Aderall, which is an amphetamine salts based stimulant is used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Symptoms of ADHD includes difficulty in focusing, hyperactivity, etc and is very common among children.
What is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
Globally around two to sixteen percent of the children have been diagnosed with this and about 50% of them carry it into adulthood.
ADD / ADHD are largely categorized into three sub-types namely:
- Predominantly Inattentive
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive
- Combined Hyperactive-Impulsive and Inattentive
Most children fall within the third type. According to a study, around 9 percent children between the age of 5 to 17 are suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
It is very difficult to assess the symptoms in children because we really wouldn’t be able to draw a strong line that defines normal levels of inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness from levels that are higher than normal.
However you can typically use some the symptoms below as guidelines for diagnosing if there is any likelihood for being diagnosed with ADD / ADHD:
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- Distracted Very Easily
- Highly Fidgety
- Difficulty In Following Instructions
- Lesser Capability To Process Information
- Frequently Day Dreaming
- Difficulty In Focusing On One Task Or Becoming Bored Very Soon With The Task At Hand
- Have Trouble Sitting Still And Be Constantly In Motion
- Talking And Doing Things Without Restraint With No Worries About The Consequence
It is more difficult to diagnose in adults because of the years of social adaption that they undergo while moving from childhood to adulthood.
ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as it is sometimes called still remains a clinical diagnosis in adults.
Adults who have ADHD have a chaotic lifestyle and are often found to have depression, anxiety disorder, OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder) and substance abuse.
This is a disorder that is more painful than other disorders as it affects the children the most and is very difficult to detect. Let us understand what it is all about and how we can treat it.
Aderall: ADD Causes / ADHD Causes
The exact cause of this disorder is not yet known however research has led us to some things that might contribute to ADD / ADHD.
- Genetics – A staggering 75% of the cases are attributed to genes.
- Diet – It has been seen that children exposed to artificial flavors early in their childhood get more susceptible to this. A study published in 2007 showed a link between the preservative sodium benzoate and hyperactivity
- Social Environment – WHO (World health Organization) has stated that the incidence of ADD is higher in the Children growing up in dysfunctional homes or foster homes
- Physical Environment – Sadly, all of us contribute to the condition in some way or other. Pesticides and insecticide exposure according to a study in 2010 and 2007 respectively showed conclusive linkages between them and increased chances of ADD
ADD Treatment / ADHD Treatment
No one treatment for ADD / ADHD can be considered to be the cure-all solution.
Medical practitioners use a combination of various methods to help achieve the best possible outcome. They suggest a blend of medication, counseling and lifestyle changes as the best possible answer.
For counseling and lifestyle changes they use a variety of methods like family therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapy and psycho-educational input.
There are also a lot of support groups that help those with ADD / ADHD overcome this. Medications are a very important part of the road to the cure. There are no guidelines that have been laid down internationally and it varies from country to country. Let us look at medications in a little more detail.
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ADD / ADHD Medication
There are stimulant and non-stimulant medications. Stimulants are the preferred choice and help to reduce substance abuse. However the medication itself can be abused. There are chances of adverse reactions over prolonged use like psychosis and mania. However, methylphenidate is not known to induce psychosis.
Another drug that is found to be highly effective in the cure and Treatment of ADD is Alpha Methylphenethylamine or Amphetamine. The medication that is commonly used that uses this drug is Aderall.
Aderall – A Deeper Look Into ADD / ADHD
As stated earlier it is made of Amphetamine. It is available in two forms – Adderall IR (Instant release) and Adderall XR (extended release).
Both of these can be used for the treatment of ADD. The use of this medicine has shown to alleviate the symptoms of ADD to a large extent with minimal side effects.
Studies have shown that the effect of this medicine lasts longer than the medicines that use Methylphenidate like Ritalin. It is also known to be more potent.
Let’s understand what the effects of this medicine on our body are.
Aderall Side Effects – Adverse & Beneficial
- It has shown to affect the growth rate temporarily
- It has been known to reduce our appetite leading to weight loss.
- Pregnant women are advised against it as it can lead to premature delivery & low birth weight
- Prolonged use of this medicine can lead to depression, irritability, extreme fatigue and insomnia in some cases
- It is not advised to people with pre-existing cardiac ailments or with a history of drug abuse
Note: The FDA however has found no connection between the use of Adderall and increased heart risk.
- People who tend to overdose can be afflicted with psychosis and hypertension. But unlike the true mental disorder of psychosis, this drug induced psychosis diminishes and goes away with time
- For people who have prolonged use, there are withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, agitation, lucid dreams etc
Considering the hugely positive effect of the medication and the condition of the patient, doctors must use discretion in prescribing Aderall and are kept under strict guidance to reduce instances of abuse and overdose. Your best hope to cure is the correct diagnosis at the right time.
In regards to Adderal, due to it’s addictive qualities, it is strictly monitored and controlled by DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency). Depending on the country’s medical needs, DEA controls the amount of core components of the drug to be supplied to the drug makers every year.
The Reasons Behind The Adderall Shortage
In regards to Adderall, due to its addictive qualities, it is strictly monitored and controlled by DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency). Depending on the country’s medical needs, DEA controls the amount of core components of the drug to be supplied to the drug makers every year.
However, recently there has been an acute Adderall shortage in the availability of the medicine leading to huge public outrage. The sale in 2010 was over $7.5 billion as against $4.2 billion in 2008. The prescriptions have gone up but the availability is on a sinking curve. The predictions are that it will continue into 2012 as well.
Apart from the sudden influx of patients diagnosed with ADD / ADHD, there are certain other factors which can be seen as potential reasons for the Adderall shortage.
Having said that, one of the reasons for this shortage is also the illegal use of this drug.
Due to Adderal’s ability to increase focus and concentration, the drug is extremely popular among college students who do not suffer from ADD or ADHD but just need a performance boost at weekend parties or late night studies.
They usually illegally obtain the drug from friends who were prescribed it or get it from their parents. Sometimes they also try to fake the symptoms to get the drug prescribed by their physicians. Even according to the physicians, it is difficult to sort out the legitimate patients from those who fake the symptoms.
To add to the hardship of those people who really need to take the drug (due to actually diagnosed medical reasons), the popularity of Aderall usage continues to increase so this Adderall shortage does not look like it will end anytime soon.
In 2011, the unrest among the public increased and they started blaming the government for the Adderall shortage. Due to this prolonged shortage and unrest among the people, a part of 2012 quota of the drugs was used to check the shortage, which itself took some months to manufacture and process.
Due to the necessity of medication for ADD and ADHD patients, doctors started prescribing alternate drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall XR, to the patients.
Because of the huge demand for real Adderall alternatives, patients are trying to get these drugs from elsewhere and even at higher costs.
Manufacturers such as Sondoz are struggling to meet the increased demands of these products.
There is no telling when will this Adderall shortage end. According to the manufacturers, the shortage could last even months.
Recently President Barack Obama ordered drug manufacturers and the FDA to sort out the problem of shortage of generic drugs as soon as possible. Still the chances of any solution to this situation in the near future are very slim.
There are limits set by the DEA that doesn’t allow for the over production of drugs. So the manufacturers like Novartis and Shire PLC say that their hands are tied till the limit is relaxed a little.
However DEA claims it to be a marketing ploy. Whatever the reason, the queue of people waiting in the line is growing.
They are trying other less effective drugs or the people who can afford are buying the costlier versions. One other reason is the supposed abuse by parents and care takers and sometimes the college teens.
This is definitely a very sad and depressing situation which hopefully gets sorted out sooner than later and the medication reaches the right hands at the right time. Remember that, when health is in the balance, no speed is fast enough.
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