advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Adderall for ADHD?

I am 27 and have been taking Adderall for ADHD for about five years. Do you know of any negative long-term effects of this drug?

A
Answer (Published 8/15/2005)

Adderall is a mixture of two amphetamine drugs that has been approved in the United States for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in both adults and children over the age of six. It works in the brain to decrease hyperactivity.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for a Healthy Mind - Want to help protect your memory? You can reduce your risk of developing diseases influenced by inflammation, including Alzheimer's, simply by following an anti-inflammatory diet like the one featured on the Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide. Start your free trial today and get 14 days free!

Chemically, Adderall is a combination of dextroamphetamine (dexedrine) and amphetamine and is potentially addictive. For this reason, you must follow your doctor's instructions explicitly. Never take a larger dose than the one prescribed and never take your medication more often than instructed.

At prescribed dosage, Adderall can cause a number of side effects ranging from nervousness, restlessness, and insomnia to constipation, diarrhea, weight loss and changes in sex drive. However, its habit-forming potential is its most dangerous long-term side effect. If you want to discontinue the drug, be sure to do so with the guidance of your physician who probably will give you instructions on how to decrease your dose gradually. Stopping abruptly can lead to such withdrawal symptoms as anxiety, sleeplessness and irritability and may worsen your condition.

You may have read that the Canadian drug regulatory agency has suspended the sale of Adderall XR (controlled release) following reports of sudden deaths among children taking the drug for ADHD. Of the 12 youngsters who died, five had underlying heart defects, which increase the risk of sudden death. After investigating the deaths, the FDA concluded that the total was only slightly higher, per million prescriptions, than the number reported for Ritalin (methylphenidate), the other drug commonly used to treat ADHD in children and that the rate of deaths among children on Adderall was no higher than the number expected to occur among children who were not taking any drugs. So far, the FDA has not taken action against the drug, but Adderall XR's label has been changed to include the warning that children with underlying heart defects might be at particular risk for sudden death and shouldn't ordinarily take any form of Adderall. The manufacturer notes that you should not use Adderall if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma, or an overactive thyroid gland. Other medications can interact with Adderall so follow your doctor's instructions closely.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here