How much Adderall can I take?
The amount of Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) you can take in a day depends on what condition Adderall is treating. All amphetamines should be given by prescription at the lowest dose that is effective for your condition. The right dose for you will depend on your response to Adderall. Different people respond differently. You will work with your doctor to find the right dose.
Adderall is a prescription medication called a central nervous system stimulant, and it belongs to a group of medications called amphetamines. It is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, teens and adults. It is also used to treat a sleep disorder called narcolepsy.
- For adults and children over age 6 with ADHD, the maximum daily dose is 40 mg per day.
- For narcolepsy in adults, the dose can range from 5 to 60 mg per day.
There is no set level of Adderall that causes an overdose, since your response to an amphetamine may be greatly different from another person’s response. Overdose, also called toxicity, can even occur at low doses.
Symptoms of an overdose include:
- Shaking, called tremor
- Being overly aggressive
- Being in a panic state
- Seeing or believing things that are not true, called hallucinations
- Being very restless
- Breathing rapidly
- Being nauseous or vomiting
- Having belly cramps or diarrhea
Fatigue and depression may be later signs of overdose. Seizures and deep loss of consciousness (coma) may be the most serious signs.
On a physical exam, a health care provider may find signs of an overdose, such as:
- Overactive reflexes
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- High or low blood pressure
- Signs of muscle damage on a blood test
If you have symptoms of an Adderall overdose, call your doctor or poison control center, or get emergency treatment.
Treatment of an overdose may include:
- Washing out the stomach (gastric lavage)
- Giving a medicine to cause vomiting or diarrhea to get the drug out of your system
- Medication to cause calming and sleepiness (sedation)
Adderall side effects
Amphetamines may have side effects called adverse effects that are not the same as an overdose. Your Adderall dose may need to be adjusted by your doctor if you have:
- Palpitations or racing heart
- Restlessness, irritability or depression
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth and unpleasant taste
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Weight loss
- An itchy rash
- Hair loss
- Loss of sexual interest or ability
Adderall misuse and addiction
You may be in danger of taking too much Adderall if you misuse it by taking it at a higher dose than prescribed or taking it without a prescription. People may misuse Adderall to get high, have more energy, lose weight or to improve memory or work performance. In these cases, the dose of Adderall may be much higher than prescribed doses and may lead to amphetamine addiction.
People who become addicted to Adderall may develop a tolerance for the drug. That means it takes higher and higher doses to get the desired results. High doses lead to psychological and physical dependency and to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if the drug is stopped.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine DailyMed. Adderall. April 2020. Available at: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=f22635fe-821d-4cde-aa12-419f8b53db81. [Accessed July 4, 2021].
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Stimulant and Related Medications: U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Approved Indications and Dosages for Use in Adults. October 2015. Available at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare-Medicaid-Coordination/Fraud-Prevention/Medicaid-Integrity-Education/Pharmacy-Education-Materials/Downloads/stim-adult-dosingchart11-14.pdf. [Accessed July 7, 2021].
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts. June 2018. Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants. [Accessed July 4, 2021].
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