By Tammy Preston, MS

Brand Names: Adderall®, Adderall XR®

Generic Name: amphetamine (am-FET-uh-meen) with dextroamphetamine (dex-trow-am-FET-uh-meen)

Manufacturer: Shire Pharmaceuticals

Adderall® for Adults

Adderall® is a medication that must be prescribed by a doctor and is the brand name for a combination of amphetamine salts that function as central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, and have been FDA approved for the treatment of both childhood and adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as narcolepsy in adults.

Adderall® is now available in generic versions. Generic Adderall® is offered by Ranbaxy, Sandoz, and Teva Pharmaceutical.

What Is Adderall XR®?

Adderall® is now available in an extended release version that lasts for 24 hours, called Adderall XR® (an abbreviation for eXtended Release). Adderall XR® is an extended-release version of the drug that only needs to be taken once daily and is only indicated for childhood and adult ADHD, not narcolepsy. The XR formulation is still patented, meaning that it will not be available in generic form until at least 2019.

How Adderall® Works

Although it is not known exactly how Adderall® works, it is believed to increase the flow of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, chemicals that carry the signal between neurons (cells of the nervous system). This can result in an increase in a person’s ability to focus over extended periods of time.

Adderall® and Adderall XR® Dose

Adderall® is an oral mediation available in capsule form. The individual dosages for both Adderall® and Adderall XR® range from 5 – 30 milligrams (mg).

Time for Adderall® to take Effect

Although the time required for Adderall® to take effect may be different for each individual, instant-release drugs in this class generally take 1 – 3 hours. The amount of instant release Adderall® in the bloodstream peaks at about 3 hours. Adderall XR® lasts 24 hours, with the dose peaking about 8 hours after it is taken.

Is Adderall® and Adderall XR® Effective for Adult ADHD?

Adderall® has been used to treat ADHD in both children and adults for many years. In 2004, the Harvard investigators involved in analysis of Adderall XR® Phase III trials in adults concluded that the drug significantly improved subjects’ ability to maintain focus, concentrate, and pay attention for longer periods of time [1].

What is the Effect of Adderall® for Adult ADHD on Sports Performance?

Stimulants used in Adderall® have been shown to improve sports performance, particularly maximum heart rates and time to exhaustion during exercise.

Adderall® and Adderall XR® Minor Side Effects
Adderall® and Aderall XR® are generally considered safe and effective for adults. Common side effects are similar to those typically associated with the use of stimulants, and include:
· Dry mouth
· Loss of appetite
· Difficulty falling asleep
· Weight loss

Adderall® and Adderall XR® Precautions
Addiction & Abuse
Studies have been done to address concern that use of stimulant medications may lead to later drug dependency and abuse. Although untreated adult ADHD has been linked to an increased risk of substance abuse later in life [2], the likelihood of future drug abuse disorder is actually decreased when adult ADHD is properly treated [3].

Still, because Adderall® and Aderall XR® are amphetamines and stimulants, there is the potential for abuse. So this medication is not recommended for people who have a history of drug abuse.

Cardiac Precautions
Adderall® and other amphetamines may not be right for you if you have a history of heart problems, such as hardened arteries (arteriosclerosis), heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), or any other pre-existing cardiac condition.

Other Precautions
The drug is also not recommended for people with overactive thyroid, glaucoma, epilepsy and seizure disorders, severe anxiety or agitation and those who have taken MAO inhibitors within the past two weeks. Before taking Adderall® or Aderall XR®, be sure to tell your doctor if you have any of these problems.

Pregnancy Category C
Like all other adult ADHD medications, Adderall® and Aderall XR® are considered “category C” medications, which means that although no human studies have been done, based on animal studies it is thought that they may be harmful to an unborn baby.

This drug can also pass into breast milk and may be harmful to your baby if you nurse. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while you are being treated for adult ADHD.

Total Treatment of Adult Attention Hyperactivity Disorder
Adderall®, Aderall XR®, or any medication used to treat Adult ADHD, should be used as a part of a total treatment program. Comprehensive treatment of the adult ADHD often includes education, support groups, regular doctor appointments and therapy or counseling.

Adderall Withdrawal
If you stop taking Adderall, you may well end up with withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms are worse the longer you have been taking Adderall and the higher the dose you were taking. The main withdrawal symptom is extreme fatigue. Other withdrawal symptoms include negative mood, ranging from lack of motivation to depression. Symptoms can last from a few days to a few months.

Adderall Shortages
There is currently a shortage of Adderall in the United States. Adderall has been added to the official FDA drug shortages list. Many people with adult ADHD have, unfortunately, shown up at their local pharmacy to find that the pharmacy is out of stock. The reason for the shortage is that the DEA sets quotas for how much of various drug ingredients can be manufactured each year. As a result, not enough has been produced to meet the growing demand for Adderall.

Anecdotally, we have heard that pharmacies in ethnic neighborhoods are more likely to have Adderall in stock, in case you are having trouble finding it near you.

Share Your Experiences!
What have your experiences with Adderall been? Let us know about any successes or problems you’ve had taking Adderall for adult ADHD in the comments.

1. Biederman, J, M.D. (2004) Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of Mixed Amphetamine Salts Extended-Release for Adult ADHD. APA Presentation # 106
2. Richardson. (2005) When Too Much Isn’t Enough, Ending The Destructive Cycle of AD/HD and Addictive Behavior, Pinon Press
3. Wilens, et al. (2003) Does Stimulant Therapy of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Beget Later Substance Abuse? A Meta-analytic Review of the Literature, Pediatrics Vol. 111 (1).
4. Shire US Inc., Prescribing Information sheet for Adderall XR.


  1. For me Adderall has been a lifesaver! Although I’ve had a few side effects, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

  2. My doc prescribed Adderal XR but I’m afraid to take this as I had problems with Ritalin. Ritalin made my heart feel like it was racing and I wanted to jump out of my skin! Would I feel the same way with Adderal?

  3. @Megan – Both Adderall and Ritalin are stimulants, so the side effects can be similar. Strattera is a non-stimulant option that you may wish to discuss with your doctor.

  4. Jessie Mae says

    To MEgan-I haven’t taken Ritalin since I was 13; it turns me into a complete she-bear. Keep trying! I love Adderall but the shortage sucks.

  5. Different meds affect everyone uniquely. Ritalin makes me anxious but not focused. Adderall is much smoother, making me want to work. Even different generics affect differently, Teva brand adderall instantly works well for me, shire brand does not work at all due to the binder they use. Just keep trying, your MD should know all this and can advise you.

  6. Ive been taking Adderall and it has been working well for me. However, I’ve found out I’m pregnant and am not sure what to do. I dont think I could cope with my job without it. Does anyone have any idea what I can do?

  7. Nikki, that is quite a conundrum! I’m not sure that there is a good answer other than talking to your physician about your situation. Not much is known about the effects of ADHD medications on unborn babies, but it is thought that they all pose a risk. You and your physician will need to weigh the benefits and risks of all options.

  8. Anthony Myers says

    I was on Ritalin when i was younger , so I am back on it now , it works ok , but i do feel Anxious , cant sleep but totaly tired , , I can function alot better i wil say that but i do feel that Aderall works alot better , i am gonan ask my MD for Aderall , i just dont want to look liek a drug seeker , I know aderall works for me , cuz many years ago i was told by a co-worker to try this Aderall , to help me stay awake at work i did that and totaly bit me in the ass , I was really tired after that meaning I could accualy do proper work without having an attention span of a bird , that is when i knew I stil had ADHD as an adult , so i am gonna Ask him for Aderall ,

  9. Kathleen Stone says

    Adderall has helped me at work since I started taking it in April but my doctor switched me a couple of months ago to Vyvance which did not work near as well but has not put me back on Adderall as I requested so I have quit taking Vyvance and need to either find a different doctor that will listen to my needs, how do I find a General practitioner that can help me.

  10. Does the VA treat ADHD? I’m going to try and get adderall through the VA

  11. Jill Marlowe says

    The doctor I saw for depression as a teen (in my home town two counties from where I live) saw me as an adult, evaluated me for ADHD and prescribed Adderall. It has been wonderful! For me, it RELIEVED anxiety (because I could better manage daily challenges) AND I also found I slept better – maybe because I no longer battled racing thoughts that felt like someone else held the remote control to my head) There sure isn’t shortages in my county though. To the contrary, local doctors REFUSE to prescribe to adults! They point to the cardiac issues – yet, personally, my heart has passed ALL tests with flying colors. By the way, what appeared to be teen age depression, I believe was ADHD along with adjustment problems from my parents divorce. The local doctor I saw yesterday who would only gave the options of Wellbutrin or Strattera, told me that I had a mental illness and that I was getting “high” on Adderal. Funny, my children simply comment that I don’t yell as much and I can actually sit through a movie with them now! She said Adderal comes with a “black box” warning so they won’t prescribe.

  12. I have been on Adderall for 6 months now and it has changed my life! I wish I had known about it 30 yrs ago . I could have accomplished so much more in life. My I.Q. Tests have always been somewhere in the 120-130 range, yet in high school I never once made the honor roll! Of course then my parents just thought I was a lazy muthafkr. They kept telling me “I know u can do better”. But the fact is, I couldn’t. I also played 3 sports, belonged to several clubs and had 2 jobs.
    I have also been taking Lexapro w/it. Does anyone have any info or opinions on whether wellbrutrin might work better w the adderall?

  13. I’ll going to be starting adderall tomorrow. Buzy mom with 3 kids and work full time. Praying that help me to stay focus and give me the energy need. Keep you post it

  14. I am 46 years old female at ropes end and finally started Adderall in the morning. I have all the classic indicators plus a parent who suffered all his life with ADHD but never diagnosised and knew nothing but to mask his problems with Alcohol abuse until his early death (65). It has been 9 months since my Dad passed and I have been on a mission to find out what I (“we”) suffer from that robs me of a normal productive life. My Dr. says I am very insightful to have brought all of this to her attention and ask for help. Most sufferers continue through life with the wrong thoughts and perceptions and deal with life the best they know how such as addictions and such. Not me I do not accept the fact that with all of our knowledge these days and less stigmatism on mental health, that I have to come to the same demize as my Dad (R.I.P). I so wished I had figured out what was wrong before he passed and was able to share with him one “normal” day. I pray this drug will change my life so that my Dad’s life was not in vain. I will keep posting my progress so my living experience will help someone else that has struggled with ADHD into Adulthood.

  15. Adrian hoechstetter says

    I would like to purchase one bottlr

  16. Adderall has been a life saver for me. Pain and stress isn’t good when you have ADHD. I realized I had ADHD in 2004 due to my unraveling when life became too stressful. ADHD had affected all aspects of my life and relationships for over 40 years. Due to chronic pain from a fall, Arthritis, Ulnar Nerve damage and Fibro my Rheumatologist suggested I finally get treated for the ADHD. We were considering an antidepressant/Cymbalta for my Fibromyalgia but she insisted I deal with the ADHD before she would prescribe it. I’ve never been so grateful in my life. My Doctor said I’m like a new person. When I came to her a year ago I was really messed up, on edge and at my lowest point.

    Adderall combined with Lyrica has given me my life back. My chronic pain is finally manageable. I am back to work full time and I no longer take a shitload of pills. I had no idea I was diagnosed with ADD back in 1971 by the State and School District. Thanks to my deceitful parents. They swept that mess under the rug until I told them what I was going through at work and my health issues. I guess things happen for a reason.

    When I was a young adult I almost went to prison due to my uncontrolled impulses, anger and emotions that I now know was because of ADHD. Thank goodness the court system forced me to take counseling, anger management, parenting classes and marriage counseling. I learned coping and organization skills that got me through two decades but a few times I lost control. Adderall has really helped with my impulsiveness, energy level, mood and focus.

    The next decade is going to be wonderful. Maybe my story can help someone else.

  17. It is happy sad to read these posts. I have lost everything and well I had a lot to lose. I few years ago a doctor asked me how many things I thought about at once ‘hell five or six at least’ he said some people thought only one thing at a time. He put me on Adderall and things started to change, I could focus do one thing at a time, complete things without losing interest.
    Then life went to hell I couldn’t afford to see the shrink anymore, you know the story. My hope is I can find a Doc to put me back on my meds where I function at a pretty high level.
    It is nice to hear I am not the only whose life has been ravaged by whatever this disease is.

  18. I don’t have health insurance, cannot keep a regular job due to health problems and the ADD and if this weren’t bad enough, I live in a rural area. A couple years ago one of the Dr.s at the health clinic put me on Adderal after trying a few other things. It was life altering. I could focus and complete tasks. The clinic changed Dr’s many times before finally getting a regular doc. This doc believes that adults with ADD do not need medication. She thinks that any adult who thinks these medications work must be a druggy. She is taking me off adderal within the month. I do not currently nor have I ever had an addiction or substance abuse problem. I don’t abuse my medication. Since decreasing my dose by half my add is closing in on me. I’m likely to lose my job and have been under tremendous stress due to missed or forgotten apt.s, missed deadlines and an inability to manage the business stuff of life with any consistency. I’m afraid to tell her how truly terrified I am and how close I am to being jobless and homeless because I know she’ll attribute this to personal weakness, failure, and dependency. I can’t switch Dr.s–there is no alternative but if I ask she’ll say I was Dr Shopping. Aderal helped me take control of my life even though buying it out of pocket without insurance really hurt my small budget. I experienced no side effects from it. It simply helped me focus without all the distractions. I just wish there was an education program out there for narrow minded dr.s–to teach that add isn’t a personal weakness or immaturity or selfishness and that if we could help it without medication WE WOULD!

  19. I was told when i was an adolescent that i had adhd my mum never took it seriosly i always quit everything.couldn’t keep friends christmas treed test even if i knew the work it wad hard to sit i am 35 sick and tired of my disorganized life and my house in disaray i finally talkedto my shrink last wrote 20 mgs of addera ll 1a day hem month.he wrot 20 mgs . once a day my life begin to change i got my big home organixed i have 5 kids ages 3-13 i behan going places with the family reading a book without throwing it.i began to feel mormal not high normal! Just remember if your on it no caffeine chocolate sugars ect…. i go tomarrow to my pshch. i have kept a journal in my planner of all my changes i always was called names by my family i wish i could of got help sooner for my life would jave been alot less dysfunctional:) please iff u dont have add adhd dont take this medication and ruin it for those who really depend on it!*

  20. Sorry for my typos if u do have add adhd in live in tampa my shrink will help u. i also have sob anxiety and another serious heath prob. this medication is or will when i get it tomarrow help me keep my gyn oncologists aponts and face it. i ran out due to not confirming my appnt but i have no withdrae symptoms.

  21. I started taking Adderal Xr in generic form a couple of days ago anf my husband told me he noticed a change immediately in my focus and that I was finally talking in complete sentences.

  22. I lost my job back on October of 2012 & my insurance along with it. I literally cannot afford my Adderal anymore so have not been on it for about a month now. To finally know what “focus” feels like after 38 years & how great life can be with Adderal makes it sheer hell trying to function again without it. All I do every single day is race around in circles & think about doing a million different things, just never actually do anything. Too bad all the brilliant MDs who have decided not to prescribe adderal to all of us “druggys” can’t switch brains with us for a day….see how quick they’d get off their “high horses”

  23. John Ewing says

    I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child muddled through life very poorly . At the age of 40 I started a trial study for adderal XR it was life changing. I took it for about three years with great results. Unfortanitly the company I worked for agent out of business in 08 and my insurance went with it.

    I have been taking the generic form of adderall non extended release since 08 until present, unfortanutly I find this form of the medication is no longer as effective as it once was. I would say it is aprox 20% as effective as it once was. I have never a used the medication or taken more than my prescribed dose. Even the XR was losing a little effect. I once again have insurance and hope the XR version will be effective.

  24. I was a c student until my wife got me to go to the doctor and he put me on Adderall time released formula and hen I went up to almost 4.00 in my field of study Industrial Design. I I have almost finished a Bachelors degree but my family doesn’t seem to like it they told me I was digressing when I showed them I could be a a top student. This all sounds funny because my mother gave me fetal alcoholism (I have records from my childhood written by a doctor). My mother drank sense I was 6 years old every day. Then in my last year of college I could not get a student loan without a cosigner I asked my mother to co-sign my last student loan and then a day before the check cleared my mother and sister stole my $30,000 out of the Bank (Commerce Bank now TD North). The money has not been paid back even now and hat was 2007. Now my mother and late father set up a trust fund with me as the only beneficiary but I get very little funds and I live in poverty. My doctor says I should get a lawyer but how. My trustee is a life long alcoholic and drug addict (my sister) her husband committed suicide. Then a year latter my sister is my trustee with a mile of legal offenses I have no legal record. I would think the makers of Adderall would like o have success stories like mine but I have not been able to get back in school. My son was also taken from me and my wife because my sister called the hospital and said we were dependent. I worry about him everyday but when courts are paid off how can I get a break my parent were the worse parents I can think of I was going to show how I could raise our son with love but I was canceled out of this opportunity much like being cancelled u of school by my parents saying they had financial family problems it was my grades that got me scholarships not mom and dad. I am 54 years old and the family is still playing these sick games with me. How can I get ahead and finish my studies and have nothing to do with them or get control of this trust fund and move to a safe home?

  25. I am 23 a mother of three. Idk why my parents never took,me yo,the dr but i ,ouldnt concentrate in school.i wasnt intersted in school cause i could focus nir concentrate. and i still cant. My psch has me on depekote 500 mg twice xanax .5 twice snd celexa 20 mg once a day. I dont have patient at all i can barely drive ti the store and back cause ppl make me maf.,they either drivin to slow orin my way., i,dropped out of high school in 9th grade. I couldnt figure out why i couldnt get into high school and jyst do wt i had to do. All through school i done everything else rhen wt i was suppise to. I,remember jyst as itten in class daydream while i.was lookin at the book so the reacher thought i w as doin wt i was suppose yo do. Idj wt to do

  26. I am 49. I took adderall for about 3 years at 20 mg/day. The first two years were very good. Wide awake, organized and full speed ahead. During the third year symptoms of anxiety increased. I was loosing my sense of humor and happy go lucky personality. I decided, with my doctors help, to stop taking adderall. I tappered my dosage down to 5 mg/day before quiting. Please be aware that almost everyone has withdrawal symptoms to adderall. The withdrawal symptoms will last from 1 month to about a year or more depending on how long you have been taking adderall. You will feel very, very tired for the first and into the second month. You will have almost no motivation to do anything that requires thought or concentration. A little advise: Do not abuse this drug. Keep your daily dosage as low as you can. Search the web for information about adderal withdrawal symptoms and read what others have experienced. Please be aware that adderall has a very long withdrawal period. The first week of not taking adderall is mostly sleeping 10 to 15 hours a day along with anxiety and depression. After that you will be tired and lack motivation for months. Good luck to all of you. I would not have started to take adderall in the first place if I knew how difficult it would be to stop taking it…..even with my ADHD.

  27. I am a 44 year old woman recently diagnosed with adult ADD, and began taking Adderall about a week ago. I can’t remember ever being able to think as clearly as I can now. I have taken every antidepressant on the market, but none of them were effective. I am so thankful for a dr who tried a different approach and ultimately made the correct diagnosis. To think that I have been suffering for so, so long..I now have a life!

  28. I’m 34 and I’ve always known that I suffered from ADHD. Because my grades in school were mostly terrible. I always knew I was smart, I just couldn’t focus” anyhow, I’ve been seeing a therapist for…let’s just say alot of issues! Depression being one of those issues. Anyway, I’ve been debating whether or not to go on meds for my focus problem. And I’d like very much if I could get some honest feedback from somebody who has experienced the pros and cons of this Adderall they speak of. Should I go on any meds to focus my brain and if I do at 34, will the pros far outweigh the cons whatever they may be? Thank You for your time….Sincerely, Curiously yet seriously seeking help.

  29. On April 1, 2013, my psychiatrist started me on generic Adderall, 10mg twice/day. Within minutes of taking my first pill, I could feel such a remarkable improvement in my focus and appreciation of life in general. Initially, I experienced an intense sinus headache which subsided quickly with only one aspirin. I felt like I was beginning a very pleasant journey and have remained on this remarkable medication to this day, nearly 4 months later.

    Prior to taking Adderall, I had taken Ritalin (up to 30mg/day) for decades. I suppose the Ritalin was beneficial at some point, but it never gave me the clear, clean, positive focus with energy that I receive from Adderall.

    The same day I started Adderall, I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer to show me the ropes and keep me motivated. I wanted to lose at least 35lbs of fat which I ” collected” since my retirement, 9 years ago. I knew I was isolating and watching entirely too much TV and movies at home. Being on a modest fixed income, I justified this behavior by telling myself that it was an inexpensive hobby…one that kept me safe at home with my dog.

    Eventually (last February, 2013) I reached out to my general physician and told him that I would like to try Adderall. He suggested I see his clinic’s psychiatrist to discuss my options.

    It’s important to note that I stopped taking the Ritalin a year ago because it wasn’t doing anything for me, but making me slightly irritable and anxious.

    With one visit, I explained to my psychiatrist that I had lost all pleasure in anything (anhedonia)….even TV and movies. I told him that I had never tried Adderall, but knew it was for ADHD, which I had been treating with the Ritalin for nearly 30 years (off and on). Fortunately, he respected my dilemma and didn’t insist on more therapy. I left with the perscription and began what I can only describe as the best summer I’ve experienced in many years.

    Fortunately I do not have heart problems, high blood pressure, hypertensive, etc. BUT I am aware that I am older than many taking this drug and I try to remain aware of any negative side effects.

    Upon beginning this Adderall “experiment”, I adjusted my entire palette re. food and drink. I stopped drinking wine or any alcohol and stopped eating red meat. (Remember, I wanted to begin losing weight, so I began employing some of the common sense diets I had been exposed to over my long life).

    Joining a gym was a bargain, but hiring a personal trainer is akin to seeing a psychiatrist once/wk….Yes, it’s very expensive. But I won’t always need a trainer to keep me motivated, especially now that I’m close to my weight goal.

    Now I’m actually enjoying strength training and stretching….things I never considered before taking the Adderall.

    To sum up: Everyone is different and as such will have unique experiences with Adderall. I encourage any adult with ADHD and/or chronic depression to consider trying it.

    I know “we’ve” been taught that taking “speed” is harmful, but certainly less harmful than social alienation, atrophy, morbid obesity. None of us are going to live forever, so let’s try to enjoy what time is left to us.

    I feel “normal” on Adderall…not high nor low. I’m not interested in tampering with or abusing this drug. For me, it has been a life saver.

  30. RE: Kimberly – Don’t deprive yourself the possibility of better living through chemistry. My experience showed me that I knew very quickly that this was beneficial. You’re at a perfect age to begin realizing your true potential. If under doctor supervision, what harm can come from trying this, given you’re already fighting the crippling effects of both ADHD and depression.

    Those who have not lived with chronic depression don’t understand the simple physics of changing one’s thinking….nurturing the space for motivation in one’s thinking.

    Doctors say “if you only start walking for thirty minutes/day or on a treadmill, etc.” BUT how can you get outside or to a gym if you can’t get out of bed and/or lack the self esteem to even consider being around other people?

    I hope you find what will benefit you. And remember…it’s not forever….it’s for now… in real time.

  31. RE: Lisa – I couldn’t agree with you more. When I think of the decades I’ve been on anything other than Adderall, I can only sigh with regret….BUT fortunately, this too, subsides and I’m back feeling grateful for the present.

  32. I just read Steve’s post and appreciate what he shared. I know that I’m in the beginning stages of taking Adderall. I also know about the crash, should I find the drug not working to my advantage.

    Naively, I hope I can take this “forever”….that it will continue to provide the positive results. I’ve thought about cycling the drug (taking it every other day, etc.), but I don’t see why in the short term….since it really helps me on a daily basis.

    Maybe it’s because I’m retired and don’t have to tolerate a lot of daily hassles. If I were stuck with other irritating personalities or situations (work), I might be prone to re-evaluate my success on this med.

    I guess it really depends on where you are in life and what is beneficial for you at any given time.

    For instance, I know to stop drinking coffee/caffeine, when I find myself growing irritated with people or situations in my life for no good reason. Hopefully I’ll recognize the signs, should this happen with Adderall.

    Oh….and I don’t mean to imply that crashing off Adderall will be the same as stopping caffeine….I expect it to be more dramatic should the need arise. Like everything else….I’ll burn that bridge when I cross it.

  33. How do I get my doctor to listen to me when I tell him that I have great results with Adderall, and that I’m not interested in losing weight. I really feel normal with Adderall. I can sleep better than anti-depressants, and stop thinking of 100’s of things at once. I am 5’4″, 59 yrs. old, and fine with my 126 lbs. Please tell me what to tell my doc. Thanks.

  34. I have been taking Adderall 20 mg for a number of years. I have recently come to the conclusion that it is no longer working for me – at all! I don’t know if I need to switch medications or increase the dosage?

  35. So far adderall has been a Godsend for me. I have always had anxiety which at some times caused depression. Even as a child I could not commit to task. If it took more than a few minutes to complete I was S.O.L. As a young child I was told I was gifted. I scored off the charts. As I went through middle and high school I was constantly told I was brilliant but I had no focus to capitalize on this so called potential. I was the resident funny man(class clown). All this time I was told I probably had ADHD but was never tested.

    I graduated high school in the low end of my class had no plans of college and went straight into the workforce as a CO. I was good at my job but I wasn’t fufilled. I was sick of being told what to do and knowing that that I would never be much more than what I was if I stayed. After 8 years I left my job and attended a junior college were I was able to get a 3.6 gpa which earned me admission and an academic scholarship to a top private university.

    It was her that I realized that I was out of my league. This place required the attention span that I never had. No more doing my assignments all on the same night and never studying. I excelled my first semester due to pure adrenaline but by the following semester the novelty wore off and I began to slip further and further.All this time my anxiety grew worse and worse. A few months ago I began the process of getting help for my anxiety and was finally diagnosed with ADHD a few weeks ago. Since beginning my medication regimen my life has turned around dramatically. I am organized, I have focus, my anxiety is nearly gone and I have completed more work in a week than I did in the last 3 months. I am on a very low dose currently and myself and my doctor are slowly increasing my dosage and usage until we find my optimal levels. This along with non-medication treatment has given me what I feel is a new lease on life and a second chance to do something great!!!

  36. First some background: It took me a long time to get to ADHD-PI as the source of a lot of problems; my brother is more typical–he can play video games for hours and has never finished a book, whereas I read all the time and can’t tune in long enough to learn how to use a video game controller. We’re both pretty bright though, so it wasn’t noticed. I also have a lot of anxiety over grades which helped me get through high school to college to the detriment of my health and social life.
    I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder in college (depression with racing thoughts, emotional instability, and energy fluctuations all typical of ADHD), then just depression and OCD. I swear my antidepressant made my inattention 100 times worse. There was always a feeling of edginess, even without depression. I felt scattered, out of control, empty and bored, socially and romantically isolated, and unfulfilled by anything. I did a good job hiding how disorganized I was, but my emotions and lifestyle were chaotic. I seriously thought I had borderline personality disorder, which just goes to show how serious undiagnosed ADHD can be–it’s more than just spacing out from time to time; it almost drowned me.
    I started getting treatment recently, and Adderall 20 mg has offered some help, but there are some lingering questions I worry about. At therapeutic doses, I know it shouldn’t make you feel “high,” but I have no experience with illegal drugs so I don’t know what that means. I get sleepy at first, then calmer so it’s easier to get from point A to B–it’s a good feeling but not excessively good I don’t think. I don’t become super productive at all–I can’t even imagine writing entire papers in a night on it, although I know that’s how some people use it illegally. It’s still hard to clean and fill out forms, but they get done in under four hours now rather than three days to never.
    Mostly the high I worry about is that I feel happy, more sociable, and content. It HELPS my anxiety, mood, and quality of sleep, even near bedtime. I’m suspicious because it seems to good to be true–is it because I was struggling before and now am normal, or do I run the risk of dependence? I don’t see how being normal could possibly be this easy–I’m used to physically pulling out my hair when I have to clean and never dating or going out to socialize, and now I feel in control and seek out people to talk to and befriend. Also I realized that I never crash when my dosage runs out; the “crash” is exactly how I feel all the time–irritable, sad, lethargic, disorganized, and anxious. My baseline state is pretty low, so I just don’t know if it’s good or too good. I also have OCD and tend to obsess…hence this post. I hope to talk to my doctor about it soon, but what are peoples’ experiences? Is this a high feeling or just becoming more normal? I feel like it can’t be this easy for my life to be getting better.

  37. I finally found the real me. i had no idea it was goin to be a prescription medication I’ve tried everything and i do mean everything from xanax to valium from lorcet to roxies to percocet to patches. something as simple as a adderoll has totally changed my life i can concentrate on one thing at a time without worrying bout anything else. I will handle it when it comes but for now yea I’m a different person with adderoll even my girlfriend asks where have u been all my life. I’ve just recently started taking it i was kind of skiddish because of my history of dependancy. Its got methamphetamine salts which scared me at first all i could think about was crystal meth trust me I’ve tried that too and didn’t sleep for 7 days with all the hallucinations that go along with i can focus on my job without all the pill huntin and money being wasted i put out 5 times as much work cause i don’t feel drained or tired. I have drive now i like to see just how much i can do in one day sometimes i amaze myself i can’t believe just how easy it was to find out who i really am finally after 42 years I’m here i made it. Don’t be scared to try adderoll it mite be just the thing u have been hoping was out there its the only thing for me don’t need anything else I’ve been thr

  38. I started taking Adderall after trying Ritalin and Dexadrine in college about almost 20 yrs ago. It did wonders getting me though college and I most likely would have had a 4.0 had I no had to transfer my grades from my pre medicated days at a previous college. It did wonders for me. I took it PRN ( not when drinking on weekends) and stopped when I graduated, feeling like I had gotten the use I needed for it. Since then I have managed to go through a # of average paying jobs and never rise higher than the level that I was hired at. Mostly the biggest problem that I have encountered is a general lack of drive to succeed beyond the comfort zone and a fear of screwing up. I sometimes wonder when I’m going to wake up b/c I feel like more of the passive observer in a dream that one living in the reality of life. This has also negatively affected my personal life and as a father and a husband I want to change and have the drive and self confidence that I feel my ADD has prevented me from having. I just started back on my meds yesterday (5mg 2x daily) and in 2 days I have noticed a difference. I’m sure my co workers appreciate that I don’t think out loud so damn much as well and have stopped negatively commenting on everything. I can’t base everything on just two days but, wow. It is so nice to feel normal again. I was a fool to have gone off for so long. Here’s to hoping it’s not too late to succeed. Now if can figure out how to improve my memory………………..

  39. why/?does everyone always discriminate and say that amphatemines are so bad and no good .yhey never have facts just critizim always im so tired of it I get positeve results all the time.are they just hating on amphetamine more than any other drug or alchol blame blame blame /?im fuckin had enough slander b,bs from everyone is it causewere happy/

  40. does anyone feel the same way/ ?.about this rumor and slander?about blameing amphetamine with no facts just hurts me cause ive got so much positive in my life cause of it?why don’t they hate on all the other drugs and alchol witch I think are way more worse than my amphetimie why so much blame with no facts or reasons that back up oh amphetamines are no good why?

  41. Just started taking Adderall=20mg x 2/daily. I like to do my homework when prescribed any meds, and before starting them. All previous comments here have been super helpful and insightful. I understand that everyone is wired differently, but am wondering if it is the norm to feel the effects right away, or does it take time for your brain to get oriented? It’s only been a few hours after my 2nd does in a 24 hr time frame, but not sure what I’m supposed to feel. I actually asked my Psychiatrist to put me on this because at 51, with a 11 yr. daughter (also with ADHD, but not medicated=my choice) decided to pursue a career in the healthcare industry, and my track record in the classroom was less than stellar. After being diagnosed with major depression and anxiety 7 years ago now, and on meds to treat these disorders since, I’ve come to realize, after researching ADD ADHD

  42. Oops…because of my kid’s diagnosis, that OMG…this is me to a T!!! Every symptom described me perfectly. Imagine learning this at my age! I can tell u, it sure explains ALOT! And I believe to have had this since childhood. I have always felt different from everyone else but never understood why. I was never socially inept, and always had friends, but at a young age (was always a precocious youngster, an old soul, if you will), always carried the world’s burdens, was very sensitive, and many things bothered me to an obsessive degree, and was an unhappy child ALOT of the time. I realized, back then that I thought too much about things, and it became quite crippling and torturous. I still do that; ALWAYS worrying about what might or might not happen. Thinking 100 things at a time, and trying to do that much at one time, never organized, impulsive and erratic behavior, attention span like a toddler; a reckless side to my outwardly solid nature, self destructiveness became a way of life for me, never imagining it could be this chemical imbalance in my brain! Wow, what a revelation to discover there’s a better way to live, freedom from the shackles of my mind. Could this be the answer to my prayers? Well, we shall see,shant we?! I am so encouraged by all these comments from.those who’ve been successful on Adderall, especially those who shared how their lives had changed dramatically, for the better. I want that, and hope to be back soon sharing my happy ending. Any and all comments are welcome. Thanks for reading my story…to be continued…

  43. I am wondering if ADD has different levels? I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, but we attributed my “hyperactivity” to the poor quality of the school and my ability to learn faster than others. I took Ritalin at that time, 10 mg twice a day. I dont recall much about that time but my parents said that it sucked all the energy out of me and turned me into an angry monster. Fast-forward to adulthood – I live my life with hundreds of thoughts almost constantly, but I am very good at ignoring them and so it has never affected me in any serious way. I mainly use music and visual stimuli to block them out. I suffer from chronic on-again-off-again depression. It seems to run in my family so I have always attributed my frustrations and stress to that. I also have severe difficulties remembering little things… I used to get yell at all the time for not paying attention to instructions when I was a kid. Mom would ask me to get a plastic bag from the bathroom and I would get 3/4 up the stairs and realize I couldn’t recall what my mom had asked me to do. I started writing everything down. I recently bought a house and have been overwhelmed by the enormity of the tasks I wish to complete. I forget what I am doing often, which leaves me doing 5 or 6 tasks incompletely or It takes me much longer to get them done if I force myself to stay in one room. Lately it seems I walk up and down my hallway back and forth… I am struggling. But I FEEL like I live life normally. I have a good job which requires me to be able to multi-task – something I do constantly, and I have never had difficulty with school. I took 5mg Aderall for the first time today. At first I wasn’t even sure it was doing anything. I didn’t feel any different. But then I realized I felt calmer, and the noise in my head was significantly quieter. I was able to get my files sorted, my desk cleaned up, dinner cooked, my game room vacuumed – all in an hour or two simple because I was able to just focus on it. I guess what I am getting at is that compared to some of the things I have read, some of the things I see posted here, I feel that I couldn’t possibly have ADD. And yet, taking that 5mg dose made me feel like I had found my center. And my mind was so quiet… is it possible to have low-grade ADD? And if so, is it worth the dependence on the meds? I was raised anti-medication, but the older I get the more I realize I could benefit from them. I want to go talk to a doctor, and I have contemplated making the call several times. At the same time I worry that the Dr will just assume I am trying to get a high, because as I said – I FEEL normal for the most part…. Any advice?

  44. Adderal is live saver for many people. However many are not aware of the side effects it may have. I believe it is very important to make sure you know everything there is to know about a drug before starting taking it on regular basis.

  45. Nicole Jenkins says

    Adderall has literally saved my life..I know you previously mentioned at the top of the web page that if you have a history of drug abuse it is not recommended..I can tell you from personal experience..the moment I became clean was the moment I was diagnosed and started medicating with adderall. without my medicine I am compulsive, impulsive, can’t seem to get anything done,very forgetful, and easily distracted. I wish had started on the medicine earlier my life, but unfortunately the stigma around Ritalin and Adderall prevent my parents for putting me on it. when I was diagnosed again as an adult I began to see the extreme benefits of being properly medicated. it is a shame that people abuse the drug, and give it such a bad name. for those that really need it is a lifesaver.

  46. This is a very thorough explanation, thanks. We hear so much conflicting information in regards to ADHD and Adderall and Ritalin that it is hard to understand what exactly to believe. I do indeed think that these drugs hep some people, but I also believe a large contingent of these people would actually be better off with just receiving psychological treatments instead. Because ADHD can actually take the form of side effects from well known diseases and also many times just be a case of childhood narcissism, really figuring out what the problem really is often a puzzle most cannot figure out.

  47. I am a 54 year old woman, and I have been taking Adderall for 12 years. I now take Adderall XR. From the time that I can remember, I was told that I didn’t pay attention. My mother was constantly complaining that I needed to learn to sit still. When I started school it was the same thing from my teachers. I would try to concentrate on what my teachers would tell me, but it was very hard for me. I would try to read a book but I could not comprehend what I read. I would then get so anxious that I quit trying. My father would sit with me for hours on end trying to help me with my homework especially math, right when I thought I was getting it, it would leave me. I struggled through school and hated it. I knew that I was not dumb but I didn’t know why it was so hard for me just to focus on something long enough to catch on. I hated anything that required me to stay focused for very long. I had trouble with relationships as I got older. I had trouble with organization skills and remembering to pay my bills. Then one time someone in my family gave me a diet pill and I thought wow this is wonderful. I never had much of an addictive personality so I never had a problem of wanting to get high. I was always a yo yo dieter, ranging from 120 to around 180 lbs so one time when I was heavy I went to a doctor who prescribed me adipex and I lost weight, but also noticed that I could concentrate better. I took this off and on for several years. After my son was around 3 I noticed I was starting to sound like my mom, telling him to be still, pay attention and I could tell it was hard on him. However my daughter never had this problem. She done well in school and has been very successful with her career. My son however has struggled. when he was in school I did some intensive research on ADHD and realized that it not only fit my son it was me to a T. I had a problem with putting my son on a drug at such a early age, so I just tried to get him help without the medication, like counselling, after school programs and trying to be more patient, which was hard for me to do. A few years later I went to my doctor and told him about myself and he started me on Adderall and it was a life changing experience for me. For the first time in my life I was able to read a novel all the way through and keep a job, stayed organized at home and I was more patient. When I seen the difference it made in my life I took my son to the doctor, he was a Jr. in high school and I let his doctor try it on him. He play sports which he done well in, but later found out he was abusing it some. I told him I would tell the doctor to take him off of it, if he did it again. He later quit on his own telling me it gave him a false sence. He has done alright as a adult but I think he would have done better if I had started him on the Adderall earlier in his life. As for me I went to college at 49 and got my bachelors and had a 4.0 grade point average. I now have a great job and life is good. I have never had any side effects from Adderall except for sleeping at times, however I think I may have had a worst time sleeping if I hadn’t had the Adderall. I am a healthy 54 year old who is loving life, especially the last 12 years of it.

  48. Adderall has alot less side effects for some people growing up i tried every medication produced for adhd all except adderall made me aggressive or a zombie take the lowest dose possable and work your way to a steady dose but dont push it discuss any wieght loss issues or heart rate issues tho is does trigger anxiety a little but thats better then aggression or being a zombie

  49. I’ve been on it for two weeks. I’m having trouble figuring out the best dosage. My tolerance seems out of control already, I should give myself more days off the drug. Also having trouble managing my time. I’ll be engrossed in something (like writing online comments, trivia games) and be entranced for hours. But when I do study or read, I get it done. I’m worried that I don’t get enough calories in a day as my appetite is all screwed up. I go all day without food and still don’t have much of an appetite. Thank god for bananas, cereal and meal replacement shakes. The level of concentration is unreal though. I can troubleshoot the side effects in time.

  50. I am 33 years old, I was prescribed Adderal XR for inattentive ADD on Monday, took it Tuesday am and felt GREAT! I was shocked at how much I got done that day! I felt like I was really able to focus and was really pleased with the results! On Wednesday and Thursday began to feel mentally bogged down by noon or so, I was forgetting things and felt really sleepy around 5pm, by dinner time I felt anxious with a huge headache and just felt unfocused and tired. I just don’t know why I felt so great the first day and not so much now? Should I keep taking it or try something else this early on? My primary care doctor said I can try Concerta but should I give up on Adderal so soon?

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