- Adderall Overdose: Signs and Effects | The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health
- Signs of Adderall Overdose
- Adderall Overdose Statistics
- Causes of Adderall Overdose
- Substance Interactions
- Adderall Overdose Duration
- Adderall Overdose Complications
- Adderall Overdose Prevention
- What to Do for an Adderall Overdose
- Signs of An Adderall Overdose
- Is Adderall Addictive?
- When Does an Adderall Overdose Occur?
- What Are the Signs of An Adderall Overdose?
- If you or someone you know has developed a drug or alcohol problem, call Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about the addiction treatment programs we offer
- Adderall Overdose (Signs & Treatment)
- How Much Adderall Can Lead to an Overdose?
- What’s the Normal Prescribed Dosage of Adderall?
- Signs of an Adderall Overdose
- Can Adderall Interact With Other Drugs?
- Adderall and Alcohol Interaction
- Adderall Interaction With Other Prescription Drugs
- What to Do if You Overdose on Adderall
- Treatment for Adderall Overdose
- How to Prevent Adderall Overdose
- Treatment for Adderall Misuse & Addiction
- What's Next?
- Adderall Overdose Signs And Symptoms
- Adderall’s Potential For Overdose
- Dangers Of Adderall Overdose and Symptoms
- Treating An Adderall Overdose
- Overview of the Signs And Side Effects
- Where You Can Get Treatment For Abuse And Addiction
- Can You Overdose on Adderall?
- What is Adderall?
- Who is Using Adderall?
- Young People and Adderall
- What are the Effects of Adderall?
- Negative Side Effects and Other Medications
- Adderall and MAOIs
- Adderall CYPSD6 Inhibitors
- Adderall and Caffeine
- Adderall and Xanax
- What are the Symptoms of Overdose?
- What Should I Do If I Suspect Adderall Overdose?
- What Can I Expect After Emergency Services Are Called?
- Withdrawal Symptoms of Adderall
Adderall Overdose: Signs and Effects | The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health
An Adderall overdose can occur when someone takes more of the medication than their body can handle, and the results can be dangerous and even deadly.
People who misuse Adderall are more ly to overdose than those who don’t.
There’s a high potential for Adderall abuse due to the physical and psychological dependence the drug can cause, which is why it is classified as a Schedule II drug.
Adderall affects people differently depending on the medications they take, their health history and their ability to process medication. People with any of the following health conditions should avoid taking Adderall until they’ve discussed the prescription with their doctor first:
- Medical Conditions that Prevent Adderall UseHeart problemsGlaucomaThyroid conditionsHigh blood pressureDepressionExtreme anxiety or anxiety disordersAny mental illnessVascular diseaseHardening of the arteriesHistory of drug misuseHistory of seizuresLiver diseaseKidney diseaseTourette’s syndromePoor circulationEpilepsy
Signs of Adderall Overdose
Many factors influence what happens during an Adderall overdose. These include how sensitive a person is to the medication, how much they took and whether they also used other substances. Adderall overdose symptoms may be mild or severe, and signs include:
- Symptoms of Adderall OverdoseHyperactivity and aggressivenessConfusionHeadachesNausea and vomitingRapid breathingStomach crampsHallucinationsHigh feverTremors, seizures, and convulsionsHigh blood pressureHeart attackDeath
If someone experiences any of these symptoms while taking Adderall, it is important to seek emergency medical treatment immediately. If left untreated, even mild symptoms can eventually become serious or life-threatening.
Adderall Overdose Statistics
Because it improves the ability to focus and concentrate, many high school and college students misuse Adderall. Many feel it helps them study and perform better on their schoolwork. In 2018, approximately 4.6% of 12th graders reported misusing the drug within the last year. This rate of misuse is slightly higher than for opiates Vicodin but lower than for sedatives and tranquilizers.
High school students are not the only ones abusing Adderall. One study showed that between 2006 and 2011, there was a 67% increase in adults abusing Adderall, as well as a 156% increase in emergency department treatment for issues related to Adderall abuse. Most of those who abused the drug obtained it from a relative or friend.
Causes of Adderall Overdose
The amount of Adderall it takes to overdose varies from person to person. The typical dose that doctors prescribe ranges from 2.5 mg to 60 mg, depending on factors such as age and health conditions. Overdose is typically caused by misuse, which occurs when someone:
- Takes more than their doctor prescribed
- Takes Adderall that wasn’t prescribed to them
- Takes the drug recreationally
An overdose can also occur when someone mixes Adderall with other substances, including other prescription medications and illicit drugs. This is especially true for alcohol. Some people take Adderall when they plan to drink because the drug can help mask the effects of alcohol, preventing them from feeling too drunk. This can lead to alcohol poisoning.
Mixing Adderall and marijuana can also have serious consequences, especially if someone already has a heart condition. The combination of the two drugs increases the risk of irregular heartbeat, rapid heartbeat and heart attack.
Mixing Adderall and cocaine is even more dangerous. This is because both drugs are stimulants, and using them together can amplify the stimulating effects of each drug. While taking the two together may increase feelings of pleasure and energy, it puts stress on the cardiovascular system and can lead to chest pain, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
Other substances that may interact with Adderall and lead to an overdose or other adverse reaction include:
- Drugs that Interact with AdderallSome acid-reducing drugsSome monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)Certain antidepressantsSome opioidsLithiumCertain vitamins and supplementsCaffeine
Before people begin taking Adderall, they should always let their doctor know if they’re taking any other medications, including natural supplements and vitamins.
Adderall Overdose Duration
The duration of overdose symptoms generally depends on how long it takes to get medical help. The quicker a doctor treats the symptoms, the quicker a person can get through the Adderall overdose timeline. Once someone has completed overdose treatment, however, he or she may experience withdrawal symptoms.
During the first three days of withdrawal from Adderall, people may feel tired or depressed and they may sleep more. They may experience headaches, mood swings, body aches, paranoia and trouble concentrating. Some withdrawal symptoms can last for a few months, so it’s best to seek help when ending Adderall use.
Adderall Overdose Complications
Complications caused by an Adderall overdose are typically related to the cardiovascular system. These include:
- Complications of Adderall OverdoseRapid heartbeatIrregular heartbeatHigh blood pressurePoor circulationHeart attackStroke
A person experiencing any of these side effects should go to the emergency room immediately, even if symptoms don’t seem life-threatening. Prompt treatment can help prevent long-term complications.
Adderall Overdose Prevention
The best way to avoid an Adderall overdose is to take the medication exactly as the doctor prescribes it. Never take more than the prescription calls for, and always follow the directions the doctor or pharmacist provides. If any questions or adverse side effects arise, it is vital to contact a doctor.
Never take anyone else’s prescription, and never use Adderall as a recreational drug or as a means to get high. Most importantly, never combine Adderall with any other prescription drugs without a doctor’s permission. Avoid taking Adderall with alcohol and illicit drugs cocaine and marijuana.
What to Do for an Adderall Overdose
If an Adderall overdose is suspected, it’s important to call 911. In the case of an overdose, paramedics can transport a person to the hospital quickly, and doctors can work to help counteract the overdose and treat emerging symptoms. If possible, let the paramedics and doctors know how much Adderall was taken and whether there’s a history of Adderall misuse.
Typical Adderall overdose treatment might include pumping the stomach, giving activated charcoal, providing sedatives for agitation and administering IV fluids to prevent dehydration.
Once the symptoms are under control, doctors may opt to keep the patient in the hospital for a few days to monitor his or her health.
It may also be necessary to provide treatment for any cardiovascular symptoms, such as elevated blood pressure or heart attack.
If you or a loved one has a problem with Adderall misuse or addiction, The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health is here to help. Located in Palm Beach County in South Florida, we provide both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services in a calm and peaceful setting. Contact us today to learn more and find a program that is suitable for your situation.
- SourcesNational Institute on Drug Abuse. “What are prescription stimulants?” June 2018. Accessed June 27, 2020.United States Department of Justice: Diversion Control Division. “Controlled Substance Schedules.” Accessed June 27, 2020.U.S. National Library of Medicine. “ADDERALL XR- dextroamphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine sulfate and amphetamine aspartate capsule, extended release.” July 17, 2019. Accessed June 27, 2020.Drugs.com. “Adderall.” April 25, 2019. Accessed June 27, 2020.Medical News Today. “Adderall (Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine).” August 28, 2018. Accessed June 27, 2020.Nall, Rachel. “Coping with an Adderall Crash.” Medical News Today, August 13, 2018. Accessed June 27, 2020.National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Monitoring the Future 2018 Survey Results.” December 17, 2018. Accessed June 27, 2020.Lian-Yu Chen, et al. “Prescriptions, Nonmedical Use, and Emergency Department Visits Involving Prescription Stimulants.” Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 2016. Accessed June 27, 2020.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.
We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
Signs of An Adderall Overdose
As a stimulant, it directly targets the central nervous system. Adderall improves focus and reduces impulsive behavior by increasing the release of neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.
Children are most commonly prescribed Adderall because the initial diagnosis of ADHD usually occurs in childhood; however, some adults continue to use this medication or begin taking it to treat narcolepsy. any other prescription drug, Adderall comes with its dangers.
Despite its prescription, this medication still has a high potential for abuse and overdose.
Is Adderall Addictive?
many other drugs, Adderall affects the central nervous system by increasing levels of neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. Both affect responses attention, focus, reaction, reward, and pleasure.
Although the body naturally produces dopamine, medications Adderall purposely increase dopamine levels in order to regulate the symptoms of conditions ADHD and narcolepsy. Eventually, the individual may develop a tolerance to this medication and seek out more.
Taking it more frequently or at higher doses can cause addiction, increasing the risk of overdose.
At Banyan Heartland, we usually recommend a prescription pill detox to patients who struggle with prescription drug addiction as the first step of their substance abuse treatment. In a detox, patients will receive medical assistance for their withdrawal symptoms before being treated for the physical signs of addiction in one of our specific treatment programs.
When Does an Adderall Overdose Occur?
Adderall contains two stimulants: dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Deviating from the prescribed directions when taking Adderall in any way can be dangerous. Usually, this medication is abused for the euphoric effects it produces.
Many students also use this drug for its performance-enhancing effects. College students, for example, will take Adderall before a big exam to concentrate better even if they don’t have ADHD.
Taking this medication without a prescription or differently from how directed can easily result in an overdose. The risk of overdose also depends on the form of Adderall the individual is taking. One form is immediate release while the other is extended-release.
The latter is meant to be taken over a long period of time, and when it’s taken continuously, it increases the risk of overdose.
When Adderall is taken for a long period of time, the person may develop a tolerance to it. As a result, they may take a higher dosage in order to experience the same symptoms.
Not only can this lead to an overdose, but it can also lead to cardiovascular problems and organ damage.
For people who develop a dependency on a prescription drug Adderall, our prescription pill addiction treatment can help them get clean and stay clean.
What Are the Signs of An Adderall Overdose?
As a drug and alcohol treatment center in Gilman, we know that a lot of people wonder, “what happens when you overdose on Adderall?” most prescription drugs, taking more Adderall than the recommended dose or taking it more often than prescribed increases the person’s risks of overdosing. The signs of an Adderall overdose are very clear and point to an obvious problem.
Some Adderall overdose symptoms:
- Muscle pain
- Aggressive behavior
- Blurred vision
- Dark red urine
- Loss of consciousness
- Uncontrollable tremors or shaking
- Stomach cramps
- Fast or irregular heart rate
In addition to these symptoms, an Adderall overdose can also cause coma, organ failure, and death. When an individual overdoses on any drug, their body struggles to manage the sudden increase in dosage. The overload of a chemical Adderall can eventually cause kidney and liver failure.
The misuse or abuse of any substance can be physically damaging and life-threatening.
If you or someone you know has developed a drug or alcohol problem, call Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about the addiction treatment programs we offer
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Adderall Overdose (Signs & Treatment)
Adderall is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This drug is made by combining amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These are central nervous system stimulants.1
Adderall is used to treatattention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
You can overdose on Adderall if you take more than the prescribed amount. Those who misuse Adderall (using it to get high) also have an increased risk of overdose.
According to research, overdose by psychostimulant medications, including Adderall, is on the rise.2
How Much Adderall Can Lead to an Overdose?
There is no defined dosage of Adderall that causes an overdose.
This is because your response to an amphetamine such as Adderall may differ significantly from another person's response. In fact, in rare occurrences, an overdose may occur even at low dosages.
When you use Adderall regularly, it may result in tolerance, forcing you to take a higher dose to achieve the desired «high.»
What’s the Normal Prescribed Dosage of Adderall?
The amount of Adderall you take in a day depends on the condition the medication is treating.
All amphetamines should be prescribed at the lowest effective dosage for your disorder. Your response to Adderall will determine the appropriate dosage for you.
Adderall comes in two main forms:
- Adderall. Comes in 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20 and 30 mg capsules
- Adderall XR. Comes in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 mg capsules
Both of these drugs have the same active ingredients but are absorbed differently in the body.3
Adderall XR is an extended-release variant of Adderall. This means the pill breaks down slowly, and the active ingredients are delivered throughout the day. For this reason, it's taken just once a day.
Safe adderall dosage is as follows:
- For Adderall, children should start with 2.5mg once a day, while adults should begin withtaking 5mg once or twice a day. Take the first dose when you wake up and additional doses at intervals of 4 to 6 hours.
- For Adderall XR, children should start at 10mg daily while adults should begin with 20mg daily.
A doctor may raise the dosage each week to ensure effectiveness. However, it's rare for children to exceed a dosage of 40mg a day. An adult can take up to 60mg daily and still be safe.
Whenever possible, medication delivery should be interrupted to see whether there is a resurgence of behavioral problems that require prolonged treatment.
Signs of an Adderall Overdose
Adderall overdose can result in mild to severe symptoms.4 The severity of symptoms depends on the following factors:
- The amount taken
- Your body chemistry and sensitivity to stimulants
- Whether you mixed Adderall with another drug
Mild symptoms include:
- Blurry vision
- Rapid breathing
- Dark red or brown urine
- Stomach pain
Severe symptoms include:
- Panic attacks
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- High fever (106.7 °F/41.5 °C or higher)
- Muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis)
- Fainting (loss of consciousness)
- Possible death
Can Adderall Interact With Other Drugs?
The risk of Adderall overdose increases if you are engaged in alcohol or substance use while taking Adderall.
Adderall and Alcohol Interaction
Adderall might make it difficult for people to feel the effects of alcohol, leading them to drink more than they would otherwise. This increased consumption increases the lihood of alcohol poisoning, kidney and liver failure.5
Furthermore, alcohol and Adderall may harm the heart, raising the risk of cardiac arrhythmias, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Adderall Interaction With Other Prescription Drugs
Adderall can interact with other drugs, including:
- Adrenergic blockers (alpha-blockers) such as doxazosin and prazosin may not be as effective.
- Serotonergic drugs such as norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome (too much serotonin in the body).6
- Adderall can increase the potency of tricyclic antidepressants such as Amitriptyline, Amoxapine, and Desipramine (Norpramin), increasing the risk of cardiovascular side effects.
- Antacids such as Aluminum hydroxide gel, calcium carbonate, and magnesium hydroxide enhance the absorption of Adderall, increasing the risk of overdose symptoms such as tremors, aggressiveness, and seizures, among others.
- CYP2D6 inhibitors such as Benadryl, Cymbalta, Paxil, and Prozac may raise Adderall levels in the blood and increase the risk of serotonin syndrome.7
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) such as Isocarboxazid (Marplan), Phenelzine (Nardil), and Selegiline (Emsam) decrease the metabolism of Adderall, making it last in the body for longer. This can result in abnormally high blood pressure, high fever, metabolic acidosis, and other deadly effects.
- Antihistamines such as Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), Clemastine (Tavist), and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) may lose their sedative effects if mixed with Adderall.
- Proton pump inhibitors such as Lansoprazole (Prevacid), Lansoprazole (Prevacid), and Omeprazole (Prilosec) can affect Adderall's effects. Doctors should monitor this interaction closely if a patient is taking both medications.
- When used alongside Adderall, seizure medications such as phenobarbital and phenytoin may cause an anticonvulsant effect.
This is not a complete list of all drugs that can cause a negative interaction with Adderall.
You should always discuss any drugs you are taking with your doctor. These include over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and other nutritional supplements. Doing so will help your doctor select the appropriate medication and dose to limit your risk of drug interaction.
What to Do if You Overdose on Adderall
If you suspect that you're experiencing an Adderall overdose, seek emergency medical services. You can also call 911 for immediate assistance.
Do not try to sleep it off or make yourself vomit without consulting a healthcare professional.
If you're watching over someone who has overdosed on Adderall, do the following as you wait for help to arrive:
- Place the victim in a calm environment
- Cool them down using ice packs or a fan
- Find out the victim's age
- Find out how much Adderall they consumed
- Find out any possible allergies to other medications
- Find out their history of drug use
- Find out if they mixed Adderall with alcohol or other drugs
Treatment for Adderall Overdose
There are many ways for doctors to treat an overdose. An Adderall overdose does not have a particular medication or therapy.
Instead, the doctor will have to give supportive care as well as address any symptoms or issues that emerge.
Treatment may include:
- Managing uncontrolled hypertension with IV medications such as phentolamine (Regitine) or dopamine (Intropin)
- Using activated charcoal or gastric lavage to help the person's system eliminate the drug8
- Benzodiazepines can be used to address cardiovascular and CNS toxicity, seizures, agitation, anxiety, and psychotic symptoms.
- Administering nitrates to reduce chest pain associated with Adderall overdose
- Administering medication to lower blood pressure
How to Prevent Adderall Overdose
The most effective way to avoid an Adderall overdose is by adhering to the prescription instruction given by your doctor.
Secondly, avoid using Adderall for leisure. Adderall is considered a Schedule II drug in the USA. This means that Adderall has a high potential for abuse and dependence.
Most Adderall fatalities occur among inexperienced or first-time users. If it's your first time using, begin with lower doses as you increase gradually to give your body time to adjust.
If you ever forget to take your dose, never take a second dose to compensate. To ensure you don't forget to take your daily dose, take it at the same time each day. Set a daily reminder if need be.
If you're in doubt about how to take prescription Adderall safely, reach out to your doctor for professional advice.
Treatment for Adderall Misuse & Addiction
Just other drugs, Adderall addiction can be treated. Inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities exist all over the country, offering effective addiction recovery programs.
- Inpatient rehab. These treatment facilities require patients to stay within the facility for the period of their treatment (30 to 90 days).
- Outpatient rehab. These facilities offer flexibility for patients to live their normal lives while attending rehab.
Substance abuse treatment programs for Adderall addiction may include:
- Medical detox. To help eliminate the drug while minimizing the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms.
- Group therapy. To enable interaction with other victims and professional therapists.
- The 12-step program that enables participation and learning how to build a life without drugs.
- Aftercare (extended care). This is required after the completion of therapy to prevent relapse and ensure full recovery.
Adderall Overdose Signs And Symptoms
When abused, Adderall’s stimulant properties exert great strain on a person’s central nervous system, causing it to speed up. At a certain point, this effect can become so great, that critical life-sustaining functions begin to malfunction.
Blood pressure, breathing, heart and temperature rates can become unpredictable and rise to dangerous levels. As this happens, a person may experience some intense physical and mental symptoms of overdose, including:
- Achy muscles
- Blurry vision
- Cola-colored or dark red urine
- Fast breathing
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- A sense of panic
- Stomach upset or cramps
- Uncontrollable shaking
An Adderall overdose can cause a person to lose touch with reality. A person may begin to hallucinate and see or hear things (such as voices) that do not exist. This can further aggravate the confusion, aggression, and panic that a person may already be experiencing.
Adderall overdose can cause death. According to DailyMed, convulsions and coma typically happen before a fatal overdose. If these states begin to happen, it’s important to seek medical help immediately.
Adderall’s Potential For Overdose
Adderall is a combination medication that contains two potent stimulants, dextroamphetamine, and amphetamine. When prescribed, this medication is used to reduce or alleviate certain symptoms of ADHD. Typically, when used as directed, this medication is safe. But when the dose or form is altered so the drug can be abused, this substance can be very dangerous.
Adderall is abused to create a high or euphoric state, in addition to being used as a performance-enhancing drug.
Some students or professionals take it in an attempt to enhance their cognitive performance at school or on the job.
Other individuals may seek out a prescription illegally to self-treat what they believe or know to be ADHD. No matter what the drive behind abuse, Adderall abuse could lead to overdose.
Adderall comes in two forms, either as an immediate-release tablet or as an extended-release capsule (Adderall XR). While both can be abused, the long-acting form may put a person at a higher risk of overdose.
This medication is meant to be delivered over an extended period of time. If a person alters the form and attempts to snort (insufflation) or smoke it, instead of swallowing it, they get a surge of the medication in a short period of time. However, people who take large quantities of this drug orally can experience overdose too.
It’s important to remember that every person’s body is different, and because of this, some people may overdose on a relatively small dosage of this drug. People with existing cardiac complications may have a higher risk of overdose when abusing this substance.
Certain people take Adderall in binges so that the effects continue for a longer amount of time. This often results in a person not sleeping for an extended period of time. As more and more of the drug enters a person’s system, they could be moving closer to overdose.
Once a person abuses Adderall for a while, they may begin to lose the euphoric feeling the drug once created. This tolerance may lead them to take more of the drug in higher doses, behaviors that can significantly increase the risk of overdose.
Adderall alone is dangerous, however, many recreational drug abusers mix it with other drugs (polydrug abuse) to increase its pleasurable effects. Doing so can further increase the risk of overdose and addiction.
Dangers Of Adderall Overdose and Symptoms
An Adderall overdose can cause coma, severe organ damage and sudden death.
As a person’s body struggles to keep up with the amount of drug consumed, toxic levels of the substance can accumulate in the body.
When the body is overwhelmed in this way, major organs often suffer the brunt of this damage. During an Adderall overdose, this extreme chemical overload can cause kidney and liver failure.
The strain on the central nervous system, especially the cardiovascular system, can lead to heart attack, stroke or hyperthermia. Hyperthermia occurs when the body’s temperature rises far above normal. This can cause coma and permanent brain damage. Even if a person recovers from an overdose, their life may be forever altered by damage to their brain.
Overdose may also lead to internal bleeds within the skull, a serious condition that can cause one-sided paralysis, confusion, and loss of consciousness, as reported by Livestrong.
Treating An Adderall Overdose
An Adderall overdose should not be taken lightly. If a person is overdosing, they could be in jeopardy of losing their lives. Emergency medical services should be contacted, especially if a person has collapsed, begin seizing, cannot breathe or cannot be roused.
Once medical treatments begin, DailyMed notes that the following medical procedures or treatments may be used:
- Gastric lavage (stomach pumping)
- Activated charcoal
- A cathartic medication
Before during and after a person is stabilized, their vials will be monitored to best ensure their safety. Any dehydration or malnutrition caused by stimulant abuse may be addressed at this time to further help a person’s body stabilize.
We can help you overcome addiction and get your life back. Your calls are always free and 100% confidential.
Overview of the Signs And Side Effects
Adderall is abused by people of all ages. A person who abuses Adderall does not have a typical lifestyle or appearance, rather, the ways to spot abuse are physical and mental cues.
Should abuse be suspected, the following signs and side effects may point to a problem:
- Appetite suppression
- Burst of energy
- Chest pain
- Dilated pupils
- Dry mouth
- Excessive energy
- A headache
- Irregular, pounding or fast heartbeat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Numb or cold extremities
- Skin problems
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Vision changes (blurriness)
- Weight loss
- Extreme happiness
- Feeling powerful
- Increased activity
- Manic episodes
As a person begins abusing Adderall more frequently, they may begin to develop urges or cravings for the drug. As this happens, their priorities in their life may shift. Instead of devoting time to relationships, their job or important tasks in their life, a person may commit large amounts of time to find and using the drug.
Where You Can Get Treatment For Abuse And Addiction
As Adderall abuse accelerates, a person often loses sight of important aspects of their life. A good treatment program will help the person to identify the ways drug abuse has damaged their life so that they can begin healing.
Trained addiction specialists, including therapists and counselors, will help a person to troubleshoot negative and dysfunctional patterns in their life that may feed their addictive behaviors.
Once these are identified, therapy sessions will help a person to develop positive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that forge sobriety and nurture a drug-free life.
Stimulant abuse may aggravate certain mental health problems, anxiety. It can also cause mood instability. Dual diagnosis treatment programs can help a person to find better mental and emotional well-being.
While outpatient programs may provide these services, treating both addiction and mental illness can be time-consuming. An inpatient drug rehab center is often better equipped to provide comprehensive care for stimulant addiction and mental health problems.
Contact Vertava Health for more information on Adderall overdose and treatment options.
Can You Overdose on Adderall?
Adderall’s use is widespread in today’s world. It is is a prescription medication for the treatment of narcolepsy or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in both children and adults. But, in recent years, people are turning to Adderall to improve test scores, pull all-nighters, and lose weight.
Because of this widespread recreational use, it is essential to ask, what happens if you take far more than the prescribed dosage of Adderall? Can you overdose on Adderall? If the answer is yes, how much is too much? What are the signs and symptoms of overdose? What should you do if you think you or someone you are with is overdosing? This article will answer these questions so you can keep both yourself and your loved ones safe from the dangers of Adderall overdose. We will also educate you about drug detox options if you or your loved one is addicted.
What is Adderall?
Adderall combines two drugs: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and is considered a stimulant. Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that works by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine within your central nervous system.
With these increased levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, Adderall is known to trigger the body’s “fight or flight” response characterized by pupil dilation, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and increased sweating. Finally, as an amphetamine, Adderall has the potential to raise blood glucose levels and cause breathing passages to open.
Who is Using Adderall?
As stated, Adderall is meant to be used by those who suffer from ADHD, or narcolepsy. However, more recently, there has been a sharp rise in non-medical users of Adderall.
Often called a “study drug,” Adderall can be found on college campus’ across the country as well as in many high schools.
Although there is no scientific evidence supporting the idea that Adderall can increase performance on tests, many students honestly believe they will be a more successful student if they take Adderall.
Others use Adderall to feel energized and awake, despite lack of sleep, which helps them stay up and study around the clock to improve their grades.
In a society where young people believe you can never be “too rich or too thin,” many young adults use Adderall to take advantage of one of its most common side effects; weight loss. Still, others take Adderall for a feeling of euphoria, or to experience a sense of invincibility—in other words, to experience a high.
Young People and Adderall
Considering Adderall’s non-medical “benefits,” many young people think the perception of Adderall is a relatively harmless go-to drug for high achievement and self-improvement. The impression that Adderall is a risk-free wonder drug for non-medical users, however, is a dangerous misconception.
Statistics show that between 2006 and 2011, emergency room visits involving Adderall increased by 156 percent. Adderall abuse rose 67 percent with young adults ranging from 18-25. 60 percent of those young adults were non-medical users.
In 2014, young adults 18-25 were the most at-risk age group for prescription stimulant addiction. Beyond that, 11.7 million Americans reported that at some point in their lives they had misused Adderall. In 2017, Adderall topped the list for drugs used by high school seniors with 5.5 percent, followed by tranquilizers (4.7 percent) and prescription opiates (4.2 percent).
What are the Effects of Adderall?
As noted, if properly prescribed, Adderall is helpful in managing narcolepsy and attention problems associated with ADHD.
In this case, the drug works to bring the person who has ADHD to a “normal” level of functioning.
Because Adderall works to increase dopamine in the brain’s reward center, the effect for someone who has ADHD is that they become more attentive, and experience a “calming effect” from the drug.
While many non-medical users insist they too experience better focus as well, research shows it may be nothing more than a placebo effect. Often, the non-medical user thinks they will be more focused than they actually are. A review of 40 studies by UCLA Addiction Medicine Service found that more than half of non-medical Adderall users didn’t see any cognitive improvements.
Additionally, even small doses of Adderall can produce many side effects. Some of the side effects of using and abusing Adderall are as follows:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Organ damage
It is important to note that these side effects don’t necessarily indicate an Adderall overdose.
The short answer is: yes, you can overdose on Adderall. The standard prescription of Adderall ranges from 5 to 60 milligrams (mg). Many users split up these dosages throughout the day.
Additionally, typical adolescents may start with a dosage of 10 mg per day and increase that dosage under a doctor’s supervision depending on their reaction to the drug and their age. Adults are commonly prescribed a dosage of 20 mg per day, with their dosage being adjusted by the doctor as well.
The exact dosage that would be considered lethal or even potentially lethal is different for each person. However, as a general rule, a lethal dosage of Adderall would be 20 to 25 mg per kilogram of your body weight.
For example, if you weigh 154 pounds, a lethal dose of Adderall would be 1,400 mg, which is twenty-five times higher than the usual dosage. However, there have been reports of fatal overdose occurring with as low as 1.5 mg/kg of body weight.
Because overdose can vary widely from person to person, it is essential to consider the following:
- Do you have a history of heart disease?
- How sensitive are you to drugs in general and stimulants in particular?
- When was your last use of Adderall and the dosage?
- The level of dosage?
- Your age?
- Your weight?
Negative Side Effects and Other Medications
There is also a greater possibility of overdosing if you take other drugs or medications while also taking Adderall. Even if you take an average dosage of Adderall, if you combine it with certain medications you run the risk of overdose.
Adderall and MAOIs
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These MAOIs can increase the risk of adverse side effects and potential overdose. Common MAOIs are:
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
- Phenelzine (Nardil)
- Selegiline (Atapryl)
Adderall CYPSD6 Inhibitors
Even low doses of CYP2D6 inhibitors while also taking Adderall can increase the user’s chance of adverse side effects. Common CYP2D6 inhibitors include:
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
- Cinacalcet (Sensipar)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Quinidine (Quinidex)
- Ritonavir (Norvir)
Adderall and Caffeine
People who use Adderall for medical or non-medical purposes wonder if they can drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks such as tea or colas.
Although ingesting a small amount of caffeine with Adderall is unly to have a detrimental effect, the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies caffeine as a drug as well as a food additive, and the user may experience unwanted adverse effects from the combination.
Side effects when combining caffeine and Adderall Include:
- Mild to serious insomnia
- Uneven heart rhythm
The combination of Adderall and caffeine is also especially dangerous if you have a history of heart problems, high blood pressure, or an anxiety disorder.
Adderall and Xanax
Xanax is an anti-anxiety drug prescribed for people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder (often both). The effect of Xanax is to make the user feel calmer, more relaxed, and better able to cope with their specific anxieties.
However, when Xanax and Adderall are taken together it can be very dangerous. Generally speaking, you should never mix these two drugs. The reasons go as follows:
- Decreased effectiveness of both drugs. For example, if you suffer from anxiety, Adderall can increase that anxiety which counteracts the positive effects of the Xanax. wise, if you need to focus, Xanax can make you drowsy, and you may have difficulty concentrating.
- Increased risk of Adderall addiction. Using two controlled substances together is known to increase the risk of dependence or addiction for either drug.
What are the Symptoms of Overdose?
When considering overdosing on Adderall, you need to remember that symptoms can be mild to severe. In some cases, death may result because of an Adderall overdose. Many factors figure into the severity of your symptoms. If you are concerned that you or someone you know has possibly overdosed on Adderall, you should consider the following:
- How much Adderall did the user take?
- How sensitive the user’s system is to Adderall and other drugs?
- Was Adderall taken with other drugs?
Mild symptoms would be as follows:
- Blurry vision
- Muscle aches and weakness.
- Rhabdomyolysis, or muscle tissue breakdown.
- Upset stomach
Severe symptoms would be as follows:
- Abdominal pain
- Break down of muscles, or rhabdomyolysis
- Dark red or brown urine (secondary to rhabdomyolysis)
- Fever of 106.7°F (41.5°C) or higher
- Heart attack
- Loss of consciousness
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Uncontrollable shaking
What Should I Do If I Suspect Adderall Overdose?
If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing an overdose of Adderall, the most important thing to keep in mind is to seek professional emergency medical care immediately. It is essential that you remain calm, yet it is equally important not to wait, hoping the Adderall user will “sleep it off,” or that the Adderall overdose symptoms will decrease with time.
In the U.S. you can call 911 or the National Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. If you are with someone whom you suspect has overdosed, you will be asked to remain on the line until medical help arrives. Be prepared to give emergency services the following information:
- The physical condition and symptoms of the person overdosing
- The person’s age
- Any medical conditions the user may have
- When the person who is overdosing took the Adderall
- How much Adderall the person took
Until emergency services arrive, be sure to keep the individual in a safe environment and away from sharp objects in the event of a seizure. If the person begins to vomit, be sure to have them lie on their side to ensure that their airway remains open.
What Can I Expect After Emergency Services Are Called?
After emergency services are called, you or the person you know will be taken to a hospital or emergency room. Once there, or even en route, you or your friend may be treated with activated charcoal to help neutralize the effect of the Adderall overdose.
At the hospital or ER, the person suffering from the Adderall overdose may have their stomach pumped to expel any unabsorbed drugs. If the person suffering from Adderall overdose is still experiencing hyperactivity or agitation from the effects of the drug, doctors may sedate the patient with benzodiazepines.
The person experiencing Adderall overdose may display symptoms of serotonin syndrome. The following are symptoms of this syndrome:
- Dilated pupils
- Elevated body temperature
- Increased reflexes
In this case, the doctor may give the person experiencing the overdose medication to block the serotonin.
Finally, the person who has overdosed will potentially be given intravenous fluids to replace essential nutrients and prevent dehydration. Once stabilized, the patient may be asked to stay in the hospital for observation purposes. When the medication has fully left the patient’s system, the chances are good that they can make a full recovery.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Adderall
If you or someone you know has developed an Adderall addiction, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the drug. Unfortunately, some of the more severe Adderall withdrawal symptoms may cause the person to seek out more of the drug, perpetuating the cycle of abuse. Some of the following symptoms characterize Adderall withdrawal:
- Aching muscles
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps or pain
Other more severe withdrawal symptoms may be:
- Kidney and liver damage
- Partial loss of vision
For more detailed information, read our guide on Adderall withdrawal.
Adderall is considered, especially by young adults, to be a wonder drug that can help them lose weight, get better grades, and provide them with feelings of euphoria. However, any other amphetamine, Adderall can be both addictive and potentially dangerous.
The risk of adverse side effects increases when the Adderall user combines the drug with other drugs and overdose is a genuine possibility. Don’t let yourself or those you love be lulled into thinking Adderall is a harmless drug.
As with all prescription medication, the potential for harm is as great or greater than its benefits.
If you or a loved one is seeking drug detox from Adderall, please call our Florida rehab recovery center today. Our inpatient drug rehab services can help you detox and recover in a safe environment with professional staff. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call Beach House Recovery for more information on drug rehab and addiction treatment.
Johns Hopkins HUB. Feb. 2016
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Aug, 2017
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. July, 2012