, 7.5 mg, 15 mg, 5 mg, 30 mg, 12.5 mg or 10 mg
- extended release capsules – 15 mg, 10 mg, 25 mg, 20 mg, 5 mg or 30 mg
Adderall dosage schedule is adjusted according to the patient’s age, individual response to the stimulating effect of the medication, as well as the type and intensity of the disease.
For the treatment of ADHD in children, the initial dose of Adderall is 2.5-10 mg per day. A child’s dose of Adderall can be taken whole or divided into two equal uses.
The daily dose of Adderall for adults with ADHD ranges from 5 mg and up. The interval between daily doses of Adderall should be at least 4 hours. The maximum Adderall dose is 40 mg.
- For the pharmacotherapy of narcolepsy,children under the age of 11 are prescribed Adderall 5 mg/day.
- The initial Adderall dose for the narcolepsy treatment in adults or adolescents over 12 years of age is 10 mg per day.
In an insufficient clinical response of the patient, the dose may be uppedto a maximum of 60 mg of Adderall per day. The daily dose of Adderall should increased gradually, with a step of 5-10 mg once a week.
To accelerate the sleep onset while going through an Adderall treatment course, patients may take various anxiolytics, including Trazodone (Desyrel), Guanfacine (Tenex), Clonidine (Catapres) or Melatonin (SGard).
Adderall can interact with drugs that belong to other medicinal groups, including:
- anorectics (Sibutramine, aka Meridia)
- MAO inhibitors (Selegiline, popular as Emsam)
- anticonvulsant (Phenytoin, manufactured under the brand Dilantin)
- tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline, known as Elavil)
To avoid hypertension, fever, or seizures, do not take Adderall earlier than 2 weeks after the end of a course with MAO inhibitors, such as Tranylcypromine (Parnate), Isocarboxazid (Marplan) or Rasagiline (Azilect).
With prolonged use of high Adderalldoses, the risk significantly increasesof such psychical side effects as mania, aggression, excitability or anxiety.
The list of the most common adverse events of Adderall includes a significant decrease in appetite, sleep disturbances and indigestion. These side effects of Adderall are dose-depended, and they can be controlled by a gradual dosetitration.
When using Adderall, precautions should be taken by women during pregnancy or lactation, as well as patients with a history of drug dependence, and uncontrolled hypertension or glaucoma.
Adderall increases the likelihood of symptoms recurrence of certain mental disorders. Therefore, Adderall is not recommended for patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective or bipolar disorder.
Adderall is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Women who get pregnant while going through the pharmacotherapy of ADHD or narcolepsy need to adjust the daily dose of Adderall.