Adderall and its Side Effects: A Closer Look
Adderall once again sparked discussions when the Netflix show “Take Your Pills” dedicated an episode to this ADHD medication. The show briefly touched upon the popularity of study drugs among young individuals and college students. While the audience had mixed reactions to the show, it was important that they shed light on the potential side effects of Adderall. Before considering its use, it is crucial to understand the depth of this medication. It should not be used for focus, academic performance, or stimulation if you do not have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Adderall is a stimulant that is only available by prescription in the US. Originally intended to treat ADHD, a neurobehavioral condition characterized by hyperactivity, difficulty concentrating, and impulsivity, its usage has increased over the past two decades. Adderall, along with another stimulant called Ritalin, has been prescribed to more young children, leading to its growing popularity among adults as well. When taken by individuals without ADHD, Adderall can increase energy levels, focus, and performance.
In a 2004 episode of Desperate Housewives, a storyline featured a tired Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman) resorting to taking Ritalin prescribed to her child to cope with the demands of parenthood. Additionally, the Netflix documentary “Take Your Pills” released in 2018 explored the drug’s popularity among various groups such as students who use it to enhance their grades.
Adderall use can lead to potential side effects such as decreased appetite, weight loss, anxiety, insomnia, and tremors. Both Ritalin and Adderall have a high potential for addiction and abuse, with long-term risks of mental and physical dependence for users who feel they cannot function without it.
Studies have shown that Adderall is an effective treatment option for ADHD, improving attention, focus, and reducing impulsive behaviors. Approximately 75-80% of children with ADHD experience improved symptoms with the use of stimulants like Adderall. It has also been found to increase daytime alertness in individuals with narcolepsy, although limited research is available on this topic.
Adderall Dosages: What You Need to Know
Adderall is available in two forms: oral tablets and extended-release oral capsules known as Adderall XR. The dosage of Adderall prescribed to you depends on factors such as age, sex, and the severity of your condition. The initial recommended dosage is 5 mg once a day, preferably taken upon waking up. It is important not to exceed a daily limit of 20 mg. For the treatment of narcolepsy, the initial dosage is 10 mg per day.
Common side effects of Adderall include stomach ache, vomiting, lack of appetite, weight loss, mood swings (including anxiety or irritability), rapid increase in heart rate, headache, vertigo, insomnia, and dry mouth.