Adderall: Signs, Symptoms and Effects

adderall abuse, adderall, prescription drugs, stimulant drugs, ADHD drugs

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is the brand name of a combination medication effective for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It works because of how it changes certain natural substances that are found in the brain. The generic name is dextroamphetamine – amphetamine, which belongs to the stimulant class of drugs.

These drugs can help the user increase their ability to pay attention, stay focused, and control issues with behavior. For some individuals, it helps improve listening skills and organization skills. Sometimes it is used to treat narcolepsy, a specific sleeping disorder, by helping the individual stay awake throughout the day.

This medication is in pill form that is taken 1 to 3 times per day, as prescribed by the physician. The dosage is based on the patient’s condition and his or her response to treatment. Throughout the treatment process, the doctor might occasionally stop administering the drug for brief timeframes to see if the medication is still needed and if there are behavioral changes.

Side Effects of Adderall

Adderall can lead to several different side effects. Physicians prescribe the medication because they believe the benefits of taking the drug are greater than the risks of facing side effects. Many people never suffer any side effects from the drug, but here are some of the more common side effects suffered:

  • Weight loss
  • Stomach pain and upset
  • Fever
  • Nervousness
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting and nausea

Some patients experience increased blood pressure, so you should regularly check your blood pressure and tell your doctor if your blood pressure is higher than usual.

There are several serious side effects that occur rarely. If you suffer any serious side effects, notify your physician immediately. Some serious side effects include:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Blood flow problems in toes or fingers – pain, skin color changes, numbness, coldness
  • Unusual finger or toe wounds
  • Behavior/mood/mental changes
  • Outbursts of sounds or words
  • Changes in sexual desire or ability
  • Uncontrollable movements
  • Continuous teeth grinding or chewing movements

Very serious side effects that require immediate medical attention include:

  • Severe headache
  • Fainting
  • Weakness on one side of body
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Shortness of breath
  • Left arm pain or chest or jaw pain
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Seizures
  • Extreme tiredness

There is a very rare risk of a serious allergic reaction to Adderall. If you have any of these symptoms, get immediate medical attention:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe dizziness
  • Swelling or itching – particularly of the throat, face, tongue
  • Rash

Other side effects might also appear depending on the individual.

Adderall Abuse

Adderall is a prescription medication that has been widely abused. There are several ways that an individual might abuse the drug. Signs of abuse might include:

  • Ingesting the medicine through a non-approved approach, such as snorting.
  • Taking medication that is not prescribed for you.
  • Taking the drugs for reasons other than the medical need, such as using it to stay awake for longer time periods.
  • Taking more than prescribed by your physician.
  • Taking the medicine more often than it was prescribed to be taken.
  • Purchasing the drug for recreational use from an illicit supplier.

Signs of Adderall Abuse

There are several signs that accompany Adderall abuse. Some of these symptoms come with higher intensity and frequency of using the drug. Signs of abusing the drug might include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Digestive issues
  • Hoarseness
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Sleep problems
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Sex drive changes
  • Shortness of breath

Continued abuse can lead to even more serious side effects. More dangerous side effects from abuse might include:

  • Difficult or slowed speech
  • Numbness or weakness in the legs or arms
  • Dizziness
  • Rash or hives
  • Chest pain
  • Vision changes
  • Peeling or blistering skin
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Mania
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures

Overdosing on Adderall

Overdosing on Adderall or any other stimulant can result in death. If you believe someone has overdosed on Adderall, call 911. Signs of an overdose include:

  • Hyperventilation
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors that are uncontrollable
  • Delirium
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Vertigo
  • Coma

Long-Term Adderall Abuse

Long-term abuse of Adderall leads to different problems. Here are some of the most concerning signs of long-term abuse of the stimulant:

  • Addiction
  • Tolerance
  • Dependency

If misusing a drug, the patient is much more likely to overdose, which can cause significant harm to the body. Over an extended timeframe, Adderall can lead to serious cardiovascular issues, since it is a stimulant, it increases body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate.


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