Generic Name: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (am FET a meen and DEX troe am FET a meen)
Brand Names: Adderall, Adderall XR
What is Adderall?
Adderall contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
Adderall may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use Adderall if you have glaucoma, overactive thyroid, severe agitation, moderate to severe high blood pressure, heart disease or coronary artery disease, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
Do not use Adderall if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, including isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.
Adderall may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.
Using this medicine improperly can cause death or serious side effects on the heart.
Before taking this medicine
Do not use Adderall if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.
You should not use Adderall if you are allergic to any stimulant medicine, or if you have:
moderate to severe high blood pressure;
heart disease or coronary artery disease (hardened arteries);
severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (stimulant medicine can make these symptoms worse); or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
Some stimulants have caused sudden death in certain people. Tell your doctor if you have:
heart problems or a congenital heart defect;
high blood pressure; or
a family history of heart disease or sudden death.
To make sure Adderall is safe for you, tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has ever had:
depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or actions;
motor tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette's syndrome;
seizures or epilepsy;
an abnormal brain wave test (EEG); or
blood circulation problems in the hands or feet.
It is not known whether Adderall will harm an unborn baby. However, taking the medicine during pregnancy can cause premature birth, low birth weight, or withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using this medicine.
Adderall is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.
How should I take Adderall?
Take Adderall exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Using this medicine improperly can cause death or serious side effects on the heart.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Adderall may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
You may take this medicine with or without food. It is best to take Adderall first thing in the morning.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open an Adderall XR extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole.
To make swallowing easier, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use.
While using Adderall, your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your heart rate, blood pressure, height and weight may also need to be checked often.
Adderall can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Adderall is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but not late in the day or you could have trouble sleeping. Skip the missed dose if it is almost evening. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Adderall dosing information
Usual Adult Dose of Adderall for Narcolepsy:
Initial Dose: 10 mg per day orally upon awakening.
Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be increased in increments of 10 mg at weekly intervals, up to 60 mg per day in 2 to 3 divided doses. Give first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours. If bothersome adverse reactions appear (e.g., insomnia or anorexia), dosage should be reduced.
Usual Adult Dose of Adderall for Attention Deficit Disorder:
Extended Release Capsules:
Initial Dose: In adults with ADHD who are either starting treatment for the first time or switching from another medication, the recommended dose is 20 mg/day.
Usual Pediatric Dose of Adderall for Narcolepsy:
<6 years: Not recommended.
6 years to 12 years:
Initial Dose: 5 mg per day orally upon awakening.
Maintenance Dose: The daily dose may be raised in increments of 5 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained, up to a maximum of 60 mg/day. Give first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours. If bothersome adverse reactions appear (e.g., insomnia or anorexia), dosage should be reduced. Narcolepsy seldom occurs in children under 12 years of age; however, when it does, this drug may be used.
Initial Dose: 10 mg per day orally upon awakening.
Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be raised in increments of 10 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained, up to a maximum of 60 mg/day. Give first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours. If bothersome adverse reactions appear (e.g., insomnia or anorexia), dosage should be reduced.
Usual Pediatric Dose of Adderall for Attention Deficit Disorder:
<3 years: Not recommended.
3 to 5 years:
Initial Dose: 2.5 mg once a day orally upon awakening.
Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be raised in increments of 2.5 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained. Only in rare cases will it be necessary to exceed a total of 40 mg per day in 2 to 3 divided doses. Give first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours.
>= 6 years:
Initial Dose: 5 mg once or twice a day orally upon awakening.
Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be raised in increments of 5 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained. Only in rare cases will it be necessary to exceed a total of 40 mg per day in 2 to 3 divided doses. Give first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours.
Extended Release Capsules:
<6 years: Not recommended.
6 to 12 years:
Initial Dose: 5 mg to 10 mg once a day orally upon awakening.
Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be raised in increments of 5 mg to 10 mg at weekly intervals.
Maximum Dose: 30 mg once daily upon awakening.
13 to 17 years:
Initial Dose: 10 mg once a day orally upon awakening.
Maintenance Dose: The daily dosage may be increased to 20 mg once a day orally upon awakening after one week if ADHD symptoms are not adequately controlled.
Maximum Dose: 20 mg once daily upon awakening.
Where possible, drug administration should be interrupted occasionally to determine if there is a recurrence of behavioral symptoms sufficient to require continued therapy.
Drug treatment is not indicated in all cases of Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity and should be considered only in light of the complete history and evaluation of the child. The decision to prescribe amphetamines should depend on the physician's assessment of the chronicity and severity of the child's symptoms and their appropriateness for his/her age. Prescription should not depend solely on the presence of one or more of the behavioral characteristics. When these symptoms are associated with acute stress reactions, treatment with amphetamines is usually not indicated.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine could be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include restlessness, tremor, muscle twitches, rapid breathing, confusion, hallucinations, panic, aggressiveness, muscle pain or weakness, and dark colored urine. These symptoms may be followed by depression and tiredness. Other overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, uneven heartbeats, feeling light-headed, fainting, seizure (convulsions), or coma.
What should I avoid while taking Adderall?
This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Avoid drinking fruit juices or taking vitamin C at the same time you take Adderall. These can make your body absorb less of the medicine.
Adderall side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Adderall: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Adderall can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
chest pain, trouble breathing, feeling like you might pass out;
hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), new behavior problems, aggression, hostility, paranoia;
a seizure (convulsions);
numbness, pain, cold feeling, unexplained wounds, or skin color changes (pale, red, or blue appearance) in your fingers or toes;
muscle twitches (tics);
changes in your vision;
unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine); or
high levels of serotonin in the body - agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting.
Common Adderall side effects may include:
stomach pain, loss of appetite;
mood changes, feeling nervous;
fast heart rate;
sleep problems (insomnia); or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Adderall?
Taking Adderall while you are using certain other medicines can cause high levels of serotonin to build up in your body, a condition called "serotonin syndrome," which can be fatal. Tell your doctor if you also use:
medicine to treat depression;
medicine to treat a psychiatric disorder;
a narcotic (opioid) medication; or
medicine to prevent nausea and vomiting.
Many other drugs can interact with amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
blood pressure medicine;
a blood thinner such as warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven;
cold or allergy medicine that contains a decongestant;
seizure medicine; or
a stomach acid reducer such as AcipHex, Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix.
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
More about Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 277 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: CNS stimulants
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Adderall.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Adderall only for the indication prescribed.
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