Yes, You Can Overdose on Adderall: Signs & What to Do
Last Updated Dec 2, 2021
Adderall is a drug with a legitimate medical purpose, but it also has significant abuse potential.
If a person takes too much Adderall, they can overdose, which can cause a number of very serious symptoms, including seizures, coma, heart failure, and death. It is especially dangerous to young people and people with heart conditions.
Signs & Symptoms of an Adderall Overdose
Adderall, which is a brand name for a medication that combines dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, can be dangerous if misused. Taking too much can cause an overdose.
The signs of an Adderall overdose include the following:
- Extreme mood swings, including panic and aggression
- Fast breathing
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Dark red urine
- Dizziness or fainting
- Blurred vision
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Fast breathing
- Uncontrolled shaking or seizures
Prompt medical treatment is essential in the case of an Adderall overdose, as a delay could result in permanent brain damage or death.
How to Treat an Adderall Overdose
If you suspect someone is overdosing on Adderall, call 911. Immediately alert them to your current location and tell them you think someone is overdosing. Describe the person’s symptoms and any important information about their medical history and the medications they’re taking.
While waiting for emergency responders, stay on the phone and monitor the person’s symptoms. Adjust their posture so their head is to one side. This helps to ensure that if they vomit, they will not choke on it.
The drug naloxone, commonly used for opioid overdoses, will not help with an Adderall overdose since it is not an opioid.
Doctors typically treat an Adderall overdose by addressing the symptoms. Overdose treatments focus on controlling life-threatening overdose symptoms.
Doctors can help control seizures through the use of the following medications:
Medical professionals can control cardiac issues through beta-blockers. Patients experiencing hyperthermia can be administered fluids to counteract it, improve renal function, and better eliminate however much of the drug is still in their system.
Many states have implemented Good Samaritan laws, which are laws meant to encourage people to call for emergency help in order to prevent overdose deaths, even if the activities that led to that overdose were illegal. These laws can protect you from legal liability while allowing you to save someone’s life.
Typical Doses of Adderall
Adderall dosing typically begins at 5 mg once or twice a day. If a patient doesn’t respond as well as they and their doctor would like, this dose can be increased, generally to a maximum of 40 mg a day.
The FDA does note that in rare cases, a doctor may consider it necessary to increase a patient’s dose beyond 40 mg a day, but this is only done with careful consideration. It is very rare a dose higher than 60 mg would be prescribed.
Adderall isn’t recommended for those taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a type of antidepressant. Adderall should not be taken within two weeks of stopping MAOIs.
This is due to an amplified risk of hypertensive crisis.
Adderall is habit-forming, meaning that taking larger doses or taking doses more often than prescribed has significant potential to cause physical and psychological dependence.
If you feel compelled to take more Adderall than prescribed, talk to your doctor. They can help you gain control over your symptoms by lowering your dose or switching your medication.
Drug addiction isn’t something to be ashamed of, but it is a serious medical problem that needs to be addressed. Adderall abuse can be dangerous, especially to children, teenagers, and those with heart problems.
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