Adderall: Uses, Abuses & Side Effects

Adderall is a prescription medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Pictured: 20-mg capsules of Adderall XR.


Charge: Patrick Mallahan III / Creative Commons
Adderall is a prescription medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Adderall, a brand name, is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are central nervous system stimulants. Adderall recreational use can greatly increase the capacity to concentrate, listen and control behavior.

The drug increases the synaptic concentration of dopamine and norepinephrine by blocking the reabsorption of a neurotransmitter, stated Dr. Maria Pino, a toxicologist and course manager for pharmacology in Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine at New York. This drug mainly stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which causes your body’s fight or flight reactions, such as dilation of the pupil of the eye, increased blood pressure and heart rate and increased perspiration.

Who shouldn’t use Adderall
Adderall isn’t for everybody. It shouldn’t be used by individuals having a history of glaucoma, acute anxiety or agitation, a personal or family history of tics, orTourette syndrome. Stimulants may also result in sudden death in individuals with congenital heart defects or severe heart problems. Consequently, patients must alert their doctors if they have a history of heart disease, heart rhythm disorder, coronary artery diseaseor heart attacks. Doctors must also be alarmed when the individual has a history of high blood pressure, mental disease, peripheral vascular disease or seizure disorders.

Some drug interactions may be detrimental. The NIH states that people shouldn’t take Adderall if they’ve taken an MAO inhibitor in the previous two weeks.

Adderall & kids
For children with ADHD, or hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms that cause impairment and appear before the age of 7, Adderall recreational use may be considered part of a complete treatment program. ADHD must be identified via a set of tests that rule out other mental disorders. Other treatment measures will include emotional, educational and social aspects — drug treatments might not even be mandatory.