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Shire Pharmaceuticals first introduced Adderall in 1996 in the form of a multi-dose, instant-release tablet derived from the weight management drug Obetrol. In 2006, Shire sold the rights of Adderall to another pharmaceutical company. Two years later Teva Pharmaceuticals acquired the drug. Teva was responsible for the manufacturing of an instant release form of the drug and giving the stimulant the brand name Adderall.


The active ingredients in Adderall include a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine salts. Amphetamine salts included in Adderall are acemic amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, racemic amphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharide, and dextroamphetamine sulfate. Amphetamine salts have a high potential for physical addiction and are considered to be Schedule II drugs by the Drug Enforcement Administration.


Adderall can be prescribed to treat the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Adderall is also widely known as the “study drug”. A 2004 study conducted at the University of Wisconsin determined 14% of the campus had misused Adderall, or a similar ADHD medication.

Since Adderall is an amphetamine that aids an individual with greater concentration, energy, and the ability to stay awake, accounts of college students studying for exams or writing papers for fourteen hours straight are common. Consequently, the next 24 hours may be rife with painful side effects such as temporary vision loss, involuntary muscle spasms, mental confusion, vomiting and over fifteen hours of unconsciousness, if Adderall is taken to prevent sleep.

Adderall is available as either an immediate-release tablet or as an extended-release tablet. The standard dosages are five, ten, fifteen, twenty, or thirty milligrams, however the instant-release tablet is offered in a 7.5 and 12.5-milligram pill, and the extended-release tablet as a 25-milligram pill. Adderall tablets can be taken orally. Adderall can also be crushed into a powder like substance and administered through the nose.


Adderall has similar effects as other amphetamines. Short term use can decrease appetite, which leads to weight loss. Amphetamines also increase blood pressure, which can lead to serious and fatal consequences. Prolonged Adderall use can lead to insomnia, irritability, psychosis, sexual dysfunction and depression.

Similar Drugs

Drugs similar to Adderall include amphetamines such as Vyvanse, crystal meth, and methamphetamines. All of these substances are central nervous stimulators and can be extremely addictive.

Addiction Information

Prescribed Adderall use can quickly turn into an addiction. Like other amphetamines, Adderall stimulates a part of the brain that causes a rapid release of potent neurotransmitter chemicals. The body soon becomes tolerant to the given amount of Adderall consumed to reach the high caused by neurotransmitters. People begin to need more and more Adderall to experience the same effects they initially felt when first using the drug.


Adderall addiction is incredibly dangerous and could potentially lead to cardiovascular failure. Other consequences of addiction include, irregular heartbeat, life-threateningly high body temperature and feelings of paranoia and hostility.

Behavioral therapists and healthcare providers agree Adderall addiction should be treated similarly to cocaine and methamphetamine addiction. Both have been treated effectively in rehabilitation centers, support groups, and through intense psychotherapy. Although there are no established medications for the treatment of Adderall addiction presently obtainable, anti-depressants can help alleviate the symptoms of depression during early withdrawal. Tapering, or a slow decrease off of the drug, is also recommended.

Adderall Withdrawal

Withdrawal from Adderall is not fatal. However it can be extremely uncomfortable causing the person to continue use. Adderall withdrawal symptoms consist of: excessive tiredness, hopelessness/depression, alterations in heart rhythm, abuse.


Symptoms of Adderall overdose may include:

  • Tremor
  • Muscle twitches
  • Rapid breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Lower abdominal cramps
  • Perspiration
  • Swelling or numbing of hands and feet
  • Seizure

If you are experiencing what may be an Adderall overdose, seek emergency help immediately.

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