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Adderall XR: ADHD Medication

Adderall Generic Name: Dextroamphetamine Saccharate, Amphetamine Aspartate, Dextroamphetamine Sulfate, and Amphetamine Sulfate

46 Comments & Reviews: Adderall XR: ADHD Medication

  1. Excellent article on Adderall XR for the treatment of ADHD. Thanks for posting it. 5 Stars. By Gregg L. Friedman MD

  2. side note- i never upped the dose beyond the minimum or next step up, and it was a generic version all the way through.

  3. I started at the lowest dose and initially it seemed to help me focus, but this wore off after a few weeks at most. Eventually I started having heart issues (pain / enlarged ventricle) so I went cold turkey. Am trying not-stimulants now, which seem to have almost no effect, or they’re so subtle I don’t recognize them.

  4. My primary care doctor gave me a Rx for 10mg of Adderall IR. I used it for a month and after it was about to expire I got another refill for the same amount (his office was closed for two weeks because of a Covid outbreak). The 10mg did nothing for me so I began taking 20mg daily (on my own accord) until my next appointment. Long story short, when I returned to my doctor & informed him that the Rx wasn’t working, he tells my that I probably don’t have ADHD. He wouldn’t increase the dosage because I have an enlarge prostate (I’m 73) and it didn’t have any effect on me. So he prescribes me 200mg of Modafinil. (I found an ADHD specialist abut a mile and a half away from my home.

  5. Great med! I love the added norepinephrine boost it gives compared to Dexedrine or Vyvanse, the latter of which burns my stomach lining severely. The main side effect for me is worsening PMS and an irritated bladder, both of which are manageable. Instant release is super easy to dose due to the scoring, which allows you to take half or even 1/4th of a pill as needed. Unfortunately I’m prescribed the extended release form which I don’t like as much. But it’s certainly better than the NOTHING I was taking for 30 years prior, lol.

    What’s NOT okay is the difficulty I encounter at the pharmacy every time I try to refill it. There’s always some issue: either my insurance doesn’t wanna cover it or they have to fax the doctor first, or SOMETHING. It’s terrible for my anxiety. They need to stop treating ADHD and narcolepsy patients like drug-seeking criminals. If these meds didn’t have legit medical uses, they wouldn’t be prescribed.

  6. I am currently on Adderall XR 30MG, and it has changed so many different aspects of my life, including depression.

    I have ADD (yes, I know there should be an “H” in there, but I do not have the “H” part). I was prescribed Adderall because I was about to be terminated from my job, but I still go terminated, surely because of corporate policies that conveniently used against me. Back to the drug, I take it around 6am everyday, and found that my overall mood has changed. I am not as emotional as I was before, yet I am still able to express my feelings when necessary without the full breakdowns. I have been dealing with Major Depressive Disorder, and this medication has alleviated most of those feelings.

    However, the medication has not been a miracle drug, and it contains no magic! You still have to try to live a better life and might have to make some changes to your daily routines. For me, ADD has always been there. I come from a Hispanic family and mental illness is not considered a real illness. For me, it took me to be 36 years old to finally realize it was time to visit a psychiatrist, irregardless of all the negative sigmas; I was glad I did, because it gave me many suspected answers, rather than self diagnosing situations.

    Adderall for me has come a long way, and have always taken generics. That’s when the unfortunate fun begins. I was taking Prasco for about a year before the local pharmacies in my area started to change all of their inventory. Some pharmacies won’t even tell me what brand they carry in stock, and that’s ridiculous! I have gone through Amneal, Impax, Lannett, and Mellincrodckt… of these, the Mellincrodct was the worst and almost felt like a placebo. I wish I could try the Teva version that others have had success with, but I have been unable to find anywhere; along with my Prasco. At this point, I am left with early burnouts, and tired afternoons. I realize the generics must contain the same active ingredients, but what about the inactive?

  7. I’ve tried several different medication combos. I currently take a 70mg Vyvanse in the AM and a 30mg Adderall IR “booster” early afternoon. I’ve been on this combo for about a year but have been taking 30mg of Adderall since 2015.

    Adderall IR 30mg 1x daily.

    My symptoms (both + and -) are below. These are all based on my opinion alone, and I’m unsure if anyone else experiences similar ones.

    – best medication for motivation/keeps me from procrastinating
    – helps me lock into work/other tasks that I’m unable to do on my own

    – muscle tightness/hard to relax my body
    – car sickness (was never car sick as a child. Started around my 18th bday/right when I got my first prescription)
    – Dry mouth

    CONTROLLABLE CONS – I’m not hungry on this medication, but I understand my body needs fuel, so I eat despite no appetite. IF I eat enough/drink enough water, these side effects don’t occur. Hence “controllable”

    – Insomnia
    – Headache

  8. I’ve been on Adderall for ADHD (primarily inattentive) for about 3 or 4 months now, and it has made a marked improvement. I was diagnosed and then was given a 10mg dose which was increased to 20, 25, and finally to 30. I noticed that my grades have improved (I had failed a few classes and had a 2.2 gpa; it has since increased a full point.) I noticed that my appetite did decrease, however I am overweight so it is not a significant issue. I had headaches when first starting the medication but those have mostly subsided. I have noticed that I am more moody in the evenings, when it wears off, but I also due generally have a stressful school life so it could be any number of things. As I stated, this was my first medication and there could be something which affects me better with fewer side effects, but it has worked fairly well.

  9. I was diagnosed in my thirties with the inattentive type. Adderal XR worked wonderfully for me at the start — motivation/ability to start work; improved concentration and focus; happy energy. However, over time (let’s say after 3 -4 months) it became necessary to update the dosage and then losing its efficiency overall. This may be due to its negative effects such as reduced appetite and disruption to sleep. It may also be impacted by all the stress and anxiety we;’re all experiencing in 2020. In any case, it started off great but now I am looking for alternatives. I really can no longer deal with the sleep issues it has caused. The only remaining benefit is that it helps give me the kick start I need to jump into work, but focus and memory are no longer aided. Physically, I experience a dry mouth despite drinking water all day long or chewing gum.

  10. Self: Female, 58 years old, ADHD, 2 years:
    Adderal 15 mg 2 x per day with out the time release due to pricing. A great alternative from XR if no RX insurance.
    Side affects: dry mouth, itchy dry nose.
    2nd dose at lunch time or later, if taken it too late, trouble falling asleep and have very vivid dreams.
    Positives: Stay on task, impulse control (able to think before reacting), more organized, short term memory is better.

  11. My 8 yr old son has been on 5mg Adderall for about 9 months. We tried Focalin first and it made him crazy manic, more hyper! 10mg Adderall turns him into a sad zombie with no motivation or desire to do anything. So, we down to the 5mg and it definitely takes his edge away… He’s still active and is very busy, but he is manageable now. Interestingly, the 2 weeks we had him on the 10mg his teacher noticed a major positive improvement. We had stomach ache, difficulty sleeping and loss of appetite on the 10mg as well, the only issue with the 5mg has been a mild reduction of appetite. We are going to try introducing the guanfacine just to see how he responds and maybe be another tool for us for 3rd grade if we need it.

  12. I noticed a disassociated/less emotional connection with others expeience in a teenager on Adderall XR and myself on Adderall. Neither of us take it anymore.

  13. I’m surprised that only the extended-release is listed and not the instant. It would be helpful to have both.

  14. I am taking Adderal XR and I feel tired and sleepy no energy but I do focus.Should I tell my doctor? I dont want him to take me off because I can focus and not in a fog.?

    1. I would definitely talk with your doctor. It sounds like your dose might be too high, or that Adderall may not be the best medication for you.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  15. (This is about Adderall that is not XR, but the regular Adderall page redirects here.)

    Adderall was one of the first ADHD medications I tried as an adult. I took it as a generic (Amphetamine Salts 10 MG Tab, once daily). I did not have good results. I didn’t notice any obvious improvement in my ADHD symptoms. I did, however, wind up having panic attacks much more frequently and severely than was normal for me. The panic attacks improved once I went off of Adderall.

    Lately my doctor has been suggesting I try it out again–I keep having to remind her how poorly that went the first time.

  16. I was diagnosed with inattentive ADD when I was 53. Ritalin titrated had no positive effect, even at 40 mg. But Adderall 10 mg did. Over the years, my doctor increased the amount, finally putting me on Adderall XR 30 mg because the short-term form was VERY short-term in my case. However, in the summer of 2019, a urine test showed my amphetamine levels were dangerously high. At the same time, the effectiveness of the Adderall XR had been decreasing so that I got no more than two hours of control with each dose. My doctor took me off of it altogether.

  17. I forgot to mention… ADDERALL GAVE ME THE WORST ADULT ACNE EVER! I have several welts of hormonal acne all over my face. My doctor prescribed me an antibiotic to help with the acne but it made me vomit. So eventually had to quit taking the antibiotics.

  18. Adderall worked like a charm for the first year and a half of my undergrad. My grades were improving, I was invited to phi alpha honor society and overall was more satisfied with my school performance. After a while, I developed really intense feelings of what I thought was anxiety but my doctor diagnosed me with depression. As soon as I felt the really intense feelings I quit Adderall immediately and a couple of months later I was put on anti-depressants. I am not sure if it was just timing but I believe that Adderall gave my anxiety, made me lash out at times, and become a real a$$hole sometimes. I am glad I did it because I have never been better at school but I hated the side effects. Dry mouth, shakiness, insomnia, and jitteriness were just some of the short term side effects I got.

  19. I’m 27 & have been prescribed to Adderall XR for a little over a decade, I was on Vyvanse & Focalin from 19 to 20 until I could get back on Adderall XR as the other 2 did not work. I did really well on Adderall XR 30mg twice a day in the morning for my ADD. In the last 6mon though I lost my brand name & was forced to take the generic which has done nothing but make me severely nauseous & I’m tired all day long but unfortunately I was told to tough it out because it’s the generic or Vyvanse which I’ve already been on Vyvanse & it did nothing but skyrocket my metabolism making me underweight so I guess I’m “toughing” it out but I really wish I could have my brand name back I really did the best with it with focus, energy, really minor side effects if any when on the brand name for majority of the time over a decade. I’ve had 2 generics so far, one is a completely orange capsule (still same dose of 2 30mg every morning) & that generic wasn’t so bad & was close to the feeling I got with the brand name which I refer to as “pure” feeling which only means without a bunch of negative side effects, but then there’s the generic that I have right now that looks like the brand name capsules just only different markings on it & that one makes me nauseous, tired, & just not good but I apparently can’t even request a specific generic soo sucks to be me haha

  20. I’ve been taking Adderall XR 30mg for about 10 years now. Concerta made me tired and lazy back in early high school. So out of nowhere my Doc prescribed me the noted medication and dosage above. I’m assuming my mother spoke to my Dr when she still had rights over me. 15-16 years old. So eventually I was on the XR30. At first it did nothing. Didn’t feel a difference. Handed it to my buddies who apparently could feel the effect. Then I stopped taking adderall at about 20-22 years old. I landed a job that payed well and needed my all out focus. So I started making appointments again with my Dr. same dose. I know depend on this. I’m 27. I take 2-3 a day. 4-5 hours in between. But I get fevers. Headaches at the posterior region of my head, which clearly is a headache caused by hypertension. Slight tremors, nothing serious. I’m overall healthy. Always have been. No family history of any serious cardiac or mental issues. So sudden cardiac arrest or stroke shouldn’t be a worry. But the stage I’m at I’m not sure. I feel like it could and would happen. But then again there’s meth heads out there still crawling around, right? I’ve notice my side effects, and I’ve read that they are considered serious and should be evaluated immediately. But I’ve never had any serious outcomes. So I stick to my doses that make it work best for me. Fevers, pins and needles (rarely), minor tremors, increased heart rate (which is a common effect). Hypertension headaches. I’m writing this because it’s clear. I’m dependent. And the dose I take for 4 years now works best. But can anyone help me out with my constant worry? How at risk am I to suddenly going into cardiac arrest, or suffer from a stroke? My body is definitely used to the doses. With the side effects almost natural. No medical history. BP is stable. heart rate is normal with no arrhythmia’s, palpitations, or circulation issues. Do I keep my dose the same and live on knowing it truly is help myself as far as priorities and lifestyle. Or should I back out and try to focus without the drug. Sorry for the length of this. It’s all true. And it’s a question I had to ask.

  21. Hi Cissy, I have had some RLS symptoms and I am a 28 year old male. My sisters have it worse. But I also take magnesium. Taking magnesium, while cutting sugar, has make my restless legs disappear almost completely. I take magnesium glycerinate before going to bed. I also spray a magnesium chloride brine on my legs and rub it around. This helps the leg muscles relax immensely. You have to eat less sugar, because sugar keeps you from absorbing minerals properly. Look up Richard Morley and the Root Cause Protocol, for more information on Magnesium. Muscle spams is actually listed as a symptom of magnesium deficiency. Google it. It could be that the medicine is contributing to this. I recently began Adderall again for the fourth time. However, I am looking for alternative ways of doing things.

  22. My son is 9 will be 10 shortly. My son started on Tenex which I thought was a “sugar pill” has it helped none of his symptoms. He then tried Concerta which actually worked great for all his ADHD/ADD symptoms but he wasn’t gaining weight has he should. I didn’t want to try this drug as I felt it was kinda a last resort and I feel guilt having to give my child medicine even though he truly needs it. He now takes Adderall 10mg in the morning in 5 mg in the afternoon. It’s not the road I wish to have my son on but with out his medication there’s not much words to describe. I tried him not taking any medication it was unsuccessful. He occasionally or more than often has trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. We do the most natural thing exercise (lots of that) and his doctor recommended Melatonin . Which he states is more effective if given around dinner time. This helps my child’s sleep but he still wakes during the night. Overall Adderall has helped my son in school and at home. I honestly have guilt of even having to give to him at such a young age to add I’ve been shamed numerous times ( by my sons old Pediatrician in which we have now switched) But I’ve also been supported. It’s not a easy decision to put your child on medication . If your struggling with guilt trust your prescribing doctor and the fact that no one knows your child as well as you do.

  23. I am a 50 year old female, and 2 years ago I was diagnosed with ADHD. Which, was a relief for me because I was misdiagnosed as having anxiety & depression for many years. I was prescribed Adderol XR and my whole life changed for the better. I was finally sleeping at night. Then about 8 months ago, I was diagnosed with RLS. Thw problem I’m having is everything they prescribe me hypes me up. The Dr says it’s hard to treat someone “like me”. Medicine that’s suppose to relax my legs at night DO NOT work. Please, if anyone has dealt with this before, tell me how it got fixed. I’m at my wits end. Thank you in advance.

  24. I was diagnosed with ADD as a child in the later mid/late 80’s, but we really we only worked on the learning disability part. All of the other issues I had I thought were just me being awkward. I went to therapy for the first time in my late 30’s (okay fine, I just turned 39). about a year ago. I was rediagnosed with ADD and put on Adderall for the first time. I started with the quick release and didn’t like it, if I didn’t eat/drink enough I got nauseated and sick. I also didn’t like the way it made me feel physically. Then a friend of the family told me about the slow release, that lat’s 8 hours. That has been a dream in comparison and is really helping with my focus. A trick I also just learned recently, is to set my alarm to take it an hour before I actually plan to get up and this has helped with my morning break fog a lot! (even with going to bed after my work shift ends at 1 am and getting up with my two school age kids at 7/7:30). But being forgettful, I am able to remember this in the morning my putting my cell phone (alarm) inside a cup next to my bed.

  25. Daughter was on 20 mg of Adderall XR for about 3 months. Our insurance no longer covered Vyvance– which worked well– and the doc said that Adderall should behave similarly, so we tried it. Over the course of three months, she became a different person. Generally hostile, and could could flip like a switch into a rage over insignificant things. With teens, it’s often hard to tell whether hostile & moody behavior is a side effect of medication or a side effect of adolescence, but her behavior crossed the line. I made an emergency call to the doc to change medications when she misplaced her phone one morning and could do nothing but scream– not even yelling words; just screaming, both inside and outdoors, with no concern of who heard her. She slammed the back door so hard that she broke it. I insisted she start Vyvance again; I was willing to pay hundreds a month if necessary. If she had behaved that way at school, I’m sure someone would have called 911 and she’d have been taken to a hospital and held for observation. Thankfully, I found a discount coupon for Vyvance and it is (currently) only costing me $40 a month. My point in writing this review– these medications can cause severe behavioral changes. Don’t be afraid to go back to your doctor and say, “This isn’t working for us.” You know your child best and it often requires trying several different medications to find one that works.

  26. I was diagnosed with ADHD a few months ago at age 16. I currently take 15mg Adderall XR. For me, this medicine has worked wonders. My grades are up, I actually know what’s going on in my classes, my relationships with my friends are better. However, as with most medications, there have been side effects. Since I started taking it, I lost 10 lbs, now weighing 106 lbs at 5’5 1/2” and I have to drink a lot of water because my mouth gets dry. Overall though, I’m very with how it works and the benefits FAR outweigh the risks.

  27. If You use this product Adderall can also give the side affect of depression so if you do take this product I highly recommend using Zoloft Or Sertraline it helps calm you down and helps with anxiety and depression

  28. I took 15 mg of Adderall XR for over a decade, but moved to 20 when I hit perimenopause. It works wonders for me. I can concentratrate and accomplish things, which is a blessing since I have severe ADHD. My daughter tried the XR, though, and it had no effect. Non-XR works great for her, though. It’s just a matter of finding the medication that works for you.

  29. My 11-yr old son was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD about 4 mos. ago. We started medication right away. He responds to amphetamine, not methylphenidate (sp?). He had a great response to Vyvanse but his “ideal” dose of 15 mg was not available, so we have landed at 20 mg of generic Adderall XR. It’s been a godsend as regards schoolwork. He experiences little or no side effects. And what a blessing b/c it’s SO much cheaper than Vyvanse.

    We had to try about 8 different iterations of meds over about 4 mos. before hitting on the right thing. I would encourage parents, adults, and providers to stick with it until you get it right – it’s worth it!

  30. I just have a question or what any inputs to my situation pls, I’m 43 and I’m on adderall prescribed 30mg 3x day but I usually only take 2 almost everyday and I’ve been taking this for a while now prolly 1yr or 2 but all of a sudden well say all of a sudden in the last 3 to 6 months I have been feeling terrible jus overall dont feel good and also noticed that now when now time I take my adderall first thing in morning I get headache and even later when I take my 2nd dose. Do I need to check into changing my med or what ya think is causing this now? Is this med just no longer working for me?

  31. 6 year old daughter, 5mg Adderall for 11 days. She seemed to be spaced out, and would take 3-4 tries to pull her back to the moment. She developed a strong sense of fear, and scared of things that were not a bother before. She woke up the first night with a nightmare, stating bugs were crawling on her bed. (That was the only night there were sleep issues)

    After a conversation with the Dr we decided to try another medication.

  32. I was diagnosed at 50 yrs old and for most of the past 20 years I have taken Dexedrine. For a year or so because I had a new doctor, I was prescribed Adderall and hated it. It made me jittery and my focus and ability to concentrate for periosds of time was awful. I absolutely will never take it again. Subsequently, I had another doctor who would not prescribe Dexedrine gave me Vyvanse which was better than Adderall but not much. SO when I went into Medicare with Kaiser they gave me Dexedrine 60 mgs. and I am a happy camper. I did not like Ritalin at all- I told the doctor that if this was the cure I would rather have the disease. So Dexedrine is my go-to medication.

  33. I’ve used Adderall and I hated it. It seemed to work at first, but then I had an accidental overdose (went from 5mg to 10mg to 15mg too quickly) and nearly passed out WHILE DRIVING to the doctors office. I refuse to use Adderall again.

  34. 45 year old male diagnosed with ADHD (ADD). Started with 10ml for 30 days…nothing. Increased to 20ml for another 30 day trial…still nothing. Doctor wanted to switch to something else but I asked if we could try 30ml before doing that and so we did. One word…WOW. That did it. Super focused through most of the day. I’m still in my first week with no side effects other than the increased focus. I did wake up with a head ache this morning but not sure if I’m blaming it on the med or my sinus issues. Regardless, I’m certain I’ll be telling the doctor on my next follow up visit we found it!

  35. I just started Adderall XR on Friday. It worked great this weekend and for the beginning of this week at work. Today, it took 40 minutes to kick in (instead of a half hour), and it stopped working after three and a half hours instead of 10.

  36. I’ve had only one side effect taking Adderall IR 20mg: dry mouth. I did get a slight headache at the end of the day when it started to taper off, but nothing that bothered me.
    Now that my doctor has moved me up to 30mg I’ve been experiencing a dull, mild headache all day long. It starts about the time my medicine kicks in and lasts till the drop off headache would normally subside.

  37. I am 30 years old and have ADHD. I have been taking Adderall for approximately 3 years now and the last dose (25 MG XR 24 hour as my doctor states) I received makes me extremely irritable, especially when my concentration gets broken. It seems to be progressing, especially the anxiety.

  38. I was diagnosed with the inattentive type just before my 40th birthday. I take 20 mg slow release generic Adderall XR. The immediate positive effects were: absence of paralyzing fear and uncertainty about what to do/ how to complete any task; decisiveness; effortlessness of any task or decision; confidence; naturally stay on task without thinking about it; automatic follow through without effort; clear sight – where before I felt I was in a deep fog; assertiveness where timidity and passivity would have been; diminished appetite – where constant hunger was previously; physical body pains relieved; need much less sleep and rest. The negative side effects at first were: dry mouth without ability to drink a lot; diarrhea on day two or three after an afternoon coffee; diminished sensory experience – no longer seeking pleasurable activities or food; feeling ‘amped up’ (like shortness of breath, short temper, cry easily, easily irritated); not as easy as normal to fall asleep, harder to observe my thoughts, less vivid dreams, less ‘awareness’.

  39. My first experience with Adderall XR was horrible. It changed my mood and behavior. I would get angry easier and cry easier. It made me get horrible bad breath, dry mouth, and body odor. I had to switch meds.

  40. I am a 56-year-old woman and was diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar II a year ago. One of my biggest problems has been with impulsive talking that seems to have gotten worse since I’ve gotten older. I talked to my doctor about it a couple of weeks ago and she suggested trying Adderall XR 30mg instead of the Concerta ER 54mg I was taking. It really seems to be helping!

  41. My child was diagnosed with comprehensive ADD and was prescribed Adderall. She takes 20mg XR in the morning and 10mg regular in the afternoon. She has been on it for about 2 years now but it doesn’t seem to work as well anymore.

  42. My son (who is 6 ½ years old) is currently taking Adderall XL 20 mg. He tried Medidate and Concerta, both of which worked well, but the dose kept increasing. He has been on Adderall XL 20 mg. for about 6 months now and is doing great. He is a totally different kid on the medicine (focused, much calmer, and responsible). When not on the medicine, you can definitely see the difference (very hyper, giddy, not focused, lack of personal boundaries, etc). Thus, I would say that Adderrall has worked great for him.

  43. My son who is 20 developed a constant throat-clearing problem and he is on Adderall XR. He also gets a tight feeling in his throat.

  44. We’ve had tremendous success with Adderall 5mg extended release for my daughter. She is 8 years old now but she started it when she was 6. She is normally a happy, feisty, little tornado, but when her medicine wears off about 5pm she gets grouchy and irritable. The doctor gave me a prescription for the regular Adderall 5mg and told me to give it to her around 3:30 pm after school. She didn’t get to sleep until about midnight. So after about a week I dropped the extra pill in the afternoon and deal with the irritability, which has improved some. Her symptoms return immediately when she doesn’t take it. She hasn’t had to progress to a higher dose in over a year and half.

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