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All about: Adderall

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Generic Name: Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine Tablets (am-FET-uh-meen/dex-troe-am-FET-uh-meen)
Brand Name: Adderall

Adderall has a high potential for abuse and may be habit forming if used for a long period of time. Use Adderall only as prescribed and do not share it with others. Abuse of Adderall may cause serious heart problems, blood vessel problems, or sudden death.


Adderall is used for:

Treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (sudden and uncontrollable attacks of drowsiness and sleepiness). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Adderall is an amphetamine. The exact way it works is unknown. Adderall affects certain chemicals in the brain that may affect attention span and behavior.

Do NOT use Adderall if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Adderall or to similar medicines
  • you are taking furazolidone, guanadrel, guanethidine, or have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days
  • you have severe hardening of the arteries; active heart or blood vessel disease; moderate, severe, or uncontrolled high blood pressure; high blood pressure in the lungs; anorexia; an overactive thyroid; glaucoma; or agitation, anxiety, or tension
  • you have a history of alcohol or other substance abuse

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Adderall :

Some medical conditions may interact with Adderall . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of mental or mood problems, growth problems, thyroid problems, heart problems or abnormalities, birth defects, high blood pressure, uncontrolled muscle movements (eg, tics), Tourette syndrome, certain blood problems (eg, porphyria), hardening of the arteries, or blood vessel problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Adderall . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Glutamic acid, haloperidol, lithium carbonate, phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), reserpine, urinary acidifiers (eg, methenamine, ammonium chloride), or vitamin C (ascorbic acid) because they may decrease Adderall 's effectiveness
  • Alkalinizing agents (eg, daily antacids, sodium bicarbonate, acetazolamide), furazolidone, MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, desipramine, protriptyline) because side effects such as increased blood pressure, headache, fever, and irregular heartbeat may occur
  • Propoxyphene because it may increase the risk of Adderall 's side effects
  • Meperidine, norepinephrine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (eg, fluoxetine), or tramadol because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Adderall
  • Alpha blockers (eg, prazosin), antihistamines (eg, diphenhydramine), ethosuximide, guanadrel, guanethidine, medicines for high blood pressure, phenobarbital, or phenytoin because their effectiveness may be decreased by Adderall

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Adderall may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Adderall :

Use Adderall as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Adderall comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get Adderall refilled.
  • Take Adderall by mouth with or without food.
  • Do not take an antacid within 1 hour before or 2 hours after you take Adderall .
  • Take your last dose of the day 4 to 6 hours before bedtime unless your doctor tells you differently.
  • If you miss a dose of Adderall , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Adderall .

Important safety information:

  • Adderall may cause dizziness or drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Adderall with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Certain foods and medicines can affect the amount of acid in your stomach/intestine and increase or decrease (depending on the medicine) the absorption of Adderall . Tell your doctor if you take any of these products: fruit juice, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), sodium bicarbonate, ammonium chloride, sodium acid phosphate, ulcer medicines (eg, H2 blockers such as famotidine and ranitidine, proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole and lansoprazole), antacids, methenamine, or acetazolamide.
  • Avoid large amounts of food or drink that have caffeine (eg, coffee, tea, cocoa, cola, chocolate).
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Adderall before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Adderall may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Adderall . Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Adderall may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Adderall .
  • Lab tests, including blood pressure, pulse, and growth rate, may be performed while you use Adderall . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Adderall with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 6 years old. Adderall should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 3 years old. Safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Adderall may cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Adderall while you are pregnant. Adderall is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Adderall .

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, Adderall may not work as well and may require higher doses to obtain the same effect as when originally taken. This is known as TOLERANCE. Talk with your doctor if Adderall stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed.

When used for longer than a few weeks or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking Adderall . This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. Do not suddenly stop taking Adderall . If you do, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include feeling unwell or unhappy, anxious or irritable, dizzy, confused, or sluggish. You may also have nausea, unusual skin sensations, mood swings, headache, trouble sleeping, or sweating. If you need to stop Adderall , your doctor will lower your dose over time.

Possible side effects of Adderall :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; diarrhea; difficulty sleeping; dizziness; dry mouth; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness; restlessness; stomach pain or upset; unpleasant taste; vomiting; weight loss.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision; change in sexual ability or desire; chest pain; confusion; depression; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; growth suppression; mental/mood changes; numbness or tingling in an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; painful or frequent urination; seizures; severe headache; severe stomach pain; severe weight loss; sudden severe dizziness, fainting, or vomiting; uncontrolled muscle movement; unusual weakness or tiredness; vision or speech changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; fast breathing; fever; hallucinations; irregular heartbeat; muscle pain or tenderness; severe mental/mood changes; severe or persistent headache; severe restlessness.

Proper storage of Adderall :

Store Adderall at room temperature, 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, light, and moisture. Keep Adderall out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Adderall , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Adderall is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about this medicine. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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