A drug commonly prescribed for children with ADHD and also commonly used by college students to increase energy can be very dangerous if dosage is not monitored by a physician. Used under close supervision of a physician, Adderall can help curb the effects of ADHD, but patients and parents should be aware of the serious side effects that can occur with too much of what they see as a good thing.
Older youth who don’t suffer from ADHD also see advantages in taking Adderall. Adderall increases their energy and focus so that they can write papers and study late into the night.
Unfortunately, many students unsafely acquire and consume the drugs without a prescription. Gradually, their body builds up a tolerance and they end up taking more to get the desired effect they used to get. Without a prescription, no one is monitoring their intake and the students can easily become addicted to it.
Side Effects of Adderall Use
Just as in the use of any drug, there are common side effects that may occur. Some of these side effects include:
- Dry Mouth
- Loss of Appetite
Side Effects of Adderall Abuse
Excessive Use of Adderall can lead to overdose and more severe side effects of Adderall abuse that include:
- Weight Loss
- Severe Psychosis
- High Blood Pressure
- Reflex Spasms
- Rapid Heart Rate
- Liver and Kidney Damage
Adderall’s Effect on the Liver and Kidneys
Adderall can cause side effects that come and go, but some effects can have permanent damage. A few of the more severe side effects can lead to irreparable harm to the liver and kidneys. An overdose of Adderall that has been left untreated can be toxic for the liver and kidneys and could lead to kidney failure and liver impairment.
Those who have used Adderall excessively or who have ever suffered from an overdose of Adderall should have a physician check for any damage of the liver and kidneys.
Signs of liver damage include nausea, yellowish eyes, fatigue, loss of appetite, and confusion. Signs of kidney failure include swollen feet, legs, or ankles, abdominal pains, bruising, and foul breath. Untreated, the toxicity of the drug in either organ could cause a person to fall into a coma.
Treatment for Adderall Abuse
Properly taken under a doctor’s supervision, Adderall can help curb the symptoms of ADHD. But just like other amphetamines, including cocaine, misuse of the drug can lead to dangerous physical and psychological dependence.
In addition to the side effects listed above, Adderall abuse or withdrawal can stimulate Amphetamine-Induced Anxiety Disorder. Adderall users may develop symptoms similar to those experienced by individuals with panic disorder, obsessive disorder, and phobic disorders.
With the help of a healthcare provider, those who use Adderall responsibly can safely use and safely withdrawal from this powerful amphetamine. Individuals should let their providers choose how doses should be gradually reduced to safely wean the body from the drug.