If you’re already taking Adderall, you’ve been warned about the side effects and potential hazards that come with a treatment plan.
Any medication has the potential to include some unwanted symptoms, but the specific nature of Adderall’s chemical makeup puts you in a position where you need to watch out for a few warning signs.
You may be taking too much or too little of the medication, but the important thing is to not adjust the dosage yourself.
Talk to your doctor about your Adderall dosage and discuss some of the symptoms below if you’re experiencing any of them.
Too Low: Not Focusing Enough
This might sound obvious, but if you’re not experiencing any benefits from taking your Adderall dosage, you’ll want to bring this up with your doctor.
Adderall works as a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It sends impulse control signals to your brain that are meant to stop the distractions that present themselves throughout the day and make it difficult to focus on your work.
While you may be tempted to simply take more of your medication, this will cause you to run out of your medication early, forcing you to be off Adderall for a period of time.
Furthermore, Adderall is a potentially addictive substance. If you deviate from the prescribed dosage printed on the label, you can risk developing a chemical addiction to Adderall, losing its benefits in the process.
A higher Adderall dosage prescribed by your doctor may help you gain the benefits you initially sought when seeking treatment in the first place.
Too High: Fatigue
If you are feeling a lack of energy or motivation at certain periods throughout the day, bring this up with your prescribing doctor.
Too much exposure to Adderall may contribute to feelings of depression, an overall lack of energy, and no desire to focus on the task at hand. You may not be feeling distracted anymore, but this does you no good without the ability to finish your job, run errands, or function at social or professional events.
Because of the stimulants in your system, your adrenal glands are working overtime to help you focus. This can start out great, especially if you have never previously used Adderall or any other combination of controlled substances in the past for treating your ADHD.
Unfortunately, your adrenal glands function like any other organ, and will become overtired with too much use. You might also experience depression, no interest in sex, anxiety, and general lethargy.
If you’re feeling like the Adderall isn’t helping you enjoy life, speak to your doctor about potentially lowering the dosage to give the rest of your body a break.
You may find a perfect balance in the process, and when you’re ready to try more, you should be sure to speak with your doctor as part of the counseling that comes with any Adderall routine.
Too Low: Problems at School
For younger patients on this medication, their Adderall dosage can be tough to nail down at first. While ADHD is the collective term used for a lack of ability to focus on tasks at hand, determining the degree of an attention span in each individual student can be nearly impossible without a full case study.
If your child is still experiencing problems with their school environment or not focusing on their homework, talk to your child’s teachers to find out what you aren’t seeing while their classes are in session.
Ensure that the problem is the medicine itself and not another underlying social situation or potential problem with a teacher.
Too High: Addiction
There’s not getting around the fact that Adderall is a controlled stimulant that carries the potential for serious addiction problems. This isn’t an issue for people who have the ability to simply have one drink and call it a night.
But it gets complicated when your Adderall dosage calls for regular appointments with a substance that carries the same addictive properties as alcohol or other substances.
When you find yourself thinking more about the act of taking Adderall than the benefits you gain from taking it, it’s time to sit down and have a conversation with your doctor about the place Adderall takes up in your life.
Can you manage both ADHD and addiction?
You can talk to your doctor about adjusting the dosage or if it becomes necessary, switch to another medication that doesn’t carry the potential for addiction.
Eventually, you might find that you can handle your Adderall dosage without letting it overtake your existence, but just helping you get to where you need to be with your attention span.
Keep your doctor informed of any previous struggles with addiction, especially if you have a family history of alcohol or substance abuse problems.
Too Low: Job Insecurity
Are you taking Adderall, but worried about the status of your care due to your performance? Your Adderall dosage might reflect this. The amount in your system might not be enough to curtail your ADHD issues, thereby affecting your career performance while you’re at your place of employment.
Adults with ADHD can be at risk of losing their jobs due to their illness, and without the proper discussion with a doctor, they might resort to self-medication to save a lucrative career.
It isn’t worth the risk to you and your family to try treating your ADHD without the correct attention from your doctor. An increase in dosage may save you from missing a critical error on a report or going off on a tangent during an important meeting.
If you plan to rise up the ranks in your company, you’ll need to do so while seeking the proper treatment necessary to keep you grounded and stable while working. Find out from your doctor if an Adderall increase will help you maintain the job security you need to move forward with your life.
But be sure to be open and honest in communicating your issues with them to avoid over-diagnosis.
Too High: Loss of Appetite
Adderall is a stimulant, just like caffeine.
What does caffeine do, aside from helping you focus and giving you the necessary energy to stay awake and get more work done?
It suppresses your appetite – reason it pops up so often in diet pills.
Just like caffeine, a high dosage of Adderall will kill your appetite, and while this might sound like a beneficial side effect if you’re looking to lose weight, it won’t be the case.
A loss of appetite will prevent you from absorbing the necessary nutrients you need from food throughout the day.
Your attention span is important, but so is the rest of your body’s systems.
The effects of Adderall on your digestion and ability to absorb nutrients can create other problems, possibly long-term, if you aren’t careful.
Suffering from malnutrition will negate any increase in focus that comes with Adderall.
If you notice that you aren’t snacking or enjoying meals as much as when you started the medication, discuss alternative options with your doctor. They can lower the amount of Adderall and get you back to enjoying the experience of eating solid foods again.
Finding the Balance
Determining the correct Adderall dosage for you or for your child shouldn’t have to be like playing the stock market.
Just make sure you know the side effects of Adderall and understand that everyone reacts differently to medications. Then you can monitor your body and figure out what the best course of action is if you feel that you are getting too much or not enough.
Along with your doctor, you can speak to other people about their experiences with Adderall, and how they came to figure out what the proper dosage was. Online forums and social media groups are available for people who have been up and down on their medication, and what their symptoms were as they changed doses.
If you have immediate friends and family available, you can also reach out to them to ask about your own behavior. Depending on your interactions, they might be able to notice little shifts in your emotional states and determine if there might be an appointment with your doctor necessary to discuss your Adderall dosage.
If the opportunity is there, you could bring a friend or significant other to your counseling session and see how to work out a proper dosage which is best for everyone involved.
Change of Prescription as Another Option
Consider your options when asking about increasing or decreasing your Adderall dosage.
If you and your doctor come to the conclusion that Adderall isn’t right for you, regardless of the amount in your system, you might consider switching to another medication, or taking a break from medication completely.
Sometimes, major life changes at work or at home can produce the same effects that come with a change in prescriptions.
Take care to monitor yourself and your mental health outside of your ADHD symptoms. And stay open with your doctor about anything else that may be bothering you outside of the reasons you begin to take Adderall.