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How Adderall Side Effects and Its Health Risks

by admin on January 12, 2011

Adderall, known in its generic form as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, is a central nervous stimulant used to treat severe depression, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a sleeping disorder that causes sudden sleepiness). It should not be used to treat excessive tiredness. Adderall is composed of amphetamine salts and is available as an immediate-release tablet or an extended-release tablet.

Side Effects

Like all other medications, this medication can cause minor or severe side effects, which vary by person. The side effects of Adderall include sleeping difficulties, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, headache, weight loss, vomiting, nausea and upset stomach. Those taking Adderall should seek medical attention immediately if they experience any of these severe side effects: severe allergic reactions (such as hives, rash or difficulty breathing), chest pain, depression, irregular heartbeat, seizures, speech or vision changes dizziness, fainting, painful urination, weakness, numbness or tingling in the extremities, severe headache and extreme weight loss.

Symptoms of Overdose

Adderall should be taken as prescribed by your doctor. Taking more than prescribed can result in an overdose. Emergency medical attention should be taken if any of the following symptoms occur: aggressive behavior, hallucinations, panic attacks, dark red urine, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, dehydration, sweating, uncontrollable shaking, rapid breathing and muscle weakness. In extreme cases, coma or death can result, so it’s important to seek medical help immediately.

Why Adderall is Commonly Abused

When used properly, Adderall is very successful in treating depression, narcolepsy and ADHD symptoms. However, Adderall is a highly-addictive stimulant and therefore often abused. It is often used by those looking to lose weight, since it increases energy and suppresses appetite. It is often used widely by college students who try to prevent sleep and concentrate in order to study for exams or write papers. Adderall is often injected or snorted, resulting in an infection or fatal overdose. Addiction can cause an extremely high body temperature, paranoia, hostility and irregular heartbeat.

Treating Addiction

Adderall addiction is often treated the same as cocaine addiction. Support groups, rehabilitation centers and psychotherapy have all been helpful in treating Adderall addiction. Slowly decreasing dosages of the drug, or tapering, is also useful. There are no specific medications available to treat Adderall addiction; however, anti-depressants can help relieve withdrawal symptoms in the early stages. Withdrawal symptoms include depression, extreme tiredness, shakiness and heart rhythm changes. Adderall withdrawal is not deadly, but it can be uncomfortable.

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