Why do people use adderall

Adderall®Drug groupsAmphetamineAdderall® is a medicine that contains a mixture of salts of dexamphetamine and amphetamine and is used for the treatment of attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The tablets are taken once or twice a day. The prolonged-release capsules only need to be administered once a day in the morning. The effects are attributed to the interaction with neurotransmitter systems in the central nervous system. Amphetamines have stimulating, aphrodisiac and euphoric properties and are therefore also abused as smart drugs (“brain doping”) and as party drugs. Due to the numerous and sometimes severe undesirable effects and the potential for dependency, abuse is urgently advised against. Possible adverse effects include disorders of the cardiovascular and nervous systems.

synonym: Mixed amphetamine salts, SLI381


Adderall® is commercially available in the USA in the form of tablets and sustained-release capsules (Adderall®, Adderall® XR). It is not registered in Switzerland, but related products are available. The name is derived from the acronym ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder, ADHD).

Structure and properties

Adderall® contains a mixture of the following four salts of dexamphetamine and the racemate amphetamine (Mixed amphetamine salts):

  • Dextroamphetamine saccharate
  • Dextroamphetamine sulfate
  • Amphetamine aspartate monohydrate
  • Amphetamine sulfate

It therefore consists of a mixture of the two enantiomers D- and L-amphetamine (see also under enantiomers). The proportion of the more centrally active dexamphetamine is higher due to the mixture. Put simply, Adderall® is an amphetamine drug.


Amphetamines (ATC N06BA01) are effective against the symptoms of ADHD. They have sympathomimetic, appetite-suppressing and centrally stimulating properties. They also raise blood pressure and stimulate breathing. The effects are based on the interaction with neurotransmitter systems in the central nervous system. This releases more neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin) into the extraneuronal space. At the same time their resumption is also inhibited.

  • For the treatment of attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • For the treatment of narcolepsy.

Like all amphetamines, Adderall® is abused as a stimulant, as a → smart drug (so-called brain doping, e.g. in college, in business, in sports), as an aphrodisiac and as a party drug. It keeps you awake, promotes concentration and focuses.

This is strongly advised against due to the undesirable effects and the psychological and physical potential for dependence. Misuse can be life-threatening under certain circumstances.


According to the specialist information. The tablets are taken once or twice a day. The prolonged-release capsules only need to be administered once a day in the morning.


The complete precautionary measures can be found in the medicinal product information sheet.

unwanted effects

Possible adverse effects include:

  • Cardiovascular system: palpable heartbeats, rapid heart rate, increase in blood pressure, sudden death, heart attack, heart disease
  • Central nervous system: psychoses, overstimulation, euphoria, movement disorders, dysphoria, depression, tics, aggression, anger, talkativeness, dermatillomania
  • Eyes: visual disturbances, dilated pupils
  • Digestive system: dry mouth, taste disturbances, diarrhea, constipation, poor appetite, weight loss
  • Allergic reactions, severe skin reactions
  • Impotence, changes in libido, frequent or persistent erections
  • Hair loss
  • Rhabdomyolysis (life-threatening breakdown of the skeletal muscles)
see also

Amphetamine, Dexamphetamine, Smart Drugs, ADHD, Enantiomers

  • Pharmaceutical product information (USA)
  • Fitzgerald K.T., Bronstein A.C. Adderall® (amphetamine-dextroamphetamine) toxicity. Top Companion Anim Med, 2013, 28 (1), 2-7 Pubmed
  • Sallee F.R., Smirnoff A.V. Adderall XR: long acting stimulant for single daily dosing. Expert Rev Neurother, 2004, 4 (6), 927-34 Pubmed
  • Varga M.D. Adderall abuse on college campuses: a comprehensive literature review. J Evid Based Soc Work, 2012, 9 (3), 293-313 Pubmed

Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

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This article was last changed on May 19, 2019.
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