Amphetamines!? And ADHD— ADHD Tip O the Day 711

Research on amphetamines for ADHD

For many people, amphetamine is a scary word. Some of the anti-ADHD folks have preyed on this fear and promoted mis-information. Here is some research on amphetamines for ADHD for children and adolescents.  Presumably it would also apply to adults with ADHD.

This was a meta analysis, looking at multiple studies. It found that many, though not all, of the studies were poorly done.

Conclusions: “Amphetamines did seem efficacious at reducing the core symptoms of ADHD in the short term … they were associated with a greater number of adverse events [compared to placebo]  such as decreased appetite, insomnia, abdominal pain, nausea, headaches, and anxiety.”

 They found no difference between the various forms  of amphetamines.

Comments: I have never prescribed amphetamines, for many reasons, most irrational. I did not want to deal with people coming to my office seeking them, for good or bad reasons.  I have seen people for whom  Ritalin was not sufficiently effective and amphetamines worked well. Studies show that for people who actually have ADHD, there is very low incidence of abuse, dependence, or addiction.

As to  “adverse events,”i.e., side effects, for any medication, they are possible. Listing them as possible side effects does not mean that you will get them.  If you do get them, you can simply stop the medication, or adjust it.  You are not stuck with them.

My opinion, based on experience and reading the literature, is that amphetamines are safe and effective for people who have ADHD. They may have to deal with other people trying to get their medicines from them; that could be a problem, especially in college.


Link to the report

Note O the Day:

If we have our minds made up, we will declare our opinion to be fact, and facts that refute it will be dismissed and the source will be attacked.

@addstrategies  #adhd  #add  @dougmkpdp

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About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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3 Responses to Amphetamines!? And ADHD— ADHD Tip O the Day 711

  1. MindBody says:

    You know Doug, it is like anything else- these medications are generally safe if they are prescribed under responsible supervision. Just like any other medication we use- they will have adverse effects in some people that are enough to warrant ceasing medication. We need to be observant as to the effects they are having and to report them to our doctors.
    I’m resuming dexamphetamine at the moment, and quite frankly the mild loss of appetite is not a bad thing- It is helping me lose some weight- which is much needed at the moment.
    Dexamphetamine is a little different to Ritalin in that it boosts noradrenergic transmission as well as having dopaminergic effects.
    I would suggest that that difference makes amphetamine a better choice if you are prone to be the somnolent, inattentive type. Amphetamine hlso has more of a mood brightening effect, and many people (myself included) find themselves feeling more serious and flat on methylphenidate. Bottom line though is if trreating this problem we should all be confident in using all the treatment options.


  2. Pingback: Meds for Adult ADD ADHD? — ADD Tip O the Day | ADDadultstrategies

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