Adderall is the brand name of combination medication made up of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It's a prescription medication classified as a stimulant used for the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in people age 3 and older. Adderall is available as an immediate-release tablet in 5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, 25mg and 30mg. The medication is effective, but you may speak with your physician about possible interactions.
Action of Adderall
Adderall works by stimulating the brain to produce two chemicals, norepinephrine and dopamine. It also blocks the absorption of these chemicals to increase the effects in the body. This leads to an improvement in the symptoms of ADHD that include inattention, restlessness, impulsiveness and the inability to follow directions.
Adderall may lead to interactions with supplements. Ginseng may increase the effect the medication has in the brain, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Vitamin C also interacts with Adderall because it increases acid in the stomach. This leads to a decrease in the absorption of the drug. Ephedra, which is effective in weight loss, is no longer available in the United States. If this drug is administered with Adderall, you may develop hypertension, or high blood pressure, and arrhythmias, which are irregular heartbeats, according to the “Drug Information Handbook.”
Supplement interactions that increase the effect of Adderall may cause the medication to accumulate to toxic levels in your body. Symptoms of toxicity with Adderall include restlessness, shaking, spasms, twitching, confusion, aggressiveness and panic states, explains RxList.com. You may also develop heart palpitations, rapid respiration and changes in blood pressure. Gastrointestinal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. If you experience any these adverse reactions, seek medical help right away.
Supplements that decrease the absorption or effect of Adderall may prevent you from receiving the full benefit of the drug. You have an inadequate response to drug therapy and continue to have symptoms of ADHD, which interfere with daily life.
Prevention and Monitoring
Avoid the use of supplements unless directed by a physician. Inform a physician of all medications you currently take to prevent harmful interactions. If you decide to start a new supplement, consult a physician or pharmacist first. Keep all doctor appointments to ensure you are being monitored appropriately; your physician can determine whether you need a supplement.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: American Ginseng
- "Drug Information Handbook"; Charles F. Lacy, Lora L. Armstrong, et al.; 2009
- RxList.com: Adderall