Saturday November 29th 2014

Tolerance to Adderall

Tolerance to Adderall

Do you still have ADHD symptoms after taking Adderall (amphetamine, dexamphetamine and mixed salts)? Does your doctor have to increase your Adderall prescription doses to increase its effectiveness?

If yes, then you have or are developing a tolerance to Adderall. Tolerance doesn’t mean you are physically or mentally dependent on a drug, that you are addicted, or that you will necessarily experience Adderall withdrawal syndrome when you stop taking amphetamine salts. Note here that Adderall dependence withdrawal requires medical supervision.  However, if tolerance is occurring you want to watch out for Adderall withdrawal symptoms. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Adderall tolerance. We also look at how Adderall tolerance relates to amphetamine dependency and addiction. We invite any questions you may have about Adderall at the end of this article.

Developing tolerance to Adderall

Anyone can develop a tolerance to Adderall but it happens over a length of time. Adderall tolerance, in general, takes longer than other types of drugs. But those abusing Adderall for the euphoric effect will develop tolerance quicker than someone using it for therapeutic purposes. How does tolerance happen? And what does it mean?

Tolerance to Adderall develops because the body “learns” the chemical makeup of amphetamine salts over time. After a while, the end of the nerves become resistant to Adderall effects on the body. Sometimes, developing a tolerance to Adderallcompletely renders the drug useless. Other time,s this tolerance can progress into in a physical dependence on Adderall. When you are physically dependent on Adderall and try to stop taking Adderall, your body experiences withdrawal symptoms which can be both dangerous and painful.

Adderall tolerance symptoms

In general, tolerance symptoms for amphetamines like Adderall include the following and are important to look out for.

1) No longer feeling the focus Adderall provides.

2) Needing higher doses of Adderall to feel its effects on ADHD symptoms.

3) Only being able to maintain the effects of Adderall for a short time after taking it.

Note here that Adderall has a high potential for developing physical dependency and can even trigger addiction in some cases. If you are worried this may be you, you can review our other articles for further information. But as you use Adderall over time, doctors expect that you will develop some form of tolerance to Adderall. Your doctor will work with you to observe which concentration of amphetamine salts works best for you to adjust for and work around Adderall tolerance.

Adderall tolerance: How long?

Amphetamines, in general, take longer to develop a tolerance when used for therapeutic purposes. Tolerance in this case develops more on a week to month basis sometimes taking up to 6 months before a doctor has to alter and change the concentration of the medication. But when Adderall is abused to get high, tolerance develops quickly. In fact, people can develop a tolerance to Adderall after using it just once. Many try to chase the first high with no success and will take more Adderall, thereby increasing their tolerance at the same time as they develop a dependence.

High tolerance to Adderall

There are different concentrations and potencies of Adderall for those prescribed amphetamines to treat ADHD. This varies because of the ADHD spectrum and the variations that exist. What may be a high tolerance for one may be low for someone else.

Doctors are advised to start people out with the lowest possible dose of Adderall because of the high potential your body has of becoming dependent on amphetamines. This also allows room for doctors to tinker with the levels and dosage of Adderall which can works for you. In general, a high tolerance to Adderall exceeds 40mg a day. To even get to this Adderall dosage is considered rare and rather remarkable. If you are taking 30 to 40 mg of Adderall a day, you have a high tolerance to Adderall and may want to try another medication that can help mitigate ADHD symptoms.

How to lower tolerance to Adderall

Because of Adderall’s high dependency rate, it is considered a little more dangerous practice to lower your tolerance to Adderall. It is safe to lower your tolerance to Adderall as long as you have not developed a physical dependency on amphetamines salts. If you have become physically dependent on Adderall, you will then need to taper your Adderall doses slowly under the supervision of a doctor to compensate for withdrawal symptoms.

The best way to lower tolerance is to stop taking Adderall. But when you do this , ADHD symptoms will once again occur. A couple of months should be good enough to lower tolerance enough to start taking it. If may be best to try an alternative drug to help with these symptoms. Talk to a doctor to see what would be your best option. Also, if you’re abusing Adderall and you stop taking it, you will never be able to reach level zero of when you started taking Adderall.

Building up tolerance to Adderall questions

Do you still have questions about Adderall tolerance? Please share your questions and experiences with Adderall in the comments below.

Reference Sources: Pub Med Health: Adderall
FDA: Adderall drug label
National Institute of Drug Abuse: Pharmacology and Toxicology of Amphetamine and Related Designer Drugs

Photo credit: Cult Gigolo

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7 Responses to “Tolerance to Adderall
Jonathan Pence
8:22 pm June 7th, 2013

Hi,

I have a question about Adderall tolerence:

I’ve been taking prescription Adderall XR for ADD for a long period of time—over 15 years—at a consistent dosage of between 30 – 40mgs a day … At this point I feel that the drug is pretty much just wearing off after about two or so hours after taking it—which is tolerance, right. Is the way that I feel after it wears off the same as the way that I’d feel naturally, had I never started taking Adderall XR? Thanks.

5:39 am June 11th, 2013

Hi Jonathan. Hmmm. This is a great question, and one that an expert can answer. Ask your pharmacist for more advice…especially given the duration of your use, I’m not sure if you’ve hit a ceiling effect or if what you register as wearing off is still a part of the therapeutic action.

Derek
10:39 pm November 13th, 2013

I see that you said if one abuses adderall then stops taking it, they’ll never reach level zero of when they started. What exactly does that mean? Does it mean that their attention span and focus level will be lower than before they ever took it? I take it only when I need to study, as I function normally in every aspect of life except cognitively.

Donna
1:38 am May 28th, 2014

I have a genuine question in regards to tolerance of adderall. I have been doing a lot of research on the subject lately because of my fear of mentioning to a physician, reason being I DO NOT want to instantly labeled be a Medical Proffesional as an abuser or “drug seeker”. It’s sad to feel that way but today’s society it happens more than you would believe. Personally, I really don’t stress over the general concern, I do understand the abuse of prescription drugs is rising rapidly, however I AM the one who lives with this condition everyday of my life. I have an extreme and as mentioned, an individualized ADHD condition, I don’t want to jeopardize or be labeled as an abuser in the medical field. But I have developed a true tolerance to the medication over the years, like maybe around 20 or more years, I currently prescribed two 30mg twice a day. I have been on this dosage for approximately the last 10 years. I know that I have built a tolerence to the medication, however I am someone who appreciate the benefits that this medication does for me, now don’t get me wrong, years ago the physician I used to see, we “played” around with different types of medications and the range of doses, in conclusion, we “tweeted” it to my needs, I don’t abuse it, I need it. Without it I can’t focus on anything, my thoughts, thinking, capability to deal with daily tasks in pretty much intolerable. The worst part is that I can’t get my brain to stop feeling all over the place, I can barely focus on a conversation with someone, watching a movie, reading, driving somewhere.
I just would like to hear some advice on how or what are my limitations of the dosag, because it is becoming to be a crippling feeling, hell, as much time I have been spending on the issue is making my condition increase because it’s just something else my brain has to deal with. And what I mean is, my brain feels like a huge sponge, it’s like my brain crave too much information, regardless of what the information is about. Sounds crazy but I feel like nobody really understands my true thinking abilitiesand challenges of trying to function.
Anyway, I would like your advice and if I could ask for an increase in my dosage without feeling like I’m not going to be understood.
Thank You,
Donna from Illinois

9:00 am May 28th, 2014

Hello Donna. Your case makes sense to me! You might want to start your search for more information here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7291243

Get informed about long term, high tolerance dosing on amphetamine combinations. And look into scholarly articles/studies on the subject. Consult with pharmacists, and then approach your prescribing doctor with your findings and concerns. It may be that you need to go through a period of “managed withdrawal” in order to lower your tolerance and make the medication more effective. Or, you may decide on dosing alternatives. Whatever the case, get informed and then perhaps chart out your dosing over the years. Steady increases in doses combined with decreased therapeutic effect are PREDICTED. And should be treated as a function of the medication, not as abuse.

Gina
8:32 pm September 17th, 2014

Question about tolerance. I was prescribed Adderall 10 MG twice a day and anxiety pills all on the same day. I have sever cognitive problems with my thinking, memory, and attention span. When I was first taking two 10 MG pills a day I noticed my attention span has improved well. I noticed my thinking process was a little better but then after 7 days I increased to taking 3. I tried 4 once and I finally felt like I could talk easily and organize my thoughts and people even noticed it. I’ve been on this medication for 13 days. Am I building a tolerance?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
6:55 am September 18th, 2014

Hi Gina. When your body becomes tolerant to a medication, one dose of the med that used to work and give you the wanted effects, is beginning to become less effective for you.

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