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What Are The Different Types Of Adderall?

Adderall is an ADHD medication that comes in extended-release (XR) and immediate-release (IR) formats and has the potential for drug abuse.

There are different formulations of amphetamine-based drugs that may fall under the brand name Adderall but contain different active ingredients.

Different formulations of Adderall and its related medications can include:

  • methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta)
  • lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
  • amphetamine sulfate
  • atomoxetine
  • dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
  • dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
  • amphetamine salts

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is a Schedule II controlled substance.

It is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine that works by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters, namely dopamine and norepinephrine, in the central nervous system (CNS).

Abuse of the medication can have a number of side effects, including Adderall addiction.

Types Of Adderall

Adderall is available in two forms, namely immediate-release and extended-release.

The severity of a person’s mental health condition will likely determine the strength of their dosage, and whether they receive an extended release (XR) or immediate release (IR) prescription.

Both achieve the same purpose — namely ADHD treatment — but do so on different timetables, with extended-release being long-acting.

Some clients may find that, when they take Adderall in the immediate release form in multiple smaller doses, they can manage their ADHD systems better than a single extended-release dose.

Adderall XR (Extended-Release)

The extended-release (XR) formulation of Adderall is designed to last for up to 12 hours.

The XR formulation is not as widely used as the immediate release (IR) formulation, but it may be more effective for some people with ADHD.

Immediate-Release Adderall

The immediate-release form of Adderall is taken two to three times a day, with or without food. The specific period of time will depend on the severity of a client’s symptoms of ADHD.

It should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level of the medicine in your body.

Will Different Types Of Adderall Lead More Quickly To Adderall Addiction?

There are different types of Adderall, and some may be abused more and lead to addiction more than others.

Extended-release Adderall is more likely to be abused than immediate-release Adderall, since it’s easier to get ‘high’ due to the higher concentration of amphetamine salts in a given pill.

People who abuse this stimulant drug often take it in higher doses than prescribed, or they take it more often than prescribed.

The addictive qualities of Adderall can be exacerbated when drug interactions with non-stimulant medications, antidepressants, or other substances co-exist.

The side effects of Adderall, when mixed with other drugs and substances, can result in a number of negative health conditions, both physical and psychological.

Adderall drug abuse can also result in these other common side effects:

  • high blood pressure
  • elevated heart rate
  • weight loss
  • dry mouth
  • psychosis
  • glaucoma
  • cardiovascular heart problems
  • behavioral health flags, such as impulsiveness and anxiety
  • development of a sleep disorder

Do Different Types Of Adderall Affect Your Risk For Overdose?

A recent study by the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal found that people who abuse Adderall are more likely to overdose on the drug if they use an extended-release form of it.

The study’s authors say that this is likely because extended-release formulations of Adderall are designed to be taken once a day, but people who abuse the drug often take it multiple times a day.

Naturally, the higher the abused dosage is rated, the higher the chance there is of experiencing negative side effects such as high blood pressure, increased heart rates, and other symptoms.

Additionally, since XR formulations of Adderall are higher dosage and meant to be taken once a day, extended-release capsules have a higher chance of resulting in sudden death when abused.

Treatment Services For Adderall Addiction

Fortunately, there are a number of addiction treatment services available through various drug and alcohol healthcare providers to treat Adderall addiction.

Some of the substance abuse treatment options for Adderall addiction include:

  • behavioral therapy
  • mental health treatment
  • dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • detox
  • programs for adolescents
  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • holistic supplements

Find Substance Use Disorder Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you or a loved one is seeking treatment for an Adderall addiction, call the Bedrock Recovery Center helpline today to learn more about our reputable addiction recovery programs.

Written by
Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team

Published on

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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