Adderall is currently extensively used in not just treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but also other health conditions. Off-label really means that the drug is prescribed for conditions where the drug is deemed to work even though these uses have not been officially approved by the FDA. As such, it has some off-label uses too. It is quite potent and works well when taken right. However, the off-label use of the medicine can pose some danger too.
It is a schedule II class drug, which means that the ADHD medication use is monitored by the DEA and the FDA. Doctors are allowed to prescribe medications off-label when the benefits seem to outweigh the risks. Even though there may not be sufficient data from clinical trials, off-label prescriptions are common and can really help with managing certain conditions. Adderall too has benefits other than the approved uses, which doctors explore when trying out treatment options. There are certain risks associated with this practice, which is looked into some detail below.
What are the off-label uses of Adderall?
The two major off-label uses of Adderall are for depression and promoting weight loss. The stimulant effect of the amphetamine salts work to help manage these two problems. Depression is usually treated with other medications that are typically antidepressant. However, treatment resistant depression is a common phenomenon. It helps to manage this problem better in individuals with treatment resistant depression.
Weight loss is a common side effect seen among users due to the stimulant effects. Persons who are extremely obese do benefit from taking the medication and doctors do prescribe the pill for this use.
Apart from depression and weight loss, the off-label use of Adderall is predominant among college students. This is a major risk as there is the threat of recreational use as a smart drug. College students find ways to get the prescription and use it as a smart drug to score better in academics. Taking the pill this way is fraught with a number of risks and can even result in dangerous effects.
What are the dangers of off-label Adderall?
Off-label Adderall use is dangerous for many reasons. The chief among them is the prescription aspect itself. The most effective dose, the response to the ADHD medication, and even the side effects would be unknown. Even when it works for the off-label use, altering the treatment plans may not really be easy.
Another important risk and probably the most problematic factor of using Adderall is that the pill has the potential to cause dependence and addiction. Also, severe withdrawal symptoms can occur when trying to discontinue using the drug and this leads to taking more than recommended. At times, the off-label use of the pill can even have opposite of the intended effects. People with depression or other mental health problems should be monitored closely for the effects of Adderall as the pill can increase anxiety and even trigger schizophrenia in some cases. Whether the medicine is used off-label or for approved uses, follow the treatment plan to get the therapeutic benefits without the adverse effects.