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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Adderall

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Adderall Information [posted 11/19/98]
Question: I hope you will be able to help me I am trying to find out about a drug called Addrall it is used for HDAD. The child I take care of just started taking this drug, and I would like to know more about it. I have looked all over the computer and have not found anything on it. Please send me info if you can. Thank you

Answer: Adderall belongs to the amphetamine class of drugs used on ADD in children (and sometimes adults). It has been used recently in place of or along with Ritalin by many practioners. I don't treat this disorder, but, from my perspective seem fairly similar drugs. There are a lot of discussion group sites on the web about ADD and you can discuss pros and cons with parents who have used both, this is what I would do. In general, the drugs will allow focusing of attention, but ther is concern about long term effects and when to stop the drug as the child ages.

Concerns About Starting Adderall [posted 11/3/98]
Question: My son has been on Ritalin for several years - he is 9 years old. He was off the Ritalin all summer and needs medication to help him concentrate in school. He is being put on Adderall in 2 days. What are the side effects of Adderall? His personality was changed when he was on the Ritalin and he would hardly speak to people, etc. Is Adderall the newest and greatest in treating ADHD? He is being put on 10mg per day. Is this a normal dosage - he weighs about 64 pounds? Thank you for your help!

Answer: Side effects vary a lot;but, nothing serious for most children. The dosage is about usual.

Adderall vs. Ritalin [posted 10/1/98]
Question: My son has started on adderall. How long does it act compared to ritalin? His first 5 days on it were great then he seems to have a rebound irritability after 4 or 5 hours. I struggle with what to do and will inform his physician. He is on other meds including depakote. Could it decrrease the effectiveness of the depakote, etc.?

Answer: Like most medications, some are better on Adderall and some on Ritalin -judgement rests on results of the patients behavior. There could be an interaction in some patients, I would watch his depakote levels after starting the Adderall to see if the level increases or declines.

Adderall [posted 8/5/98]
Question: I have a friend who takes the drug adderall for her ADD. She recently found out that her roommate, who does not have ADD, has been stealing small quantities of her prescription. The roommate says she heard adderall acts like speed in a normal person and since she is trying to diet, she thought it would make her lose weight faster. My concern is about her health. Are there any substantial, long-term health effects I should tell her about? What is the effect a normal (non-ADD) person would experience with this drug and can it become addictive?

Answer: No long term effects if she stops. She is correct, it does act like speed and some individuals will become physically addicted if taking sufficiently high doses for sufficiently long periods of time. It has minimal effects on losing weight.

Adderall [posted 7/30/98]
Question: I am 30 and have been on adderall (5 mg in the morning) for a few months for treatment of slight adult ADHD. I am very pleased with the results of the medication and my memory has improved significantly. I have no problem sleeping at night and feel good during the day. I was wondering how long it takes for the medication to leave your system after you discontinue taking it?

Answer: Two to three days for the biological effect and several months for drug testing.

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