Adderall is a stimulant used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for use in 1996, and it has since grown to become one of the first-choice treatment options for the condition. It effectively reduces impulsivity and increases focus in ADHD patients but leads to serious health complications if used incorrectly.
Whether you currently use the drug or are about to start taking it, you will find everything you need to know: from its benefits to dosage guide and possible side effects, in this Adderall review.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a medication used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is made up of two powerful central nervous system (CNS) stimulants — dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Its discovery dates back to the late 1920s, when a chemist named Gordon Alles accidentally synthesized amphetamine (one of its core ingredients) during an attempt to develop a drug for asthma .
The FDA approved it in 1996 after a series of research and experimenting, and it has since been used by millions of patients to manage their hyperactivity, increase focus, suppress appetite, and manage depression. Over time, the FDA put strict regulations on its use as an anorectic after realizing that it was habit-forming. Ever since, healthcare experts have warned the public against using it recreationally.
Adderall is available in two forms — extended-release capsule and immediate-release tablet, and they all come in varying doses. The extended-release capsule comes in the following dose strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg, and 30 mg. On the other hand, the immediate-release capsule comes in 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg strengths .
The drug is effective for both children and adult patients, but it may not be safe for everyone, especially those with certain underlying medical conditions. It is advisable to consult a doctor before starting treatment with it.
How Does Adderall Work?
Adderall is used to treat narcolepsy and hyperactivity. People with ADHD tend to tap, fidget, talk excessively, or move about constantly, even in situations where they shouldn’t. On the other hand, patients with narcolepsy often experience sleep paralysis or excessive daytime sleepiness. Both conditions are linked to the level of norepinephrine, dopamine, and some other chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. The drug works by regulating (in most cases, increasing) the levels of the chemicals to amounts required for proper functioning .
It is worth noting that Adderall may not be safe for long-term use, as it could cause mental health issues, addiction, or slow growth in children. Doctors often stop patients from taking it once their symptoms disappear. But since ADHD can’t be cured, it remains in the body and may resurface from time to time; the drug use may then be resumed. Adderall is a serious drug and requires strict adherence. Seek medical advice and close supervision if you use it or plan to start.
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Main Adderall Benefits
On the surface level, Adderall’s major benefit is treating narcolepsy and symptoms of ADHD. However, it provides several other benefits on a micro level, and some of them include:
Several individuals living with ADHD suffer from impulsivity, i.e., they tend to act without thinking. Making hasty decisions without thinking or acting impulsively can affect relationships and finances, as well as affect one’s social life and overall sense of well-being. Fortunately, Adderall effectively reduces impulsivity and helps ADHD patients lead a normal life .
Although Adderall is not approved by the FDA as a direct treatment option for depression, it has mood-elevating effects. As a stimulant that specifically targets neurotransmitters, it raises the levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is part of the human reward system, and it is commonly known as the feel-good hormone. Increased levels in the brain provide pleasure and a sense of well-being .
Doctors prescribe Adderall to treat narcolepsy for a reason; it is because it increases alertness and eliminates excessive daytime sleepiness. It does this by stimulating dopamine release or inhibiting its reuptake . Patients who take the drug find themselves feeling awake, alert, and active.
Adderall contains amphetamines, which have a positive impact on the energy levels of individuals suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. It changes the levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which results in increased concentration and a rush of energy. These factors cause people who take the drug to feel not just awake but also energetic .
Improved Cognitive Performance
Individuals with ADHD find it difficult to excel at work and in their academics because of the associated lack of focus, concentration, and impulsivity. By altering the levels of dopamine and the other neurotransmitters in the brain, Adderall reverses these symptoms and, by extension, increases cognitive function. Some studies suggest that it may even have a positive effect on memory and executive function in patients with ADHD . However, it is worth noting that the FDA does not approve it as a cognitive enhancement drug.
Possible Side Effects
Adderall is an effective medication, but it has side effects. However, only a handful of people ever experience them. The common ones include :
- dry mouth;
- weight loss;
- loss of appetite;
- upset stomach.
The drug may cause even more serious adverse effects, such as:
- mood swings;
- high blood pressure (HBP);
- change in sexual drive or desire.
It is worth noting that the above adverse effects can become life-threatening if left unattended. This is why doctors only prescribe it in situations where the benefits outweigh the risk of side effects. Consult a doctor before starting treatment with the medication.
Adderall: Dosage Guide
To get the best results from Adderall, it must be used correctly. The initial daily recommended dosage may vary based on a number of factors, including :
- the form of the drug used;
- underlying medical condition;
- the type and severity of the condition.
Speaking about the form of the drug used, Adderall is available in extended-release capsules and immediate-release tablets. Regardless of what form is recommended, doctors typically prescribe the lowest dosage. They may then increase it over time until they attain a dosage that provides the best results without side effects.
It is important to use the drug exactly as prescribed, as taking more than the recommended dosage can increase the risk of negative after-effects. Snorting the crushed pill or dissolving it in water to drink is a terrible idea, as it can alter the dosage required for it to be effective. Do not take more than a single dose per day or take the pills alongside certain other meds without first checking for possible interactions with your doctor.
If you decide to discontinue Adderall use, seek medical assistance, as the dosing needs to be tapered off. Note that suddenly stopping its use can cause withdrawal symptoms such as depression, tiredness, and fatigue. Consult your doctor before starting treatment with Adderall or other ADHD meds.
Adderall vs. Modafinil
Well, modafinil belongs to a class of medications called wakefulness-promoting drugs. It is approved by the FDA to treat symptoms of 3 sleep disorders: narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder (SWSD), and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). After the FDA approved it for use, people realized that it also provides cognitive-enhancing benefits. Today, it is more commonly taken for sports usage and cognitive enhancement. Healthy individuals take it off-label to increase alertness, improve focus, and ultimately increase productivity .
Modafinil is used to treat narcolepsy, and doctors often prescribe it to treat ADHD. The question most people ask is which one is better: Adderall vs. Modafinil? Well, both drugs are similar in terms of how they work and the conditions they treat. Like Adderall, modafinil works by regulating the levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain that influence the wake-sleep cycle. However, it gives off a milder effect, and that translates to a lower risk of adverse effects.
What’s more, it has a relatively lower potential for addiction and is less likely to cause withdrawal symptoms when discontinued. That is why Oxford and Harvard University researchers deemed it “the world’s first safe ‘smart drug.’”
In a nutshell, modafinil may be a better treatment option for narcolepsy. It is better tolerated and less likely to cause anxiety, agitation, or jitteriness. It has helped several individuals to stay focused and attentive and keep behavioral problems in check. However, it is a prescription medication and should only be used on the recommendation of a doctor.
Where to Buy Adderall Online?
Adderall is available online and in local pharmacies. Buying online is convenient and often cheaper since the vendor has fewer overhead costs. However, if you decide to buy online, be sure to source the pills from a trusted vendor.
Many people have ended up buying counterfeit meds from fake pharmacies. But how can you tell if a pharmacy is legit? Well, legit pharmacies typically have a ton of positive reviews on reputable third-party review platforms such as Trustpilot and Yotpo. They source their products from trusted multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Sun Pharma and HAB Pharma, etc., that operate in line with FDA and GMP guidelines.
What’s more, reputable vendors typically offer a money-back guarantee because they are confident in the quality of the products they sell and the services they render. They have active customer care representatives at the ready to assist shoppers with difficulties. If you find an online pharmacy that ticks most or all of these boxes, there’s a high chance that it is legit. However, some fake pharmacies are great at putting on a seemingly believable show; that is why nothing beats recommendations from individuals or organizations that make recommendations based on experience.
Modafinil is also available online, and you can buy up to a 3-month supply, sometimes even more, depending on the pharmacy you shop. If you do not know a reliable pharmacy, you can check out ModafinilXL, HighStreetPharma, and BuyModafiniOnline; they sell high-quality products, offer reasonable prices, fast shipping, and a money-back guarantee. They tick most of the boxes we pointed out, and we have personally verified them.
Final Thoughts: Adderall Review
Adderall is an effective medication. It helped countless people around the world to treat the symptoms of ADHD, ADD, and narcolepsy and lead a healthy, more fulfilling life. However, given a situation where you have to choose between it and modafinil, modafinil may be a better option for you. That is because it is better tolerated, effective, and has fewer side effects and a lower potential for addiction.
Remember to consult your doctor before starting a treatment with either product, as well as to buy them from a trusted pharmacy.
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