Aug 05, 2021

A Guide to Adderall Xr

Adderall XR is a prescription medication used to treat the syndrome of narcolepsy and the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall XR may be used alone or paired with other medicines. Common generic names for this drug are amphetamine and dextroamphetamine mixed salts. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with ADHD or narcolepsy, Adderall XR may be able to help. Use the below information as a guide offering everything you need to know about Adderall XR to help you determine if it is the proper medication for you.

Narcolepsy and ADHD

Narcolepsy is a "chronic neurological disorder that affects the brain's ability to control sleep-wake cycles." People with narcolepsy may feel rested after waking, but often feel extremely lethargic throughout the day and may experience sudden sleep attacks. Many also experience uneven and interrupted sleep that can involve waking up frequently during the night.   

ADHD is a mental health disorder that can cause increased levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. Adults and children with ADHD may also have trouble concentrating on a single task or sitting still for long periods. 

Complications and Symptoms of Narcolepsy 

Narcolepsy is a lifelong condition. However, it doesn't usually get worse with age. While symptoms may partially improve over time, they never completely disappear. Though all patients will have excessive daytime sleepiness, only 10 to 25 percent of affected individuals will experience all of the other symptoms listed below.

Symptoms of Narcolepsy may include, but are not limited to:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)- The most apparent symptom of narcolepsy, EDS, is persistent sleepiness, regardless of how much sleep an individual gets at night. 

  • Cataplexy- The sudden loss of muscle tone while awake that can lead to weakness and involuntary muscle control loss.

  • Sleep paralysis- The temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or waking up that usually lasts only a few seconds or minutes. 

  • Hallucinations- Vivid and sometimes frightening images can accompany sleep paralysis and usually occur when people fall asleep or wake up. 

  • Fragmented sleep and insomnia- Difficulties staying asleep at night due to insomnia, vivid dreaming, sleep apnea, acting out while dreaming, and intermittent leg movements.

  • Automatic behaviors- Experiencing temporary sleep episodes that can be very brief, lasting no more than seconds at a time.

Complications and Symptoms of ADHD

People with ADHD present with persistent inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that can interfere with their functioning or development. 

(People with ADHD may experience 6 or more of the below symptoms for children up to age 16 years, or 5 or more age 17 years and older and adults. Note that symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity must have been present for at least 6 months, and are considered inappropriate for the person’s developmental level)

Inattention symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Failing to give close attention to detail or making careless mistakes in schoolwork or activities.

  • Trouble holding attention on tasks 

  • Not seeming to listen when spoken to directly.

  • Not following instructions and failing to finish tasks

  • Having trouble organizing and prioritizing tasks or activities.

  • Often avoiding, disliking, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period.

  • Losing things necessary for tasks and activities (keys, books, etc.) 

  • Is easily distracted and forgetful

Hyperactivity and Impulsivity symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Fidgeting or squirming

  • Leaving their seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.

  • Often running about or climbing in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).

  • Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly

  • "On the go" acting

  • Talking excessively

  • Blurting out an answer before a question has been finished.

  • Often has trouble waiting their turn

The symptoms of ADHD can be divided into 3 categories: 

  • Behavioral: aggression, excitability, fidgeting, hyperactivity, impulsivity, irritability, lack of restraint, or persistent repetition of words or actions

  • Cognitive: absent-mindedness, difficulty focusing, forgetfulness, problem paying attention, or short attention span

  • Mood: anger, anxiety, boredom, excitement, or mood swings

What is Adderall XR, and How does it Work? 

Adderal XR is a central nervous system stimulant that affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. By enhancing activity in the central nervous system and elevating levels of a chemical in the brain known as norepinephrine, the medication helps to increase wakefulness and contribute to higher energy levels which can be helpful in treating Narcolepsy, as well as improving focus and reducing restlessness and fidgeting which can be helpful in treating symptoms of ADHD. 

Dosage begins at 5 mg. Adderall XR also comes in dosages of 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg, and 30 mg, available by prescription only. 

How Do You Use Adderall XR to Treat Narcolepsy and ADHD? 

It is essential that you first consult your healthcare provider before starting any new prescription medication. Also, always be sure to carefully follow the recommendations of your health care provider, use the medication as instructed and as per the directions on the prescription label. 

Use your prescription Adderall XR in accordance with the directions given by your healthcare provider. Be careful not to use more of the dosage recommended or use more often than instructed. Don't abruptly stop taking your prescription Adderall Xr without speaking to your physician first. Quitting cold turkey can lead to withdrawal symptoms (i.e., extreme fatigue, sleep difficulties, or changes in your mood or mental health)

Adderall XR for adults is a once-daily dose. A doctor may still advise that the extended-release (XR) dosage not exceed 40 mg a day. The maximum recommended dose for children taking Adderall XR is 30 mg a day. 

This medication is intended for children age 6 to 12, adolescents age 13 to 17, and adults. (doses higher than 30 mg/day have not been studied in children, nor has Adderall XR been studied in children under 6 years of age)

You should always take the capsule whole; never chew, split, or crush it. 

How Long Does it Take for Adderall XR to Work?

Most people notice that Adderall XR begins to start taking effect within 30-60 minutes.  

Adderall XR is the extended-release version of Adderall. This means the pill dissolves slowly, and the active ingredients are released in the body throughout the day. It reaches maximum peak concentration within 1-2 hours following ingestion and can last between 10-12 hours.  

What are the Possible Side Effects of Adderall XR?

It is possible to experience side effects when using Adderall XR and can vary depending on age. 

Children age 6 to 12, the most common are:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Rapid mood changes

  • Fever

  • Insomnia

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea and/or vomiting

  • Nervousness

Age 13 to 17, the most common side effects include:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Insomnia

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nervousness

  • Weight loss

Common side effects for adults are:

  • Agitation

  • Anxiety

  • Diarrhea

  • Dizziness

  • Dry mouth

  • Feeling weak

  • Headache

  • Insomnia

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Urinary tract infection

  • Weight loss

Severe side effects include:

  • Allergic reactions 

  • Depression

  • Eyesight changes or blurred vision

  • Heart attack

  • Impotence

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Psychotic episodes

  • Seizures

  • Slowing of growth or height in children

  • Stroke

  • Sudden death due to existing heart problems

  • Trouble operating vehicles or machinery

Other Risks Associated with Adderall XR

Adderall XR is a Schedule II drug (meaning it has a high potential for abuse) and a controlled substance. Because of this, it carries a risk of dependency. Those with a history of substance abuse are at higher risk of becoming reliant on Adderall XR. 

Abuse of this medication can be fatal. You might also experience the following symptoms from taking too high of a dosage:

  • Hyperactivity

  • Irritability

  • Marked insomnia

  • Personality changes

  • Psychosis (similar to schizophrenia)

  • Severe skin issues (i.e., lesions) Adderall XR may be the solution for you or someone you know who struggles with ADHD or Nacroplosey. At CareCard, we are passionate about helping make your prescription payments more affordable, saving members up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. You can search for an Adderall XR coupon here and learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.

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