Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) is a prescription medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The drug is a stimulant, although it can have the opposite effects from what would be expected of a stimulant. While stimulants (like caffeine) can cause hyperactivity, when used at the doses for ADHD, Adderall has a calming effect. While the exact way Adderall produces a calming effect is not known, it is known that it affects chemicals in the brain. In general, it is used at higher, more stimulating doses when used for narcolepsy.
As with any medicine, Adderall can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes it will experience side effects. Adderall, in most cases, is tolerated well. When side effects do occur, they are often minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Some of the most common side effects include insomnia, headaches, and weight loss. However, there are also some potentially serious side effects of Adderall that may require immediate medical care. Notify your healthcare provider right away if you develop some of the more serious Adderall side effects, such as chest pain, hallucinations, or seizures.
(Click Adderall and Adderall Side Effects for more information on Adderall's effects, including detail on how Adderall works to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, as well as possible side effects of the medication.)