Categories: Side effects

Contraindications and side effects of Adderall

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Discover the contraindications and side effects of Adderall.

This is, together with methylphenidate, one of the drugs associated with the treatment of ADHD.

This drug is usually consumed in pills. Contraindications and side effects of Adderall


Adderall is a drug that is prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit disorder. That’s where its name comes from (from the English term: Attention Deficit Disorder).

Currently, it is a drug that is prescribed more frequently in adults and is quite popular among the university community, as well as among young professionals and also among athletes, which has generated great controversy.

What exactly is Adderall?

Adderall is a drug made from amphetamines. For their part, amphetamines are synthetic substances that belong to the group of stimulating agents of the central nervous system (psychostimulants or psychoactive), and as such, what they do is stimulate both attention and physical performance.


In other words, Adderall is a medically prescribed central nervous system stimulant, especially for attention deficit disorder (non-hyperactivity), but is also used, for example, to treat narcolepsy.

Not only that, but in recent years its recreational use and for purposes such as improving school, physical or work performance has increased significantly.

It is approved for production and marketing in the United States since 2001 under the name ADDERALL TX, in tablets with a concentration of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 mg.

Main effects

Technically, stimulants favor and increase the release of catecholamines in the brain, that is, substances such as norepinephrine, adrenaline, and dopamine that are transported in the bloodstream and neural networks so that we can respond to stressful situations.

The latter has the effect of an increase in reaction times, they cause a feeling of alertness and of being always awake, and even produce euphoria, thus a greater tolerance to pain. For this reason, Adderall is used to maintain attention for longer and to increase physical performance.

Side effects of Adderall

Regarding its adverse effects, the constant and prolonged use of amphetamines can cause sleep disturbances, anxiety, psychotic and manic episodes; issues that in the long run may require the taking of other drugs.


Among the most serious side effects, and given that it significantly accelerates the heart rate, a relationship has been reported between the taking of amphetamines and sudden death, cardiovascular accidents, psychotic or manic episodes, visual disturbance, and the development of gastrointestinal diseases, endocrine and hepatic.

Therefore, it is contraindicated in people who have symptoms of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, agitated states, or a history of addiction to psychoactive drugs.

In the same way, impulsivity can increase in the case of children who have a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Apart from all of the above, perhaps the most problematic and controversial effect of amphetamines is that they are highly addictive substances, which means that they generate a large number of problems, not only at a private level but also at the public level: the need to consume them gradually increases, as well as tolerance (which also increases the dose that needs to be taken); and then the chances that its uncontrolled use increases the number of people susceptible to developing chronic diseases, and even the illegal market.

Difference between Adderall and Ritalin

The difference between Adderall and Ritalin is that the basic component of Adderall is an amphetamine, and the basic component of Ritalin is methylphenidate.

Both amphetamine and methylphenidate are substances that stimulate the nervous system, with which their effects are practically the same.


What is the controversy?

The use of Adderall (as well as Ritalin) has generated significant controversy in recent years, especially for its highly addictive and highly normalized effects.

It has also been widely discussed because, although it has improved educational and work performance, the use of this type of drug often hides shortcomings that are typical of educational and work environments.

In other words, they are used in an increasingly widespread and standardized way, not only to compensate for difficulties in the teaching-learning process of children but also among the university community or among young professionals and athletes who are required to maintain productivity rates that go beyond one’s capabilities.

As a result, it is becoming increasingly commercialized, even though the very tendency to diagnose attention deficit disorders on a large scale (especially in the United States) has already been widely questioned.

Some say that before drugs were used to make people disconnect from social reality, as a means of escape and to reach different states of consciousness; And now, it seems that they are used with the opposite purpose, to make us connect with that social reality, as quickly and as best as possible.


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