How Extended Adderall Use Affects The Brain
Stimulants increase concentration and energy levels while decreasing the need for sleep and suppressing the appetite. Adderall increases the activity of several neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and especially dopamine. Over time, the changes in dopamine activity can impact our brains reward center, and alter our ability to experience pleasure without the chemical support of continued amphetamine use.. The more often Adderall is taken, the more ingrained these changes become. A tolerance to the drug may form, and more Adderall may be needed at each dose in order to feel the same desired effects.
As Adderall leaves the bloodstream, withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings may occur, indicating a physical and emotional dependence on the drug. The way in which Adderall is abused, along with the amount and duration of abuse can affect the dependence level to the drug. Crushing the pills and then injecting or snorting them, for example, sends the drug into the brain more rapidly than ingesting them whole and having them enter the bloodstream via the digestive tract. As a result, injecting or snorting the crushed pills increases the chances for a life-threatening overdose and the potential for addiction. Addiction is a disease that affects each person individually, and environmental and biological factors may also play a role in its onset.
Forms And Strengths Of Adderall And Adderall Xr
Adderall comes in these forms and strengths:
- Adderall oral tablet, which is an immediate-release * form of the drug. Adderall oral tablets are available in the following strengths:
* IR means the drug is released into your body right away after taking a dose. ER means the drug is gradually released into your body.
How Long Does It Take For Adderall To Kick In And Start Working
Typically, people will see effects from immediate-release stimulants in just one hour. The medication is effective as soon as it crosses the blood-brain barrier. Since citric and ascorbic acid , in either supplements, juices, or foods can prevent absorption of ADHD stimulant medication, try taking the medication on an empty stomach, and avoid vitamin C an hour before and after taking medication.
For more information about Adderall and drug interactions, see the FDA Adderall Medication Guide.
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Is It Safe To Combine Adderall And Weed
Part of the problem here is that individual experience varies widely when people take Adderall and weed together. On top of that, there is very little research that studies the effect that the two substances have on each other. However, there have been some noticeable side effects when the two substances are takes together.
One of these is increased stimulation. Both of these substances will cause your heart rate to spike. While this might be fine for some people, it can be dangerous to those with heart conditions. In addition to this, users reported elevated levels of euphoria and less anxiety associated with their Adderall high.
This is thanks to the sedative qualities provided by cannabis. Weed also stimulates the appetite. As such, this can cancel out the appetite suppression that comes with Adderall. In this way, weed can help people on Adderall avoid weight loss. Unfortunately, this can lead to some messy long-term consequences.
As we mentioned, weed can cancel out some of the negative side effects associated with Adderall. While this might sound nice, it can lead addictive individuals to take more of the substance as a result. This digs the user into an even deeper hole. If left unchecked, then is a combination of drugs that can quickly turn into an Adderall addiction.
Adderall Effects On Adhd
Adderall affects ADHD by reducing impulsivity and improving a persons attention and focus. Adderall helps people with ADHD by enhancing the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which increases activity in the central nervous system.
People with clinical ADHD have brains with low dopamine function. Stimulants like Adderall increase the amount of dopamine in the brain, which can help alleviate symptoms of ADHD. ADHD symptoms may include problems with:
- Short attention span
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What Should I Tell My Doctor Before Starting Stimulant Therapy
When taking stimulant therapy for ADHD, be sure to tell your healthcare provider:
- If you are nursing, pregnant, or plan to become pregnant.
- If you are taking or plan to take any prescription drugs, dietary supplements, herbal medicines, or nonprescription medications.
- If you have any past or present medical problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, seizures, heart disease, glaucoma, or liver or kidney disease.
- If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or dependency, or if you have had mental health problems, including depression, manic depression, or psychosis.
- If you have a history of suicidal thoughts or if anyone in your family has tried to commit suicide.
Why Has This Malpractice Been Allowed
Why do doctors too often insist on prescribing Adderall to newly diagnosed patients? Especially with so little guidance and failure to use rating scales or seek third-party reports?
Heres one shocking reason: Many prescribers misread a meta-analysis based on old, scant data. A meta-analysis is not established standard of care.
Three other reasons:
This company was fined $56.5M in 2014 for its false claims about Adderall and a few other drugs. Read more at the U.S. Department of Justice website: Shire Pharmaceuticals LLC to Pay $56.5 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Relating to Drug Marketing and Promotion Practices
2. This manufacturer has long wielded, in my observation, undue influence over most ADHD websites and personalities you see online. Unfortunately, this includes psychiatrists, psychologists, coaches, and non-profits, including board members and conference speakers and organizers. Most people would be shocked at how this one pharma covertly pushes its agenda through so many tentacles. And what a weird agenda it is.
3, Too many prescribers remain clueless, cavalier, and disconnected from consequences. I dont say this to discourage seeking treatment! Instead, I want you to be a savvy healthcare consumer.
Why havent other ADHD experts calling this out? Youd have to ask them.
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How To Avoid Withdrawal From Adderall
Adderall is known to be helpful for people with ADHD. It can help reduce impulsiveness and promote increased focus, concentration, and memory. But along with these beneficial effects, you could also experience unwanted side effects.
If you stop taking Adderall, these side effects usually begin clearing up within a few days, but it may take several days for the drug to completely leave your system.
If youve taken high doses of Adderall for a long time, you might experience withdrawal when you stop. Medical support can help you manage withdrawal symptoms as you slowly decrease usage until youre no longer using the drug.
Stopping use suddenly isnt recommended. Talk to your healthcare provider about tapering off Adderall. They can help determine a safe decrease in dosage and monitor and treat side effects.
Talking to a therapist can help if youre struggling with mood changes or other mental health symptoms. Therapy can also help you work through cravings and other side effects of addiction.
Adderall is generally safe for most people to use. But it can cause side effects, some of which can be serious.
Talk to your doctor right away if you experience:
- heart palpitations
- thoughts of suicide
If any of your symptoms seem serious or make you feel concerned, talk to your healthcare provider. You should always let your doctor know about any side effects you experience while taking medication.
How You Feel After Taking Adderall If You Dont Have Adhd
Stimulant drugs like Adderall produce unnaturally high levels of dopamine. In people that do not have ADHD, this excessive amount of dopamine produces an intense euphoric feeling and increased levels of energy. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says:
BUTfor people who do not have ADHD, stimulants flood the brain with dopamine, causing a dopamine overload. So instead of having a calming effect as they would on people with ADHD, stimulants taken without a medical reason can disrupt brain communication and cause euphoria. It might feel good at first, but repeated abuse of stimulants can: Increase blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, decrease appetite and sleep, cause feelings of hostility and paranoia, and increase a persons risk for addiction.
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Side Effects Of Adderal Abuse
However, the drug can also produce possible dangerous physical and emotional side effects. Since Adderall floods the brain with excessive dopamine, once the drug has left the system, the user will typically experience a terrible crash and feel very sluggish. Some of the other possible side effects of Adderall in some without ADHD can include:
- Suicidal thoughts
The withdrawal symptoms from Adderall have reversed effects of what taking the drug does to you. Those that have a higher tolerance or have been taking larger doses of the medication will experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Stimulant abuse and addiction have been swept under the rug due to the opioid epidemic, but it has also become a major problem in this country. Roughly 6 million people in the US have either misused stimulants or have a stimulant use disorder, but treatment is available.
Can You Get Medical Marijuana For Adhd
A study from 2017 indicates that a small number of psychiatrists in the United States have recommended medical cannabis for the treatment of ADHD.
In states where marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes, ADHD is not listed as a qualifying condition that can result in a physician issuing a medical marijuana card. However, many people with ADHD self-medicate with cannabis and find great benefit.
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How Adderall Affects The Brains Of Those Who Need It And The Brains Of Those Who Dont
Prescription stimulants like Adderall are most often prescribed in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . Adderall and other prescription drugs such as Ritalin can help people with ADHD to feel more focused. Unfortunately, illicit use of Adderall has become far too common, especially among high school and college students who look to the study drug for enhanced performance, but do not realize the dangers of misuse.
Does Adderall Cause Changes In Menstrual Cycles Like Missed Periods
The published literature on side effects of Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderall does not suggest a relationship between Adderall and the menstrual cycle.
However, many women find that their ADHD medication is not as effective in the four to five days before their menstrual flow. Raising the dose of Adderall does not increase its level of benefits. Talk with your doctor about how to measure this loss of effectiveness.
For more information, see our expert response.
Core Problem: Poor Monitoring Of Prescription Adderall
In the early days of my advocacy, the early 2000s, I heard story after story repeated in my Adult ADHD monthly discussion group in Palo Alto.
I heard similar in my online group for the partners of adults with ADHD . That is, they reported reckless prescribing patterns, particularly around Adderall. What was happening here?
What Is Adderall & How Does It Work
Adderall is a prescription medication composed of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is primarily used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. At the neurological level, Adderall binds to norepinephrine and dopamine receptors in the brain as well as epinephrine receptors in the adrenal gland. As a result, there is an increase in the level of feel-good chemicals in the brain, which improves the individuals concentration, alertness, and focus but also causes euphoria.
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Is Adderall Bad For Your Liver
The enzymes that break down a drug in the liver differ in everyone, which may impact the time a drug stays in the body. Adderall is available in various strengths, from 5 mg to 30 mg, as tablets or capsules. Higher doses can take a longer time to break down, and therefore stay longer in the body. As a result, the drug is sometimes classified as bad for the liver.
Some signs of liver damage include yellow eyes, bruising, fatigue, and itching. In severe cases, these symptoms may lead to edema, gastrointestinal bleeding, and even coma. Another organ affected by Adderall is the kidneys, which filter wastes from the blood and produce urine. The kidneys are responsible for releasing three essential hormones, including erythropoietin, which stimulates red blood cell production. Renin also regulates blood pressure. Finally, active vitamin D is needed for the normal chemical balance in the body.
Prescription Adderall Works Well Sometimes
Again: For some people, prescription Adderall works well and with few side effects. It is the best choice for them.
Yet, prescription Adderall has a higher side-effect profile. What does that mean, in practical terms? It means that if youre just starting treatment, lets consider it common sense to begin with a less risky choice. In other words, trying Adderall only after other stimulants have not proven effective.
Ideally, a trial should be given of both the amphetamine and methylphenidate classes, as I explain in my book . There is no way to predict beforehand how you will respond to either class of stimulant. It comes down to genetics.
Despite all that, many physicians routinely start new patients with Adderalland at too high a dose.
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Should You Use Adderall
If you do not have ADHD, then I strongly advise against using Adderall, Vyvanse, Desoxyn, or any other prescription drugs designed to treat ADD or ADHD.
The risks associated with using prescription drugs when you do not have a diagnosed medical condition are far too great to justify.
Thi is especially true since the benefits associated with Adderall can easily be obtained from natural nootropic stacks.
There are natural over the counter alternatives capable of producing all of the benefits of Adderall with none of the risks.
Who Should Not Take Adderall
There are some people who should avoid Adderall entirely. If you have a personal or family history of psychosis, for example, you should not take Adderall. Continuing to use amphetamine treatment after an episode of drug-induced psychosis can increase your risk of developing a chronic psychotic disorder .
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Approved Uses For Adderall
Adderall for ADHD/ADD
Both Adderall oral tablets and Adderall XR capsules are FDA-approved for adults and children to treat ADHD.
Adderall can help reduce hyperactivity and inattentiveness in people with ADHD. ADHD is sometimes referred to as ADD. But doctors use the term ADHD to describe this condition.
Adderall for narcolepsy
Adderall oral tablets are also approved to treat narcolepsy. The drug can help reduce daytime sleepiness in people with this condition.
Is Adderall Bad For You If You Have Adhd
If you have ADHD, you might be wondering if Adderall is bad for you. The drug works by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that activates reward pathways in the brain. When this neurotransmitter levels are low, people with ADHD have difficulty focusing and have lower motivation, leading them to seek out short-term rewards. Adderall helps dopamine stay in synapses longer, which results in increased motivation and decreased desire for short-term rewards.
In addition to raising your IQ, Adderall can make you feel more energetic and alert. Many teenagers and college students misuse Adderall to increase their psychological energy and alertness. These teens and young adults may even pull all-nighters, study harder, and socialize better. Sadly, this type of behavior can cause problems for people without ADHD. Some people even go to extreme measures to obtain Adderall, as they believe the medication will help them do better in school or on the job.
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Effects Of Adderall If You Don’t Have Adhd:
If you don’t need them, stimulants could make it easier to remember something, but they’re not all they’re cracked up to be in terms of helping you do better at work. You might experience some side effects, thoughranging from headaches, loss of appetite, and jitteriness to elevated blood pressure, palpitations, and insomnia. And you areer, he islikely to feel a bit sluggish and maybe even have the sads, since you’ve just overloaded the brain with more dopamine than it needs, which means all the happy will come crashing down after the meds have circulated out of your system.
Is Adderall Bad For You
It can be. The same molecules that rev up the sleepy parts of the brain also jumpstart the cardiovascular systemsometimes too much, Arnold says. In rare cases, Ritalin and Adderall can result in serious side effects such as abnormal heart rate, heart attacks, seizures, and even sudden death. Those are more likely if you take a larger dose than prescribed or have an underlying heart condition. Beyond that, who knows? There aren’t any studies on the long-term effects of stimulants on people who pop them when they’re not supposed to.
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How Does Adderall Work In People With Adhd Or Narcolepsy
In individuals that have ADHD, Adderall essentially makes them feel normal. It increases their ability to stay focused, concentrate, pay attention, and it can also help them to control behavior problems. Adderall may also help improve listening skills and help a person to organize their tasks more efficiently. The drug is also occasionally used to help those with sleeping disorders to stay awake .