Adderall XR is an extended release form of the
amphetamine based drug Adderall, which is commonly used in the 21st
century to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the rare
sleeping disorder narcolepsy. Adderall is a trade name for the drug,
which is more commonly known as amphetamine mixed salts and has grown in
popularity in recent years following its initial approval for use in the
U.S. as an obesity treatment.
Amphetamine mixed salts were first created and approved for use in January 1960 under the brand name Obetrol; the mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine salts is know to have a common side effect of weight loss leading to the drug being used in the first instance as an obesity treatment. In the 21st century this is not a common use, but some physicians do still prescribe Adderall for those wishing to lose weight. Following the rise of the medical condition known as ADHD a form of amphetamine mixed salts was introduced specifically for treating the condition under the name Adderall. In an attempt to limit abuse of Adderall an extended release version of the drug was created and branded Adderall XR; use of the new version requires only a single capsule to be taken each day containing two versions of amphetamine to be released slowly throughout the day.
ADHD is often seen as a condition making it difficult for those diagnosed to concentrate on a subject and remain focused for a prolonger period of time. The slow release of Adderall XR is thought to provide a boost of amphetamine for the user that is used to restore the balance of chemicals in the brain and reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Adderall XR has been shown to offset some of the symptoms associated with ADHD, including reduced fidgeting and an increase in the ability to concentrate and focus for longer periods.
Because amphetamine's have the ability to act as a stimulant to the brain and body Adderall is often used to treat the sleep disorder narcolepsy. In narcolepsy many people are unable to control when and for how long they sleep; by providing a stimulant to the body in extended release form amphetamine mixed salts can delay the onset of sleep in narcolepsy sufferers.
Although it is shown to be an effective drug for use in certain medical conditions Adderall XR has been shown to have a high rate of dependency and adult drug abuse. Side effects associated with the use of the stimulant include weight loss and sleep problems. When the extended release version of Adderall has been used for a prolonger period the user can often become dependent and suffer from withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped.