Adderall and Strattera are two medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These are both oral medications that can be taken by children and adults. They both regulate chemicals in the brain in order to control hyperactivity. Although the effect is the same, the drugs work in different ways.
Adderall works on the central nervous system. It has an effect on chemicals that cause hyperactivity. Adderall is a stimulant drug that contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is available as a time-released capsule that must be swallowed whole and never crushed or chewed. This allows for a once daily treatment regimen. Because it is an amphetamine, Adderall has the potential to be abused. It may cause addiction and dependence.
Strattera is a stimulant drug that has an effect on chemicals in the brain that cause hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder. It elevates levels of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter responsible for normal brain function. This medication is available as a capsule that is to be swallowed whole and not opened or punctured. Strattera was the first ADHD drug not classified as an addictive substance.
Adderall Side Effects
Misuse of Adderall can have serious side effects due to its effect upon the central nervous system. Heart complications or even sudden death could occur if Adderall is taken in high doses. Other side effects include high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, seizures, stroke, heart attack and pounding heartbeat. Less serious possible side effects include hives, over-stimulation, stomach upset, weight loss, dizziness, fever, insomnia, nausea and mood swings.
Adderall may cause a rapid spike in blood pressure. Anyone with a history of high blood pressure should be closely monitored while taking Adderall. Adderall may worsen the tics associated with Tourette's syndrome and may make psychotic individuals have more severe symptoms.
Strattera Side Effects
According to drugs.com, clinical trials showed that Strattera caused a slower growth rate in children taking the drug. Children may experience side effects like crying, drowsiness, ear infection, vomiting, runny nose, mood swings, fatigue, appetite loss and headache. Adults may have abnormal dreams, chills, diminished sex drive, headache, hot flashes, impotence, insomnia, menstrual problems, prostate problems, skin inflammations, palpitations, tingling, sweating and weight loss.
Adderall and Strattera should not be taken within two weeks of taking a MAO inhibitor drug. This would include antidepressant drugs like Parnate and Nardil. Taking these ADHD medications with MAO inhibitors could cause serious or fatal reactions like high fever, rigid muscles, delirium, changes in heart rhythm and coma.