This stimulant is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and can work effectively to manage mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. However, in treating depression alone, it is best to take antidepressants instead of stimulants since the chemical makeup of the drug can worsen depressive symptoms especially when taken in a high dose.
Among people diagnosed with ADHD, about 30% experience depression. This is what they call co-occuring disorders. For these conditions, both disorders require treatment. However, studies related to the effects of combining the drug with antidepressants are too limited to determine whether they are truly safe and effective.
How Can It Help in Treating Depression
The drug may have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for depression. However, physicians continue to prescribe them as an off-label use to treat depressive symptoms that come along with ADHD. This treatment remains crucial since the body’s response to the drug may vary greatly among patients.
In a study conducted among 65 patients with ADHD and depression, treatment combined with antidepressants has significantly improved their symptoms by showing a positive mood and more controlled behavior. However, experts continue to emphasize that the limited number of patients involved in the study does not guarantee the safety of the treatment.
As the drug works by increasing the levels of dopamine in the body, this stimulates brain activity and makes someone feel more confident, focused, and capable of completing tasks. This function of the substance is also responsible for boosting mood and avoiding episodes of despair and loneliness among patients. Overall, it brings a person to a positive disposition.
On top of that, since the drug is a fast-acting substance that can work within half an hour, it alleviates the symptoms of depression much faster than antidepressants which may take up to weeks to make one feel better. Also, patients who are resistant to antidepressants may find the drug more effective to take.
Known to be a highly effective medication for ADHD, the drug can also work successfully in treating depression once coupled with therapy and a healthy lifestyle. The best step to take is to always keep in touch with a physician to monitor improvement as well as side effects caused by the drug.
What Are The Risks of Using It for Treatment
As the dopamine levels rise, the body can experience euphoria, a pleasurable feeling that leads a person to feel high. This is the addictive factor contained in the substance. There is a huge possibility for the body to build physical dependence on the drug especially when it is taken excessively, and this can result in an intense craving for the drug.
Addiction is a common risk brought by taking the drug in high doses. It is also known that when the substance starts to wear off in one’s system, the positive disposition of the person will subside and be replaced by a depressive state. This is when a person may start feeling jittery, restless, hopeless, and potentially develop suicidal thoughts.
Long-term treatment with the substance can also lead to multiple medical health issues specifically affecting the cardiovascular system. Highly active stimulation of neurotransmitters in the body can affect the blood flow and result in a racing heartbeat, high blood pressure, as well as cardiac arrest.
The risks, which can be life-threatening at some point, are high especially when there is a misuse and abuse of the drug. Oftentimes, students misuse the drug by using it to keep themselves awake during long study hours and increase their concentration during exams. Even adults take advantage of it for its weight loss function.
What To Know Before Taking Adderall
A medical assessment must be thoroughly conducted before taking the drug. It is important to understand that this is not suitable for patients with pre-existing cardiovascular problems such as hypertension and heart problems. The same goes for those with a history of substance abuse as well as an allergic reaction to stimulants.
FDA strongly warns patients that the drug may increase symptoms of mental health disorders, which is why it must be taken with great caution. Other conditions which require assessment include seizures, liver, kidney, and thyroid problems, as well as problems related to blood circulation. It can be numbness of the extremities, palpitations, and the likes.
When a prescription for the drug is given, it is important to follow the exact dosage and the number of times it needs to be taken. Patients must be keen about how the body responds to the drug whether it is positive or negative and make sure to notify one’s physician about any concerns. When given as a treatment to children, sometimes they could feel sedated.
It is never advisable to use the drug for self-medication. Even though it can help with symptoms of depression, the degree of the side effects it brings is unpredictable. Always make sure to consult your doctor before and during your treatment. If a person you know is suffering from depression, it is best to seek professional help.
Remember that withdrawal symptoms occur when intake of the drug is suddenly stopped. If you encounter severe discomfort from side effects, contact your physician right away instead of attempting to skip your dosage. If you also think that you are exhibiting symptoms of substance addiction, talk to your physician right away.
The key to a safe and effective treatment with Adderall is constant communication with one’s physician combined with a cautious patient when it comes to taking medications. When used among children, the responsibility of looking after their response to the drug relies on their parents or guardians.
Despite the highly addictive potential of the drug, it continues to be a popular choice for treating ADHD because of its effectiveness. The main takeaway is that the substance is mainly intended to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder. Once used with other conditions, the likelihood of side effects can be observed.