Unfortunately, many different types of prescription medications are being overly prescribed to American patients. Prescription drug abuse has become one of the leading forms of drug addiction in the nation, and narcotic drugs are usually the source of the trouble. Nowadays, medical problems can be diagnosed, and most diagnoses come with a prescription signed and ready. Adderall, for example, is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the medical world today; it is even prescribed to many patients suffering from sleeping disorders like Narcolepsy.
What is Adderall and how does it Work?
Adderall is the generic name for a prescription psychostimulant narcotic drug consisting of the amphetamine salts dextroamphetamine saccharide, dextroamphetamine sulfate,
racemic amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, and racemic amphetamine sulfate. The brand-name prescription medication is owned and manufactured by Shire US, Inc., but there are several other manufacturing companies that produce generic version of the medication.
Adderall and Narcolepsy go hand-in-hand. This medication is meant to increase the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain; it also inhibits the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine in the body. Adderall works like many other stimulant drugs, it manipulates the mesolimbic reward pathway, located in the brain. The medication is available by prescription medication only, and is available in two forms- Instant Release, IR, and Extended Release, XR. The purpose of the medication is to increase the user’s levels of energy, productivity, focus, alertness, and has even been used to increase sexual desire.
Using Adderall to Treat Narcolepsy and Other Medical Problems
In most cases, the stimulant prescription medication Adderall is used to treat patients with hyperactivity disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The drug is also licensed and commonly prescribed to many patients with Narcolepsy.
Although Adderall is a stimulant medication, it has the opposite effect on patients who genuinely have a physical need for the medication. Other stimulants like caffeine or herbal energy supplements can cause feeling of hyperactivity. After ingesting many other artificial stimulants, patients feel jittery or uncomfortable and have a hard time sitting still; Adderall has the opposite effect. Patients with Narcolepsy, however, take the medication in higher doses than people being treated with ADD or ADHD. The higher doses of the narcotic medication produce the stimulant effect many people search for with coffee or energy drinks. Because Adderall is such a powerful stimulant when administered in high enough doses, it is often prescribed to narcoleptic patients to help them stay awake, alert, and focused throughout the day.
Less Common Uses
Hyperactivity and Narcolepsy are the main medical conditions treated with Adderall. Sometimes, however, a curious doctor may prescribe the drug to you in hopes of treating another problem. Healthcare providers have been known to prescribe Adderall to victims of depression and people that are overweight or struggling to lose weight.
The Side Effects of Adderall
Common Side Effects of Adderall in Narcolepsy Patients
- Dry Mouth
- Loss of Appetite
- Decreased Rate of Growth in Children
- Weight Loss
- Insomnia or Trouble Sleeping
- Motor Restlessness- Also Known as Akathasia
- Chronic Headaches or Migraines
- Nausea and/or Vomiting
- Dizziness or Faintness
- Unexplained Fevers
- Pain in the Stomach or Abdomen
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Tightness in the Chest
- Difficulty Breathing
- Shortness of Breath
- Crashing Energy Levels
Adverse Side Effects of Adderall in Narcolepsy Patients
- Feelings of Depression, Despair, Distantness, or Apathy
- Higher Risk of Infections
- Pain that Spreads from the Arm through the Back
- Increased Risk of Stroke, Heart Attack, Seizures and Sudden Death
- Changes in Vision
- Visual, Auditory, or Sensory Hallucinations
- Sudden Rashes or the Development of Hives
- Sudden Twitches or Uncontrollable Body Movements
- Jaw Clenching or Constant Movement of the Mouth
- Uncontrollable Shaking of the Body
- Decreased Sexual Desire
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Profuse Perspiration Without Viable Physical Activity
- Changes in Bowel Habits
- Lethargy or Extreme Tiredness
Adderall Abuse and Addiction in Narcolepsy Patients
Adderall is effective, that’s why it’s prescribed so readily. The problem, however, is that it has a high potential for addiction and abuse. Long-term users of the stimulant can become mentally and psychologically addicted to the stimulating effects, feeling unable to perform, focus, or function without the assistance of the drug. Physical affects also accompany Adderall addiction; heart problems, weight loss, and withdraw are common symptoms of abusers.
Adderall abuse is most commonly seen in college students. The medication is readily prescribed to many students in order to help them cope with the stresses of school work and time management. Because so many students have the medication on a regular basis, it is easy to trade and distribute among patients who use the medication recreationally or to “cram” for heavy work loads. Extended use of the medication can leave students and employees unable to perform simple daily tasks with concentration if they have not taken the medication.
The drug is also abused for its “speed” like properties, much like methamphetamines. People have been known to use the medication to achieve a rush or stimulating sensation as well as stay awake for extended periods of time.
*Many Patients grow an Adderall tolerance, and Narcolepsy treatment suffers. Adderall dosage for Narcolepsy patients should be administered carefully.
Complications, Precautions, and Warnings for Narcolepsy Patients Taking Adderall
Although most hyperactive patients are diagnosed before the age of seven, Adderall I not recommended for extremely young patients, especially not under the age of three. If a doctor tries to prescribe your young child Adderall, make sure you get a second opinion. There are other treatment options for children of that age to pursue; narcotic prescriptions should be a last resort for concerned parents and medical practitioners.
Adderall is a medicinal stimulant, yes, but it is also an extreme appetite suppressant. People who use or abuse the drug are likely to experience decreased appetite and food intake. Heavy Adderall users who experience a prolonged period of low-appetite are like to experience the complications of malnutrition or unwanted weight loss.
Adderall can react poorly to other medications. It is important to inform your doctor completely of your medical history, especially any medications you recently have taken, or are currently on. Like any narcotic medication, this drug can seriously affect the performance of another medication as well as your body’s reaction to it. Mixing Adderall with other prescription medications increases the risk of overdose.