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This combination medication is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - ADHD. It works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain. Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine belongs to a class of drugs known as stimulants. It can help increase your ability to pay attention, stay focused on an activity, and control behavior problems. It may also help you to organize your tasks and improve listening skills.

Uses of Adderall

Research shows that the number of ADHD medications prescribed to children increased 45 percent from 2002 to 2010.

Of these drugs, Adderall was the second most-prescribed medication.

Sales of the drug jumped more than 3,000 percent from 2002 to 2006. In 2010 alone, the total number of Adderall prescriptions topped 18 million.

One reason for the surge in Adderall prescriptions is that increasing numbers of children and teenagers are getting an ADHD diagnosis.

However, doctors also prescribe the drug to children and adults who do not have ADHD.

This increased availability of Adderall has led to widespread abuse of the medication.

Identification of Adderall

Adderall is available as a tablet and as an extended-release capsule (Adderall XR). It comes in varying doses, depending on the size of the patient and the severity of symptoms. Dosages are recognizable by their varying shapes, colors, and sizes:

  • Adderall 5 mg – white to off-white tablet, round, flat-faced beveled edge tablet
  • Adderall 7.5 mg – blue tablet, oval, biconvex
  • Adderall 10 mg – blue tablet, round, biconvex
  • Adderall 12.5 mg – peach tablet, round, flat-faced beveled edge
  • Adderall 15 mg – peach tablet, oval, biconvex
  • Adderall 20 mg – peach tablet, round, biconvex
  • Adderall 30 mg – peach tablet, round, flat-faced beveled edge

According to the National Institutes of Health, the tablet is usually taken two to three times daily; the extended-release capsule is usually taken once daily.