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Side Effects of Adderall




Adderall is a fairly new drug in the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder.  Adderall, a “cocktail” mixture of four different amphetamine salts, was first developed about 20 years ago and marketed under the name Obetrol for weight loss and diet control. In 1996 the FDA approved Adderall for unrestricted use for treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder and Adderall is quickly becoming a physician favorite for the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder in children. If parents must choice a prescription ADHD medication, Adderall and Adderall XR is generally a better choice for many reasons. Adderall last about six hours per dose and remains active in the body longer than a dose of Ritalin. This longer acting dose alleviates the need for school day dosing but will interfere with sleep if taking the Adderall medication in the afternoon or evening hours. Adderall side effects are also often less harsh than Ritalin’s.

Many patients report less peaks and valleys than Ritalin and less of a drop off (withdrawal) than Ritalin. Ritalin also tends to cause more stomach discomfort and tends to produce more moodiness than Adderall. But, all Attention Deficit Disorder medication - Adderall included - has potentially harmful side effects. Adderall is an amphetamine that works on children in the same way amphetamines work on adults. Children are subject to the same adverse Adderall side effects as adults using amphetamines, with the most common amphetamine and Adderall side effects being loss of appetite, weight loss and insomnia.

In most cases, the Adderall side effects are mild but some Adderall side effects, though rare, are life threatening. Parents need to be clear about the benefits of Adderall medication as well as the potential Adderall side effects of using these drugs before choosing to place their child on prescription ADHD medication.  

Adderall medication can be helpful in the short term in controlling Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms but many doctors feel the potential Adderall side effects should be carefully weighed before prescribing drugs like Adderall medication.

Common Adderall side effects include:

  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • insomnia
  • headache
  • dizziness

Other Adderall side effects include:

  • nervousness
  • irritability
  • over stimulation
  • restlessness
  • unpleasant taste
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • euphoria
  • feelings of suspicion and paranoia
  • addiction
  • tolerance (constant need to raise the dose)

Rare Adderall side effects:

  • Phonetic tics
  • high blood pressure
  • rapid pulse rate, elevated blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • hallucinations
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • cardiomyopathy
  • if similarities to Ritalin hold, Adderall abuse can result in death

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