By Deborah Mitchell
April 26, 2010
Adderall and Adderall XR, schedule II controlled substances composed of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, have several Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved uses. However, both prescribed and recreational use of these drugs, especially among young people, is associated with serious, life-threatening side effects.
The FDA requires that all amphetamines, including Adderall and Adderall XR (the long-acting version of Adderall), carry a black box warning, which means that medical research has demonstrated that these drugs carry a significant risk of serious, or even life-threatening, adverse effects. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, both of these drugs have a “high potential for abuse” that “may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.” In an attempt to stem such abuse, the federal government limits the amount of these amphetamine drugs that can be manufactured each year.
Adderall is a central nervous system stimulate approved by the FDA to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Studies show that the side effects associated with Adderall XR include abdominal pain, anorexia (loss of appetite), asthenia (feeling of weakness), diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth,elevated blood pressure, fever, headache, heartburn, infection, (including urinary tract infection), insomnia, nausea, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), and weight loss.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders notes that “Amphetamine, as with cocaine, can induce symptoms similar to those seen in obsessive disorder, panic disorder, and phobic disorders.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual notes that “high doses and long-term use of amphetamines are associated with erectile disorder and other sexual dysfunction. Use of Adderall can also induce schizophrenic-like states in children who are taking prescribed doses, according to The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.