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9 Things To Consider Before Taking Adderall for Narcolepsy or ADHD

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9 Things To Consider Before Taking Adderall for Narcolepsy or ADHD

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Prescription medications like Adderall are commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, but in recent years, doctors have been criticized for overprescribing and abuse rates have skyrocketed. Adderall belongs to the group of medicines known as central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an estimated 16.4 million children, ranging from ages 4 to 17, have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lives. Around two-thirds of these children and adolescents are prescribed stimulant ADHD medications such as Adderall.

How does Adderall affect narcolepsy?

Since the 1930s, amphetamines have been used to improve alertness in narcolepsy and other conditions. These medications are among the most effective for reducing sleepiness, but side effects are moderately common.

A large variety of amphetamines are clinically available, and individuals may respond better to one than to another. Some of the most common are dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and a mixture of amphetamines and dextroamphetamine (Adderall). Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, and Methylin) is closely related to the amphetamines and has similar benefits and side effects.

All these medications improve alertness by increasing brain levels of dopamine. To a lesser degree they can also increase brain levels of two other wake-promoting chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine.

Is Adderall FDA approved for narcolepsy?

Adderall is indicated for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Narcolepsy.The effectiveness of Adderall for long-term use has not been systematically evaluated in controlled trials.

Therefore, the physician who elects to use Adderall for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.

What is the dosing for Adderall in narcolepsy?

Usual dose 5 mg to 60 mg per day in divided doses, depending on the individual patient response. Narcolepsy seldom occurs in children under 12 years of age; however, when it does, dextroamphetamine sulfate may be used. The suggested initial dose for patients aged 6-12 is 5 mg daily; daily dose may be raised in increments of 5 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained. In patients 12 years of age and older, start with 10 mg daily; daily dosage may be raised in increments of 10 mg at weekly intervals until optimal response is obtained. If bothersome adverse reactions appear (e.g., insomnia or anorexia), dosage should be reduced. Give the first dose on awakening; additional doses (1 or 2) at intervals of 4 to 6 hours.

Does Adderall make you last longer in bed?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a potential side effect for men taking Adderall. Some men report a decreased interest in sex and difficulty getting and keeping an erection.

Can Adderall cause extreme fatigue?

If you take Adderall to help manage your ADHD, you may have noticed a surprising side effect. You might feel really calm or sleepy. Or you may have low energy, also known as fatigue. It’s rare, but it happens.

What happens if you take Adderall without ADHD?

In people who don’t have ADHD, users may experience feelings of euphoria and increased energy levels, as well as possible dangerous physical and emotional side effects. Adderall should be considered an addictive drug.

Does Adderall help with depression?

Though Adderall can instantly improve your mood, it is not a treatment for depression. Using Adderall for long periods of time (prescribed or not) can cause many serious physical and mental health issues, so even if you are diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Adderall, you should be extremely cautious when taking it.

Why is Adderall not working anymore?

Adderall can be very effective in treating ADHD or narcolepsy symptoms but for a significant number of patients, medications are not helpful. In fact, as many as 30% of children with ADHD do not respond to stimulants or cannot tolerate the side effects. And 1 in 3 adults with ADHD do not improve on standard medications. It could be due to several reasons: the dosage may be incorrect; adherence may be an issue; co-existing disorders may impede the medications effectiveness or the patient may have another medical condition producing narcolepsy or ADHD-like symptoms.

Who should not take adderall?

Adderall should not be taken if you or your child:


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Imtiaz Ahmad, MD, MPH, FCCP

Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad is a highly qualified physician, Board Certified in Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine. He has been actively serving the community of Lee County, Florida since 2004, with a strong focus on a proactive healthcare approach. Dr. Ahmad has received advanced training from some of the most prestigious institutions, including Harvard University, Cornell University, State University of New York at Brooklyn, and the University of Mississippi. SOMNAS is a medical facility that is committed to improving and maintaining the health of patients with sleep disorders. The expert team at SOMNAS is known for their compassionate and high-quality care. They offer unparalleled treatment and care to patients on the Gulf Coast of Florida, ensuring a better and healthier life for them.

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