Amphetamine-Dextroamphetamine

Adderall for ADHD

Stimulant medications are the first-line drugs in adults with ADHD. Adderall is a combination of dextro-amphetamine (75%) and levo-amphetamine (25%). It comes in Immediate Release (IR) and Extended Release (XR) formulations. The XR formulation provides the equivalency of two IR tablets ingested four hours apart, so that Adderall XR 20 mg once daily is equivalent to Adderall IR 10 mg twice daily.

The XR capsule contains an IR formulation, plus a delayed IR formulation. It is not uncommon for users to notice a reduction in blood levels of the drug between the two doses. This is true for both formulations.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) categories drugs based on their potential for abuse/dependence. Schedule I drugs are considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical benefit. Adderall and other stimulant medications for ADHD are Schedule II drugs.

  • Schedule I: LSD, Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, MDMA, PCP. Peyote
  • Schedule II: Ritalin, Vyvanse, Adderall, Morphine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone.
  • Schedule III: Suboxone, Anabolic steroids, ketamine
  • Schedule IV: Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Provigil, Nuvigil, Tramadol
  • Schedule V: Lyrica

Brand Name:  Adderall, Adderall XR

Generic Name: Amphetamine-Dextroamphetamine, Amphetamine-Dextroamphetamine XR

Habit Forming: Amphetamines have a high potential for abuse; prolonged administration may lead to dependence. However, typical oral doses of Adderall do not usually produce euphoria and are not usually addicting.

Pregnancy:  Risk Category C (animal studies do not show adverse effects, but no controlled studies in humans).

Adderall Side Effects

Adderall is generally well tolerated, with a low incidence of sexual side effects and weight gain, but like all medications, it may cause side effects.  The ten most common side effects are:

Dry Mouth 35%
Loss of Appetite 33%
Insomnia 27%
Headache 13%
Nervousness 13%
Weight Loss 10%
Agitation 8%
Anxiety 8%
Nausea 8%
Dizziness 8%

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Amphetamine, past and present – a pharmacological and clinical perspective:  Amphetamine was discovered over 100 years ago. Since then, it has transformed from a drug that was freely available without prescription as a panacea for a broad range of disorders into a highly restricted Controlled Drug with therapeutic applications restricted to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

This review describes the relationship between chemical structure and pharmacology of amphetamine.  Amphetamine’s diverse pharmacological actions contribute to therapeutic efficacy, but also into the production of adverse events and liability for recreational abuse. For this reason, the balance of benefit/risk is the key challenge for its clinical use.

FDA Package Insert for Adderall