Adderall is a psychostimulant (brand-name) pharmaceutical. Adderall is composed of amphetamine salts and works by enhancing the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Adderall can be highly efficient in increasing concentration, alertness. and cognitive performance by decreasing elements of fatigue. This particular drug is available in both extended release (XR) and immediate release formulations.
Adderall Active Ingredients
The following are the proportions of active ingredients, present in Adderall XR:
• 1/4 dextroamphetamine saccharate
• 1/4 (racemic dextro/levo-amphetamine) aspartate monohydrate
• 1/4 (racemic dextro/levo-amphetamine) sulfate
• 1/4 dextroamphetamine sulfate
These four salts possess diverse half-lives, since they are metabolized at different rates. As compared to some other study drugs with single-salt amphetamine preparations, this formulation keeps dramatic onset and termination of therapeutic action at its minimum level.
The DL-amphetamine excretion and absorption largely depends on the stomach and Urinary pH levels. An accelerated excretion of DL-amphetamine is monitored while administered with acidic substances like “citric acid”. However, co-administration of alkaline agents (antacids) results in an enhanced absorption and retention behavior of Amphetamines. This may cause an increase in amphetamine serum, to a potentially dangerous level.
In adults, the average elimination half-life for levoamphetamine is 13 hours whereas, for dextroamphetamine, it takes 10 hours. There are many factors affecting breakdown rates, including stomach and urinary pH, gender, weight, age and administration of any other medicines. Similarly, acidity causes early excretion of the drug and alkalinity results in an increased bioavailability. According to manufacturers of Adderall XR, this drug has a much smoother effect as compared to other study drugs i.e, makes softer highs and lows; however, there is nothing much available to support their claim.
Adderall Administration and Dosing
Adderall is available in two versions, “Adderall XR” (extended-release capsule) and “Adderall” (immediate-release tablet).
Both these Tablets are marketed in following doses.
• Immediate-release Adderall (5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, and 30 mg)
• Adderall XR (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 mg).
Adderall XR follows the Microtrol extended-release delivery system, which is incorporated with two different types of beads. Half of the drug is released with the immediate dissolution of first bead. Whereas, the remaining portion of the drug slowly dissolves during next four hours. However, it takes seven hours to achieve maximum plasma concentration. In the case of instant-release Adderall, the maximum plasma concentration is experienced within just three hours.
Unlike other study drugs, Adderall has a high bioavailability ratio hence; its effectiveness is not disturbed by absorption of food in the gastrointestinal tract. Drugs that cause a change in urinary pH may exhibit different variations with respect to amount and method of excretion. When co-administered with Adderall, usage of such drugs requires a careful monitoring.
Using For Performance Enhancement
Adderall is termed as one of the most regularly used study drugs at various American universities. Adderall is sometimes used illicitly to aid with focus, concentration, and energy. It is used by some to also help stay awake and remain focused. There are some common stories of students such as, for example, a student taking Adderall to assist in writing a paper, and being able to work for an hour or two in a highly focused manner, without falling prey to any distractions. However, the chance of experiencing a side effect is always there when Adderall is taken illegally or abused. In a worst-case scenario, this drug may cause hallucinations, paranoia, and/or a heart attack. We will not delve into the full issue of whether ADHD study drugs are worth the risks, but for those that do want to delve deeper in the topic, they can read more about it through the article linked.
According to a study led by William Frankenberger (psychology professor at University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire), nearly 14% of the students were involved in abusing some sort of study drugs, including Adderall. Adderall of course, is just one of the many study pills that are abused. A survey conducted among students of 119 colleges across the country revealed that up to 25% of students abuse an ADHD medication. These college campuses own a reputation of being highly competitive. With relation to its side effects, such as loss of appetite and weight loss, Adderall is also reported to be used as a drug for obesity.
Adverse Reactions and Side Effects Of Adderall
Prolonged use of Adderall may cause following side effects:
• Extreme social disability
• Severe psychological dependence and irregular tolerance behavior
• The excessive use of study drugs other than prescribed or administering the drug through injection is strictly warned by the manufacturer.
• Prolonged use and high doses of study drugs containing amphetamines may result in mental depression or extreme fatigue.
• The manifestation of amphetamine psychosis is also observed in chronic abuse of amphetamines.
• Insomnia (sleep disorder)
• Loss of interest in sex, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm
• Weight loss due to loss of appetite
• An unpleasant taste or dry mouth
• Constipation, diarrhea
• Dizziness or a headache
In case, any of these serious side effects are experienced, administration of study drugs like Adderall should be discussed with your doctor:
• Blood pressure abnormality (a severe headache, trouble concentrating, blurred vision, chest pain)
• Uneven, pounding, or fast heartbeats
• Feeling light-headed, fainting
• Unusual behavior, restlessness, tremor, muscle twitches, or hallucinations.
Interactions, Contraindications, And Precautions
This article is not meant to be totally comprehensive, as it only includes some guidelines for your knowledge. In order to avail detailed information about co-administration of amphetamines with other substances, you should consult your doctor and a detailed list.
MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors)
Selegiline, Iproniazid, Iprozid, Emsam, Phenelzine, Nardil are some examples of MAOIs. Try not to administer amphetamines for a period not less than two weeks after using MAOIs. Contraindications include extremely elevated amphetamine levels and hypertensive issues. Co-administration of low dose MAOIs and amphetamine are in progress. However, these are just preliminary trials and require strict supervision.
SNRIs (Selective Serotonin-norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors)
These inhibitors include Bupropion (Wellbutrin IR, Zyban). Both amphetamine and Bupropion exhibit dopaminergic and noradrenergic activity. Potentiation and augmentation are possible effects. The pro-convulsant behavior of Bupropion is likely to be enhanced by amphetamine. Can only be used as a prescription.
CYP2D6 (liver Enzyme Inhibitors)
These are SSRIs including paroxetine, fluoxetine, escitalopram etc. Some anti-psychotics such as levomepromazine, thioridazine and haloperidol are few examples of study drugs inhibit CYP2D6. It is necessary to find out whether CYP2D6 inhibitor is present in any drug. Taking a CYP2D6 inhibiting drug along with study drugs like Adderall, may lead to an extensive level of amphetamines. This inhibitor also enhances bioavailability feature of the drug. There is always a possibility of some serious or undesired side effects.
SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)
Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Citalopram, are some examples of SSRIs. In rare cases, these substances may cause serotonin syndrome, when combined with amphetamine.
NRIs (Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors)
Atomoxetine, Strattera are some common Norepinephrine inhibitors. Enhancement of noradrenergic activity is monitored while co-administering of NRI and amphetamine.
We hope this article sheds some information on the study drug Adderall. Please be aware that there are people that may legitimately need a lifelong dose of stimulants in order to just feel normal, and it is not our intention to turn those people away from something that might help them. Always follow the instruction of your doctor. The information found on this page may become outdated if any updates are done on the formulation of Adderall.