Like Ritalin, Adderall® is a stimulant used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). For some children, Adderall is better tolerated and easier to use. It is usually considered the second choice of medication after Ritalin. Unlike Ritalin where the active ingredient is methleyphenidate, Adderall is made from a mixture of amphetamine salts: Dextroamphetamine, Saccharate, Amphetamine Aspartate, Dextroamphetamine Sulfate, and Amphetamine Sulfate.
Some experience fewer side effects
For some kids, there seems to be less of a drop off effect than with Ritalin. There are fewer side effects as the medication wears off prior to the next dose being taken. Adderall also comes in an extended version making one pill a day much easier for kids to tolerate. They do not have to go to the nurse’s office at school to take an afternoon pill for instance.
Adderall has been approved by the FDA for use in kids over the age of three. Those children usually start off with the lowest dosage and increase as they age. Adults are often prescribed Adderall which has been approved for adult usage, unlike Ritalin.
Some common side effects are restlessness, dizziness, insomnia, headache, dry mouth, anorexia and weight loss.
Stimulants are an effective treatment in the three areas where ADHD takes over: inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Adderall is one of a handful of stimulant drugs that can dramatically improve behavior and allow children (and adults) to succeed. Always take ADHD meds with a physician’s supervision. There are many choices for meds and choices for behavioral therapies. There are many choices for dosage and timing of the dosages. Side effects can be mitigated if you have clear communication with your health care provider.
Recently Canada took Adderall XR (controlled release) off the market because of an unusual number of deaths among children taking the drug. It was discovered that many of those children had underlying heart conditions that contributed to their deaths. The FDA reviewed the matter and decided not to take action, but the label on Adderall now clearly states that anyone with a heart disorder may not take the drug.
Source: Healthwise, WebMD, DrWeil