Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Mental health

Adderall 

(dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Mental health
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Helps you focus and stay alert.

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Our bottom line

Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that's available as a generic, but it's a stimulant, so it can cause insomnia and other side effects.

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Upsides

  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Available in both immediate and extended release forms.
  • The capsules can be opened, mixed in a spoonful of applesauce, and swallowed if you can't swallow the whole capsules.
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Downsides

  • Has to be taken in the morning and early afternoon, otherwise it can cause insomnia.
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
  • Not safe for people with a history of heart problems.
  • For schooled-aged children, the second dose will likely need to be given at school.
How it works

Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) is an amphetamine stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.

What to expect when you take Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine) for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

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Side effect rates for Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)

Risks and Warnings for Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • History of heart problems

    Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) has been associated with heart attack, stroke, and sudden death. Anyone with a history of heart problems shouldn't take it, and people should be screened for heart problems before starting it. Watch out for unexplained fainting or chest pain that comes on with physical activity.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Adderall (dextroamphetamine / amphetamine)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
Food
  • Maintain a consistent regimen when taking this. Many foods and medications will affect how this medication works, often decreasing how long it's effective. Work with a good doctor to learn additional coping techniques for ADHD.
  • It's magic. But the schedule II controlled substance is a pain. I've also read to avoid acidic foods and drinks an hour around the dose bc it will metabolize quicker and result in less of an effect.
  • Don't take it after lunch or with caffeine or you'll be up forever. Can get very dependent on this medication fast!!
Pain
  • It's magic. But the schedule II controlled substance is a pain. I've also read to avoid acidic foods and drinks an hour around the dose bc it will metabolize quicker and result in less of an effect.
Sleep
  • If you cannot fall asleep the night after taking it, absolutely do not take it the next day to help you avoid tiredness.
Weight
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.