Adderall is a stimulant drug that can only be obtained with a prescription. Although the medication is legitimately used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it is also abused for non-therapeutic purposes. Since stimulants are capable of increasing metabolism, Adderall is often abused for the purpose of weight loss. Inappropriate use of Adderall can result in severe health problems.
Approved for the treatment of ADHD in children and adults, Adderall is the brand name for a drug that contains a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine salts. Adderall exerts an effect in the central nervous system (CNS) by increasing the availability of stimulating neurotransmitters including norepinephrine and dopamine. However, since Adderall’s effects are not confined to the CNS, they can affect other organ systems as well. Since all stimulants have the potential for addiction and abuse, Adderall is classified as a controlled substance by the Federal government.
Metabolism refers to the rate at which the body converts food into energy. There are many factors and processes that contribute to an individual’s unique metabolic rate. Most people have a basal metabolic rate to maintain normal body function and a higher metabolic rate during periods of increased physical or mental activity. As metabolism increases, weight loss can occur if energy requirements exceed caloric intake.
Adderall and Metabolism
As a stimulant, Adderall can increase metabolism by a number of different mechanisms. The use of stimulants has been known to increase blood pressure and heart rate. As heart rate increases, cardiac muscle cells utilize more energy. Since stimulants also increase concentration, energy and alertness, patients taking Adderall may experience higher levels of mental and physical activity. As a result, metabolic rate is increased to provide energy for increased activity.
Although Adderall is only approved for the treatment of ADHD in adults and children, it has been abused for various reasons, including weight loss. Besides increasing metabolism and energy utilization, stimulants have also been known to suppress appetite. This creates a greater gap between caloric demand and supply. Unfortunately, the abuse of Adderall can have negative health consequences.
According to the Adderall XR product package insert, patients with excess stimulant activity may be at higher risk for stroke, arrhythmias and heart attacks. Stimulants may also cause irritability, aggression, anxiety and other mood or mental disorders. Since stimulants increase brain activity, uncontrolled electrical activity can lead to the development of seizures. Since Adderall can exacerbate certain health conditions and interact with other medications, patients should speak to their physician before use.