Adderall XR is a medication I know all too well about, along with its side effects. I was first diagnosed at age 16 with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) and was immediately introduced to various medications that were intended to calm me down, if you will. I tried Adderall once, and it did nothing for me, so for the next 2 years I was treated with Ritalin. Ritalin, unfortunately, left me an insomniac for a year before I finally stopped taking the medication and started sleeping normally again.
When I started working in customer service for a local newspaper in Orlando I found myself lacking a serious amount of concentration. I almost lost my job over it and I was too embarrassed to tell anyone I just couldn’t concentrate on anything without the littlest things distracting me. I decided in 2003 to begin seeing a Doctor to decide if going back on medication was the right thing for me to do again. I was diagnosed with adult ADHD that same year and was again introduced to Adderall. This time though the medication did something for me.
Adderall and Adderall XR is what my doctor referred to as a watered down version of Speed. It is a Class C drug and monthly I would have to sign paper after paper at the pharmacy stating I knew the possible risks and side effects of taking the drug. Adderall XR is the slow releasing version of the drug, where Adderall lasts for 4 hours before taking another pill Adderall XR slowly releases itself into the blood stream over 12 hours.
The first time I took the pill I found myself feeling strangely odd. I had a sudden burst of energy that lasted about 6 hours. I found myself chatting on the phone and taking control of the conversation, which is something that had never happened before. I was also ripping my closet apart and sorting through clothes to give to Good Will. Then I ended up spending 4 hours cleaning my house from top to bottom. Then I crashed and slept for 12 hours. Day 2 wasn’t as dramatic, but I suddenly had the energy again. I found myself becoming very obsessed with detail in my work and my performance suddenly improved.
When I woke up in the morning I would have to take a pill before i started work at 6:30AM. I would normally take the pill at 5:30AM because it would take an hour for the pill to kick in and start doing its job. I could have taken it at 6:30, but there is one very serious side effect that a lot of people who take Adderall experience. If you don’t take the drug everyday as prescribed at the same time you will start to nod off. If I missed my 5:30 dose I was like a zombie at work until the pill kicked in, and there were many times I caught myself nodding off while talking to customers. Another reason for taking it so early is because I nodded off one morning on the highway while driving to work. It got to the point where I was starting to become dependent on the medication to keep me awake in the morning.
Other side effects of Adderall XR include:
nervousness, fast heart beat, excitement
growth suppression in children
seizures or involuntary movements
severe and moderate depression
I can safely say I did not suffer from any of the major side effects, but there were times on the weekends when I wouldn’t take the medication and would feel really down about myself. I wasn’t an insomniac anymore, just the opposite, I couldn’t wait to sleep.
This is definitely a drug you need to speak to a doctor about before giving it to a child under the age of ten. There are many documented cases of children dying after taking the medication, it is a powerful drug for adults to take, I can’t imagine what it does to children. I also would not suggest you take this if you have depression or have had depressed feelings in the past because Adderall XR can start to bring those feelings back up again. You need to understand the pro’s and con’s first before starting the medication.
You also DO NOT want to combine this medication with any other drugs or alcohol at all. I’ve never even entertained the idea of trying it, but from talking with my doctor it can slow your breathing down or cause rapid heart beats.
If you aren’t sure whether Adderall or Adderall XR are the right medications for you you might want to consider asking your doctor about Strattera which is a little less powerful and recommended mostly for mild cases of ADD and ADHD. Whatever you choose get all the facts first and understand what the first few days may be like before you start Adderall XR.
I decided to stop taking the medication last April. It took me about a week to clear it out of myself and not feel tired during the day anymore. I’ve actually been teaching myself ways to fix my concentration so I won’t need to go back on any medication again. I don’t like the idea of depending on Adderall XR to keep me awake during the day or the way it made me feel at night when the medication wore off.