How is Adderall prescribed?

Adderall is prescribed in doses of 5-30 mg daily. Adderall is prescribed to help with ADHD and sleep disorders. More on Adderall prescription dosing, costs, and uses here.

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Adderall contains dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, two types of amphetamine salts which are highly addictive. How Adderall works in the body as a central nervous system stimulant is by making dopamine and norepinephrine more accessible in the brain.  However, Adderall abuse potential and addiction liability are two reasons why Adderall is only prescribed by medical doctors. Here, we review Adderall prescription basics and invite your questions about Adderall at the end.

What do doctors prescribe Adderall for?

Adderall is a prescription drug that’s used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder. Adderall works in people with excessive sleepiness (narcolepsy) by stimulating the central nervous system. In people with ADHD, it has a paradoxical effect, helping them focus and remain calm.

Adderall prescription dosage

How much Adderall you need to take will be determined by your doctor. But, in general, you take immediate release Adderall formulas in 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, and 30 mg doses throughout the day. For the 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg and 30 mg extended release capsules, you would only take Adderall XR once a day.  How much Adderall can you take at once?  Never more than 30 mg, and even this dosage can trigger serious adverse effects, especially in children.

Adderall prescription cost

The cost of filling an Adderall prescription will depend on your personal health insurance coverage. Some people report costs as high as $250 a month to fill an Adderall prescription. If your insurance covers part of the costs or if you qualify for low income assistance, you may be able to pay closer to $50 a month. You may also be able to save money by asking for the generic version of Adderall, which is usually an off-brand version of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine.

Can you get Adderall over the counter?

No. Adderall is available by prescription only. Adderall is highly addictive, so it’s only prescribed to people who have been diagnosed with ADHD or narcolepsy.

Signs of Adderall prescription drug abuse

Adderall is often abused for its stimulant effects, and used for studying, weight loss, or to get high. But someone who abuses Adderall regularly runs the risk of becoming addicted. Adderall shows up on a drug tests and on standard DOT 5 panel tests as an amphetamine. That is why employees use drug testing to screen for drug problems.  But what are the main signs of Adderall prescription drug abuse?

To be clear, Adderall addiction is not the same as a dependence on Adderall in someone using it according to their doctor’s directions. Someone using Adderall to treat an attention disorder may not be able to function without the medication, or may experience withdrawal effects if they stop taking it. This isn’t the same as an addiction – an addiction involves a psychological compulsion to seek out the drug, even when it has negative effects on the addict’s personal or professional life. The main signs of Adderall prescription drug abuse include:

1. Taking Adderall in ways other than prescribed (snorting Adderall).

2. Taking Adderall more often or in higher doses than prescribed.

3. Taking Adderall without a prescription.

Adderall prescription questions

Do you still have questions about Adderall prescriptions? Please leave them here. We are happy to help answer your questions personally and promptly. If we do not know the answer to your particular question, we will refer you to someone who does.

Reference Sources: ToxNet: Amphetamine
DEA: Methamphetamine
Medline Plus: Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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