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My child was given a prescription for Adderall. What is it, and should I give it to him?
Adderall is a legal commonly used prescription medication for ADHD and Narcolepsy. As with all medications, there are potential side effects. If your child has a proper diagnosis, then the possible long-term medical effects are something you should discuss with your prescribing physician.
Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are central nervous system stimulants.
Adderall is an amphetamine so it can increase heart rate and blood flow. The side effects of use are very individualized.
Similar to the effects of cocaine, Adderall can induce increased energy and feelings of euphoria.
Even when taken as prescribed, Adderall use can lead to irritability, difficulty sleeping, appetite suppression and weight loss, potential cardiac issues, difficulty sleeping, lack of motivation, mood swings and feelings of restlessness. Large doses of stimulant medications over time can lead to psychosis, seizures, and cardiovascular issues such as hypertension and tachycardia in some patients.
When abused, Adderall use can lead to depression, irritability, and even difficulty concentrating.
College students frequently abuse stimulant medications to stay awake, focus for longer periods of time, and in hopes of accomplishing more. Unfortunately, especially when someone does not need stimulant medications, the side effect profile can increase.
It is important to note that when Adderall is taken as prescribed in healthy individuals and lower doses, it can be an effective medication to treat narcolepsy and ADHD.
* All responses provided by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.