People who suffer from an anxiety disorder may tend to experience restlessness, tension, and difficulty concentrating. Since this drug is classified as a stimulant that is popular for its potential to increase a person’s ability to focus and stay calm, many would believe that it can work effectively to treat their anxiety.
Contrary to this common assumption, the drug turns out to likely increase symptoms of anxiety especially when it starts to wear off from a person’s body. Prescription of this drug to anyone who suffers from anxiety must be closely monitored by the physician to prevent complications to arise during medication.
What Is It Used For?
The drug consists of both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine which stimulates the brain by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the body. These two hormones are highly essential in regulating a person’s focus and attention. This makes the drug popularly prescribed to patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The drug has proven itself effective by improving about 80% of the ADHD symptoms experienced by both children and adults. It has significantly helped them control their hyperactivity and impulsive behavior as well as improve their span of attention. The drug is also prescribed to people with narcolepsy to help them stay awake during the day.
Since about 50% of people diagnosed with ADHD are prone to suffer from symptoms of anxiety, the drug can be used to treat these symptoms as well. It is prescribed off-label to stabilize mood among patients with anxiety and depression. However, this is only done when the anxiety co-exists with ADHD and not as a mental disorder alone.
How Does it Affect Anxiety
The drug ignites the body’s neurotransmitters which results in experiencing a pleasurable feeling or a sense of euphoria. As a stimulant, it boosts mood and allows relief from restlessness, worry, fatigue, and lack of concentration which are common symptoms of anxiety. This is the reason why oftentimes the drug can be commonly misused or abused.
Patients who suffer from anxiety and depressive disorder alone may opt for other medication instead of using this substance since this is not an anti-anxiety nor an anti-depression drug. The tendency to stimulate the brain may offer short-term relief; however, when the drug wears off from the system, the chances of panic attacks and anxiety symptoms may come out worse.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns the public in their medication guide that the drug is not suitable for individuals who have a history of mental problems and that this treatment will likely interfere with antidepressant medication. However, a guided off-label use to treat anxiety co-occurring with ADHD can be possible with a physician’s prescription.
Anxiety as a side-effect of this drug or as a co-occurring condition with ADHD can be effectively managed by taking less addictive drugs such as sertraline and fluoxetine whose effect could be long-term but still effective. Stronger anti-anxiety medications like Xanax and Valium can also be great options however the addictive risk is too high.
Another means to manage anxiety during treatment is the use of natural supplements or engagement in behavioral therapies. Forming habits that sustain good physical and mental health conditions such as exercise, quality sleep, and a healthy lifestyle can be of great help to reduce episodes of anxieties as well.
Is Adderall Addictive?
Apart from mood disorders such as irritability, anxiety, and depression, the use of this drug can also cause addiction that is why medical providers would always check on a person’s response to the drug upon treatment. They monitor how it improves ADHD symptoms and how it affects mood, and adjust the dosage based on these results.
Usually when large doses are taken or when the medication is used long-term, the body may develop a physical dependence on the drug. This refers to the inability of the body to function normally without the presence of the substance in the bloodstream. This may lead to an increased craving for the drug and a lack of control in taking it.
The drug is susceptible to abuse because of the euphoric effect it gives to its user. The high it brings makes someone feel better about themselves and stay worry-free. As a stimulant, students resort to using this drug to increase their concentration in class and keep them awake, alert, and active. Also, it is abused to lose weight.
Due to these circumstances, this has been classified as a Substance II controlled drug. It is a known fact that anyone who uses this drug without a medical condition is putting their life at great risk. Single use may actually result in a sudden heart attack or an overdose which could lead to immediate death.
The addictive factor of the drug makes a person vulnerable to withdrawal symptoms once intake is suddenly stopped. Physical and emotional conditions are put to risk as a person may suffer from fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, increased craving for the drug, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.
Is It Safe for Treatment?
The risk of addiction and anxiety are high during treatment however when it is closely supervised by a physician, these can be prevented. It is important to carefully follow the prescription, to never miss a dose nor shift it, and to make sure all medical health conditions are communicated before treatment.
These are crucial steps to take to keep treatment safe and to prevent serious side effects from occurring. The use of alcohol in conjunction with the drug must also be avoided because this decreases the drug’s effectiveness. Should the patient experience any disturbing symptoms during the medication, it is best to keep the physician always informed.
There are instances when the physician may recommend suspending the use of the drug in order to identify whether the medication is still necessary or not anymore. Considering the likelihood of withdrawal symptoms, this may begin by tapering off the patient’s dosage. This phase is also crucial as uncomfortable conditions may take effect.