Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant which affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Adderall is mainly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy but is also sometimes used to treat other medical conditions.

Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine is the generic name for Adderall, which generally comes in pill form and is available in doses anywhere between 5 and 30 milligrams. There is also an extended release Adderall pill available on the market called Adderall XR. Adderall XR comes in doses between 5 and 30 milligrams as well. 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Adderall is most commonly used to treat ADHD, which is a condition in which a person has trouble paying attention and focusing on tasks. It is unclear what causes ADHD but experts say it tends to run in families. In addition, ADHD may begin in early childhood and can continue all the way into adulthood. Without treatment, ADHD can cause problems at home, school, work, and with relationships. 

At one time, ADHD was called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), although both terms refer to the same condition. Normally, ADHD is diagnosed in children between 6 and 12 years old. The three main ADHD symptoms are:

  • difficulty focusing attention
  • difficulty sitting still for even a short time
  • acting before thinking

Adderall and ADHD

While there is no cure for ADHD, treatment with therapy and drugs such as Adderall can help control ADHD symptoms. However, children taking Adderall should be closely monitored as Adderall can cause various serious side effects. In addition, Adderall should be kept in a secure place where others do not have access because Adderall has high potential for addiction and abuse, especially among college students.

Due to Adderall’s high abuse potential, the FDA has recently issued a black box warning for Adderall. In addition, the FDA has recently announced concern over possible life-threatening side effects in both children and adults taking Adderall and other ADHD medications such as Concerta and Ritalin. These include:

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Published November 17, 2011 by