Adderall CII is a pharmaceutical amphetamine used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. It was first prescribed in the 1970s as an anorectic (under the brand name Obetrol), but such usage is now rare.
Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant composed of four amphetamine salts :
1/4 Dextroamphetamine Saccharate
1/4 Dextroamphetamine Sulfate (Dexedrine)
1/4 Amphetamine Aspartate
1/4 Amphetamine Sulfate
The four component salts are claimed to be metabolised at different rates.
The average elimination half-life for dextroamphetamine is 10 hours in adults, and for levoamphetamine, 13 hours. Its effects are otherwise similar to other central nervous system stimulants (see amphetamine for details.).
The manufacturer claims that the mixture of salts makes Adderall's effects smoother, with softer highs and lows, than those of other treatments for the same disorders.
There is little evidence, however, to support this claim for immediate-release Adderall. A recent patent application for Adderall (USP #6,384,020) was a pharmaceutical composition patent listing a rapid immediate release oral dosage form. No claim of increased or smooth drug delivery was made. A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, conducted among children, indicated that Adderall behaved similarly to other immediate release amphetamines. The authors found that sustained-release dexamphetamine (the main isomeric-amphetamine component of Adderall) had a longer duration of action, and cost less than Adderall, though dexamphetamine was less effective in the first few hours of morning dosing.
Adderall is now sold in either an immediate-release tablet or an extended-release capsule, marketed as Adderall XR (for "eXtended Release"). Doses for both immediate-release and extended-release form come in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 mg increments.
Adderall XR utilizes the Microtrol delivery system to achieve the extended-release mechanism. This delivery system incorporates two beads: the first type of bead dissolves immediately and the second type releases four hours later. Maximum plasma concentration is achieved in seven hours, compared to regular Adderall IR (immediate-release) which reaches maximum plasma concentration within three hours. As a result of its high bioavailability, Adderall XR's effectiveness is not altered by food absorption in the GI tract. However, tmax (mean plasma concentration) is prolonged by 2.5 hours (using a standard high-fat meal as the control). Acidic beverages should not be taken with Adderall XR as they alter the pH balance of the stomach.
While the exact mechanism is unknown, it is believed that Adderall works by blocking the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine into the presynaptic neuron and increasing their release from the presynaptic neuron into the extraneuronal space. In other words, Adderall reverses the reuptake mechanism, turning it into a pump instead of a vacuum. Sources note that amphetamine and related compounds (ephedrine, etc.) displace noradrenaline from the presynaptic neurone and do not act as reuptake inhibitors as referenced above.
The increased flow of dopamine and norepinephrine into the extraneuronal space causes the brain, as one psychiatrist explains, to experience a more intense level of concentration, causing an increased ability to focus for extended periods of time, and a heightened interest in performing mental tasks.
Though rare, it is possible for Adderall to cause psychotic episodes at recommended doses in patients with a history of psychosis.
Some people feel that they are less creative while taking Adderall, while others report that the focusing effect can aid in creative work. The famous Beat generation writer Jack Kerouac, for instance, is said to have written much of his classic On The Road in a span of three weeks, aided by dextroamphetamine (an active ingredient in Adderall) from Benzedrine inhalers; country music star Johnny Cash had a long period of amphetamine use in the 1960s; and mathematician Paul Erds was noted for habitual use of prescription amphetamine throughout the final decades of his life; Smile was written by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks with heavy amphetamine use, among others.
Common side effects of Adderall include:
Increased heart rate
Anorexia (loss of appetite)
Less common side effects
Formication (in excessive doses )
Rare side effects
high blood pressure
Performance-enhancing use and abuse
Because Adderall uses amphetamine stimulants to help the user concentrate for extended periods of time, many students today request Adderall from doctors in order to use it as a study aid. Thus, it is increasingly popular on college campuses. The largest benefit to students however is Adderall's ability to give students the power to focus on and learn what would usually be uninteresting material. Because of the appetite-suppressing properties of amphetamines, it is also sought after by those wishing to lose weight.
On the street, Adderall is sold illegally for $3 to $10 a pill (pills ranging from 5mg to 50mg) (Prudie) or about $4-$10 for 20mg (Peter). Slang terms for Adderall are: "ralls", "bennies", "amps", "a-bombs", "addies", "jollies", "smurphs", "team blue", "the A train", "A+" in reference to its stimulant effect (Ambien is often referred to as "A-", the reverse effect of Adderall), and in some regions of the U.S., "railguns" and "that'da boy(s)" (from noted increase in productivity). On some college campuses taking Adderall is known as "taking the A train", most likely inspired by the song "Take The A Train" by Duke Ellington. The 5mg and 10mg doses are also known in the northwest as "BBs", which is short for "Blueberries", named for their blue color. Heavier users tend to use the term "GBs", short for "goof balls", referring to the "goofy" feeling from taking in excess of 100mg in a night.
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