ADDERALL Parent Information


Most research indicates that Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD) is caused by a chemical deficiency of the brain. It is believed that medications like ADDERALL may help restore a chemical balance in the areas of the brain that controls your child’s ability to focus and pay attention to tasks. ADDERALL, like other stimulants, may enhance these regions of the brain.

How Can Adderall Help?

It may improve attention span, decrease distractibility, and increase the ability to follow directions and finish tasks. ADDERALL may improve ability to think before acting (decrease impulsivity) and decrease hyperactivity, aggression and stubbornness.

ADDERALL is not the only treatment for ADHD. The medicine works best when used with learning strategies and behavior modification procedures at home and school. Some children and families also benefit from individual, family, or group psychotherapy. If ADDERALL does not help, you should discuss other medications and treatments with your pediatrician.

What Is The Proper Dosage Of ADDERALL?

The right dosage of ADDERALL is the lowest dose that will result in the best control of attention. Some children show improvement on small doses. Usually the total daily dose is not more than 40 mg per day. However, because each child with ADHD responds differently to ADDERALL, the dosage will vary from child to child. Your child will begin with a low dose (2.5 mg to 5 mg) and the dose will be gradually increased until your child shows improvement (see dose chart below).

How Long Does The Medicine Last?

This medicine works for 4-6 hours. Some children will need only one dose in the morning. However, most children do best on a dose given before school and a second dose given 4-6 hours later. A third dose may be necessary to help your child concentrate after school to complete his/her homework. You will need to work closely with your pediatrician and school to determine a proper dosing schedule for your child.

What Side Effects Can ADDERALL Have?

The most common side effects of ADDERALL are difficulty falling asleep, appetite suppression with weight loss, stomach pain, headache, lethargy and irritability. These side effects are similar to those seen with other stimulants such as Ritalin and Dexedrine. These side effects diminish when the dose is lowered. If a side effect persists for more than a couple of days or becomes extremely bothersome, contact your child's pediatrician.

Occasionally, patients become irritable or agitated as the medication wears off. This is an indication that the time between doses needs to be moved closer.

What Would Happen If ADDERALL Is Stopped Suddenly?

There are usually no medical problems if the ADDERALL is stopped suddenly. Children on higher doses may experience irritability, trouble sleeping or increased hyperactivity for several days. It is better to stop the medication gradually over a week. You should consult your pediatrician before discontinuing the medication.

How Long Will This Medicine Be Needed?

  • The duration of treatment should be tailored to the individual needs of each child. Some individuals grow out of' their hyperactivity as they mature; others continue to have difficulty with inattention and disorganization into adulthood.

Adderall Dosing Guidelines

  • Adderall dose can be increased 2.5 mg to 5 mg every 3 days until an improvement is seen.
  • The AM and PM doses do not have to be the same.
  • If two doses are being given, alternate the dose that is increased every 3 days. (Example: Increase AM dose, wait 3 days, and increase the 2 PM, wait 3 days and increase the AM dose, wait 3 days and increase the 2 PM dose, etc.)
  • If there has been no improvement after giving 15 mg two times a day, call our office.
  • You may see an improvement in the afternoon at 10 mg, but may need to give 15 mg in the AM to see improvement in the morning performance.
  • Some children will only need to take Adderall on school days and will not need to take the medicine on weekends, holidays and during the summer.
  • Your child will tell you when he/she feels better when taking Adderall.

When Do I Stop Increasing The Dose Of Adderall?

The dose of Adderall should be the smallest dose at which your child shows an improvement in school performance.

Increasing the dose by only 2.5 mg every 3 days, will enable you to find the optimal dose for your child.

Once your child has shown a significant improvement in school performance, increasing the dose further will not be helpful.


Fax: 215-487-1270


Monday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Tue - Thur 9:00 am - 8:00 pm

Friday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sat & Sun: By appointment

8945 Ridge Ave #5

Philadelphia, PA 19128


This website is no longer being used, please visit