Adderall Dosage, Indications, Uses & Side Effects
Drug Description of 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. This medication may be used alone or with other medications.
Uses of Adderall
Adderall is indicated for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Narcolepsy.
Regardless of indication, amphetamines should be administered at the lowest effective dosage, and dosage should be individually adjusted according to the therapeutic needs and response of the patient. Late evening doses should be avoided because of the resulting insomnia.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Not recommended for children under 3 years of age. In children from 3 to 5 years of age, start with 2.5 mg daily; daily dosage may be raised in increments of 2.5 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained.
In children 6 years of age and older, start with 5 mg once daily; 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. Give first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours.
Usual dose 5 mg to 60 mg per day in divided doses, depending on the individual patient response.
Narcolepsy seldom occurs in children under 12 years of age; however, when it does, dextroamphetamine sulfate may be used. The suggested initial dose for patients aged 6 to 12 is 5 mg daily; daily dose may be raised in increments of 5 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained. In patients 12 years of age and older, start with 10 mg daily; daily dosage may be raised in increments of 10 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained. If bothersome adverse reactions appear (e.g., insomnia or anorexia), dosage should be reduced.
Side Effects of Use
At therapeutic doses, Adderall causes emotional and cognitive effects such as euphoria, change in sex drive, increased wakefulness, and improved cognitive control. At these doses, it induces physical effects such as a faster reaction time, fatigue resistance, and increased muscle strength. In contrast, much larger doses of Adderall can impair cognitive control, cause rapid muscle breakdown, provoke panic attacks, or induce a psychosis (e.g., delusions, hallucinations). The side effects of Adderall vary widely among individuals, but most commonly include insomnia, dry mouth, loss of appetite, and weight loss. The risk of developing an addiction or dependence is insignificant when Adderall is used as prescribed at fairly low daily doses.