Should Adderall be taken on an empty stomach or with food?
Adderall: A CNS Stimulant for ADHD and Narcolepsy
Adderall is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy in adults. Available in tablet and time-release capsule forms, Adderall is best taken in the morning to avoid interference with sleep. Starting with a low dose, doctors gradually increase the dosage to ensure tolerance. This article provides information on how to take Adderall, including whether it should be taken on an empty stomach or with food.
Important Considerations before Taking Adderall
Before starting Adderall, it is crucial to inform your doctor about any preexisting mental or physical health conditions and provide a list of all over-the-counter and prescription medications you are currently taking. Adderall works by altering dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain, helping individuals with ADHD stay focused, reduce impulsivity, improve concentration, and manage related behavioral issues. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996, Adderall is a combination medication containing dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, both of which are CNS stimulants.
Effectiveness and Safety of Adderall
Adderall has been found to improve brain function in various areas, such as the right caudate nucleus of the basal ganglia. Clinical studies on the long-term use of amphetamines, including Adderall, have demonstrated their effectiveness and safety in treating ADHD. These studies have shown that continuous stimulant therapy with Adderall effectively reduces significant ADHD symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, leading to improved quality of life and academic achievement.
Furthermore, Adderall has shown positive effects across multiple functional outcomes, including academics, antisocial behavior, driving, self-esteem, service using, non-medicinal drug use, obesity, occupation, and social function. With a half-life of approximately 9 to 14 hours, Adderall typically clears from the body within 72 hours, although individual factors may influence its duration.
Taking Adderall on an Empty Stomach
When taken on an empty stomach, Adderall reaches its peak effects within three hours. However, approximately 8 to 14 hours later, half of the drug is eliminated from the system. To maintain the desired effects, Adderall can be retaken every four to six hours. It is important to note that taking Adderall on an empty stomach may result in increased discomfort, including nausea and stomach pain. The medication’s effectiveness is not enhanced by an empty stomach, so it is recommended to take Adderall after a nutritious meal that does not contain high levels of ascorbic acid and citric acid (vitamin C).
Optimal Dosage of Adderall
For children aged 6 to 12, the usual starting dose of Adderall is 10 mg once daily in the morning. The doctor may adjust the dosage by increments of 5 or 10 mg per week. In some cases, the initial dose may be as low as 5 mg in the morning. The maximum recommended daily dose for children in this age group is 30 mg. Doses exceeding 30 mg per day have not been studied for safety and efficacy in children under 6 years old.
In adolescents aged 13 to 17 with ADHD, the recommended starting dose is 10 mg per day, which can be increased to 20 mg per day after one week if symptoms are not adequately managed. For adults, the recommended dosage is 20 mg per day.
Please consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance on taking Adderall.