What Does Adderall Do?
Adderall is a prescription stimulant medication. What does Adderall do and who is it for? Well, first let’s begin by talking about what it is. This medication is an amphetamine. That makes it a controlled substance because there is a potential for addiction. Amphetamines like Adderall work in part by increasing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. One of the neurotransmitters affected is dopamine. Increased levels of dopamine can cause euphoria among other things. This effect is a large part of what makes these medications addictive.
Medications in this class are usually prescribed for ADHD but also sometimes prescribed for narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder. It manifests as excessive daytime sleepiness. The stimulant effect can help people with ADHD focus more effectively. It helps people with narcolepsy avoid falling asleep during the daytime. If you are wondering what does Adderall do, the answer is it depends. The effect on neurotransmitters is more or less the same for anyone who takes it. The difference is in how each person responds to that increase in certain chemicals. A person with a naturally low level of those chemicals who takes Adderall as prescribed will notice a decrease in their symptoms.
Who Gets Adderall and what does it treat?
You may also ask, what does Adderall treat? As we mentioned earlier, amphetamines are stimulant medications most often prescribed for Attention Deficit and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a brain condition which makes it difficult for a person to focus and tune out distractions. Amphetamines like Adderall can help counteract some of the symptoms of ADHD. They do this in part by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Primarily dopamine and norepinephrine. That helps increase activity in the part of the brain that handles executive function, like deciding what to focus on and what to prioritize, for example.
Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain which relay messages in the brain. Different ones attach to different receptors designed just for them. When they attach, the trigger an action in that particular brain cell. Science is still learning about how the brain works. Much remains a mystery. But we do understand a lot about the effects amphetamines create. When a person with a lower than average level of these brain chemicals takes Adderall, it reverses some of the symptoms of their condition. It helps a person with ADHD focus better, for example. When someone with closer to normal levels takes amphetamines or someone takes more than prescribed, they will have a higher than normal level of these neurotransmitters.
More About the Effects of Adderall
Adderall is a powerful medication that has potential for abuse. The positive effects at prescribed doses include greater ability to focus, improvement in short-term memory and reduced drowsiness. Adderall or any prescription stimulant taken without a prescription, or more than is prescribed, can have serious negative effects. In considering what does Adderall do, we must also look at side-effects
Some of the negative effects include:
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Agitation and irritability
- Heart palpitations
- Increased blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Anorgasmia (inability to have an orgasm)
Side Effects Can Be Serious
These side effects can manifest even in someone who is taking the medication as prescribed, so it is good to be aware of them. Outright abuse, including overdose of Adderall and medications like it can result in much more serious side effects that can be deadly in some cases. You should never assume a drug is somehow “safe” to use in any quantity or conditions simply because it’s prescribed. If you take Adderall and experience any of the side effects listed above or below, talk to your doctor about them as soon as you can. You should know the answer to the question “what does Adderall do” before taking it. They may be a sign that more serious adverse effects are on the way.
Here are a few of the more serious consequences of Adderall misuse or overdose:
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
- Panic attacks
- Stomach cramps
- Cardiac arrest
We hope this article was informative and answered your questions about Adderall. Like any prescription medication, it must be taken according to doctors directions. Since it is a controlled substance, you should be fully aware it has addictive potential. Your doctor should know if you have any history of addiction before prescribing it. Now you should know the answer to the question “what does Adderall do”. If you or someone you love is misusing Adderall or another amphetamine, Midwood Addiction Treatment can help. Give us a call at (888) MAT-1110 or reach out to us via our contact page here.