Is Adderall a Controlled Substance?

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Medically reviewed by Neil Chatterjee, MD

Yes. Adderall is a schedule II (technically IIN) controlled substance, which means that the DEA considers it to be highly addictive with a high abuse potential.

Because it can cause serious and potentially fatal heart and blood pressure problems if used incorrectly, along with dependency and withdrawal, Adderall should only be used under the supervision of a licensed provider.

How Adderall works

Adderall is composed of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, two drugs that are used to treat and control symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy. These belong to a class of medications called central nervous system stimulants, as they raise nervous system activity in the body, altering the amounts of substances in the brain to bring back a balance.

Adderall comes in both a short-acting and long-acting form. Adderall XL or Mydayis, the extended-release form, slowly releases the medication throughout the day. This group of stimulants is usually taken during the day, as they can cause insomnia when taken before bedtime.

Side effects

Side effects of Adderall can be serious. If any of the following side effects persist or worsen, talk to your doctor as soon as you can.

  • Severe headaches
  • Changes in sex drive 
  • Sudden changes in weight, especially weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth and hoarseness
  • Changes in vision including, blurred vision
  • Teeth grinding and motor tics 
  • Severe agitation with fever, sweating, and confusion.
  • Significant weight loss

This post is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address any individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. When in doubt, speak to your doctor.

If you think you may be experiencing overdose or have any other medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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