Drug & Addiction InformationPrescription Drugs

Is Adderall Addictive? Uses and Side Effects of Adderall

Adults and parents of children being treated with Adderall often ask the question, “Is Adderall Addictive?”

Excessive diagnoses and prescriptions are two issues plaguing the United States of America. There is a culture of excessive diagnosis and overprescription that is prevalent in healthcare today. The opioid epidemic is one symptom of this culture.

In particular, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a diagnosis that is a source of significant controversy. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) estimates that 5% of all children have a form of ADHD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the rate to be even higher at almost double (11% of children in the United States). However, many parents are skeptical of the ADHD diagnosis. A segment of parents theorize that physicians may be erroneously attributing behaviors to a condition, when those behaviors are typical of children.

Adderall is frequently prescribed to treat symptoms associated with ADHD, including excessive talking, fidgeting, and restlessness. While the drug is approved by the FDA for use by children, adolescents, and adults to treat these symptoms of ADHD, it’s understandable that parents would be concerned as to whether or not the drug is safe or even necessary.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is an FDA-approved drug used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy comprised of four different amphetamines: dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate. Adderall is the brand name associated with this combination of stimulants that are used to treat the symptoms of ADHD.

How Does Adderall Work?

Exactly how does Adderall treat the symptoms of ADHD? Unfortunately, the medical field isn’t exactly sure by which mechanism these amphetamines are able to reduce the symptoms of ADHD.

ADHD isn’t the only condition treated by Adderall. Adderall is also prescribed to treat narcolepsy. Given that Adderall is a cocktail of stimulants, it’s easy to see how this could be effective in reducing the excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy.

Is There A Generic Version of Adderall?

Yes. While Adderall is the branded version of this medication, the FDA has also approved generic versions of both the immediate and extended release variations of the drug, as well.

What Are The Side Effects of Adderall?

Side effects of Adderall include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Hair loss
  • Impotence
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure
Is Adderall Addictive?

Yes, Adderall is considered to have high potential for abuse and addiction due to its amphetamine-based composition. Adderall is classified as a Schedule II drug due to its high addictive potential.