Adderall

Generic Name: Amphetamine Salt Combo

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Adderall is a medicine used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is also used to treat a condition known as narcolepsy (a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness).

    Adderall is a federally controlled substance because it has abuse potential.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Adderall works by changing the amount of certain chemicals in your brain, thereby improving symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Adderall is an important part of a total treatment program for people with ADHD that may include counseling or other therapies. Adderall may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in people with ADHD.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Adderall exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may start to notice an improvement in your symptoms. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions from time to time to assess how well your medicine is working and to check for improvement of your condition.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Adderall is a federally controlled substance because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep Adderall in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Adderall may harm others, and is against the law. Misuse of Adderall may cause sudden death and serious heart-related side effects.

    More common side effects may include: headache, stomach ache, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite, nervousness, dizziness.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Serious and potentially life-threatening heart problems, including strokes or heart attacks in adults, and increased blood pressure or heart rate, with symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.

    Mental problems with symptoms such as new or worsening behavior and thought problems, bipolar illness, aggressive behavior, or hostility. Children and teenagers may also begin to hear voices, believe in things that are not true, or become suspicious.

    Slowing of growth (height and weight) in children.

    Seizures, mainly in people with a history of seizures.

    Eyesight changes or blurred vision.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Adderall if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Adderall if you have heart disease, hardening of your arteries, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), or glaucoma (high pressure in the eye).

    Do not take Adderall if you are very anxious, tense, or agitated.

    Do not take Adderall if you have a history of drug abuse.

    Do not take Adderall if you are taking an antidepressant medication called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (such as phenelzine or selegiline) or have taken any within the past 14 days.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Adderall. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, mental problems (such as psychosis, mania, bipolar disorder, or depression), or a family history of these conditions; Tourette's syndrome (a brain disorder characterized by involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics); liver, kidney, or thyroid problems; seizures; or have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines, or street drugs.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    ADHD

    Children ≥6 years: The recommended starting dose is 5 milligrams (mg) once or twice a day.

    Children 3-5 years: The recommended starting dose is 2.5 mg once a day.

    Narcolepsy

    Adults and children ≥12 years: The recommended starting dose is 10 mg once a day.

    Children 6-12 years: The recommended starting dose is 5 mg once a day.

    Your healthcare provider may increase your or your child's dose as needed.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Adderall exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Adderall without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take the first dose of Adderall in the morning when you wake up, with or without food. If you take Adderall more than once a day, separate the doses by 4 to 6 hours.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how Adderall affects you.

    Do not take any antacids or cold and allergy medicines without first talking to your healthcare provider. Adderall may interact with some of the ingredients in these medicines.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Adderall is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Adderall may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Adderall during pregnancy are unknown. Adderall can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Adderall. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Adderall, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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