Adderall. General Information

Adderall is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. It influences the activity of the chemicals generated in the brain which helps to reduce the level of hyperactivity and impulse control.

Brand Name: Adderall, Adderall XR

Generic: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine

Availability: prescription

distributing Company: Shire Pharmaceuticals

Medical forms:

  • 5 mg white to off-white capsule with no color additives
  • 7.5 mg, 10 mg blue capsule
  • 12.5 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg yellow capsule.


Active ingredients:

  • amphetamine
  • dextroamphetamine mixed salts

Inactive ingredients:

  • lactitol
  • microcrystalline cellulose
  • colloidal silicon dioxide
  • magnesium stearate
  • Gelatin capsules contain:
  • hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
  • methacrylic acid copolymer
  • opadry beige
  • sugar spheres
  • talc
  • triethyl citrate
  • edible inks
  • kosher gelatin
  • titanium dioxide
  • blue color additive (7.5 mg, 10 mg capsules)/yellow iron oxide and red yellow oxide (12.5 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg, 30 mg capsules).

Indications and Mechanism of Action


Adderall is a medication indicated for treatment of narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Adderall may also be used to treat some other disorders according to a doctor’s prescription.

Mechanism of Action

Adderall contains amphetamine which is a CNS activity stimulant. Amphetamines are to block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine into the presynaptic neuron which leads to the increasing of the monoamines release into extraneuronal space.

The administration of amphetamine high doses has been found to cause long-lasting neurotoxic effect including irreversible nerve fiber damage with rodents. The significance of the discovery has not been determined yet.

Before Use. Precautions

Adderall should not been taken by the patients being allergic to any of the ingredients of the drug, especially, to amphetamine.

Adderall may be habit-forming, thus, a patient administrating the medication should keep a track of the drug amount used from each bottle to exclude the fact of taking the medicine by anyone else for whom it hasn’t been prescribed.

Adderall may slow down children’s growth or may interfere into the process of gaining weight by a child taking it.

Before use a patient should inform a doctor about any medical conditions, such as:

  • allergy to amphetamine and dextroamphetamine
  • arteriosclerosis  (hardened arteries)
  • heart disease
  • moderate to severe hypertension (increased blood pressure)
  • overactive thyroid
  • glaucoma
  • severe anxiety or agitation
  • a history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • a congenital heart defect
  • heart failure
  • heart rhythm disorder
  • recent heart attack;
  • a family or a personal history of mental illness
  • a family or a personal history of psychotic disorder
  • a family or a personal history of bipolar illness
  • a family or a personal history of or suicide attempt
  • depression
  • epilepsy or seizures
  • tics (muscle twitches)
  • Tourette’s syndrome.

Adderall is supposed to cause death in children and adolescents with serious heart problems or congenital heart disorders. Before taking Adderall, a patient should by all means tell a doctor if having any heart problems.

A patient should also inform a doctor about the medicines he/she administers as some medications can interact with Adderall and affect Adderall effectiveness and the patient’s condition. Adderall should not be taken together with MAO inhibitors such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam)if a patient used the named drugs within the past 14 days. Otherwise, it may cause serious side effects to occur or intensify.

How to Use

It doesn’t’ matter if Adderall capsules are taken with or without food. A patient should take a non-damaged pill to avoid a bigger amount of the drug getting into the blood. A tablet should be swallowed without biting, chewing, breaking, or crushing it.

If a patient missed the time of administration the missed dose should be taken as soon as possible, but not in the evening, otherwise, a sleeping problem may occur. If a patient remembers to take the missed dose in the evening it should be skipped taken th next day according to a usual schedule. A patient should not take a double dose of the drug at one time unless it is not written in the prescription.

Adderall is not recommended for use to pregnant or breastfeeding patients unless the positive effect of the medication exceeds the risks. It is not known whether Adderall may affect a fetus. A patient should consult a doctor in case of getting pregnant or planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding while following the course of treatment.

A patient should inform doctors before starting any other treatment about the fact of administration Adderall. If a person is planning a visit to any other doctor the fact of administration Adderall should be mentioned as it can interact with anesthetic or other drugs used while the course of treatment or the drugs prescribed or recommended by the doctor. Before undergoing any health tests which are to determine a patient’s condition the patient should tell a doctor about Adderall administration as the drug may affect the results of the tests.

Adderall may be habit-forming, thus, a patient administrating the medication should keep a track of the drug amount used from each bottle to exclude the fact of taking the medicine by anyone else for whom it hasn’t been prescribed.

A person should not skip any appointments with a doctor to be able to see the dynamics of treatment and change the dosage according to the results of the doctor’s examination.

A patient taking Adderall should avoid drinking fruit juices or taking vitamin C or supplying any food or drinks containing big amount of vitamin C. Vitamine C makes Adderall less absorbable by the body.

Adderall Side Effects

A patient following the administration of Adderall should immediately get emergency medical help if experiencing any of the following signs:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats
  • feeling light-headed, fainting
  • high blood pressure
  • severe headache
  • blurred vision
  • trouble concentrating
  • chest pain
  • numbness
  • seizures
  • tremor
  • restlessness
  • hallucinations
  • unusual behavior
  • tics (muscle twitches)
  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing
  • tightness in the chest
  • swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
  • confusion
  • fainting
  • fever
  • chills
  • sore throat
  • mental or mood disorders (eg, aggression, agitation, anxiety, delusions, depression, hallucination, hostility)
  • one-sided weakness
  • painful or frequent urination
  • red, swollen, peeling, or blistered skin
  • severe stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • slurred speech
  • uncontrolled muscle movement
  • unusual weakness or tiredness
  • dizziness
  • sleeping disorders (insomnia)
  • dry mouth
  • an unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • sexual drive reducing
  • impotence
  • difficulty having an orgasm.

The list of the side effects above is incomplete. If a patient experiences any other signs which may be associated with Adderall administration he/she should immediately consult a doctor.

Overdose Adderall

There’re several most common overdose symptoms of Adderall which may include the following:

  • restlessness
  • tremor
  • tics
  • rapid breathing
  • confusion
  • hallucinations
  • panic
  • aggressiveness
  • unexplained muscle pain
  • hypersensitivity
  • muscle weakness
  • fever or influenza symptoms
  • dark colored urine
  • depression
  • tiredness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pain
  • uneven heartbeats
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • seizures
  • coma.

If a patient has taken a bigger amount of Adderall he/she should immediately seek for emergency medical help even if the above mentioned symptoms do not occur.