For many struggling daily with symptoms of ADD and ADHD, Adderall has become a wonder drug. The combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine salts has, in many cases, been effective in enabling ADD sufferers to remain calm and focused and to suppress impulsive actions; thereby enabling them to live the sort of normal life that was previously impossible for them. The introduction of Adderall XR, the control release version of the popular ADD drug, enabled many to take just one pill and control their symptoms for the entire day rather than several throughout the course.
Many ADD sufferers were ecstatic when Adderall XR finally became available in a generic formula in 2009. For many without health insurance, the previously pricy drug was suddenly a more affordable treatment option. Even those with prescription plans certainly weren’t complaining about reduced co-pays for the drug.
Shortly after the introduction of generic control-released mixed amphetamine salts, concerns began to arise. Many complained of reduced effectiveness after switching to generic versions of Adderall XR, even going so far as to call it “useless”. Others contended the generics cause an increase in unpleasant side effects. Among these, headaches, irritability, tension, anxiety, stomach pain and fatigue.
Although generic versions of drugs must contain the same active ingredients as the original brand name, there is some flexibility in terms of the fillers that are contained in the medication. Many people attribute the inconsistency of both potency and side effects to the various non-active substances included in different brands of generic Adderall XR. There has been speculation that the control release mechanisms might function differently for some people, depending on the brand, which might also account for the variations in potency and side effects.
Adderall has always been a drug that appears to be very sensitive to the specific system of the person taking it. People of similar height/weight/age demographics often require extremely varied dosages to be effective. Additionally, similar dosages can cause little to no side effects in some, and almost debilitating side effects like racing heart-rates, profuse sweating, and insomnia in others. Thus, it makes sense that, for some people, very minor differences in even the inactive ingredients found in generic amphetamine salts versus brand name Adderall XR can cause significant variation of both effect and side effect. For others, there appears to be virtually no distinguishable difference between the Adderall XR and its generic equivalent.
If you have been taking the brand name product and, after receiving a generic version, feel it is not as effective or have experienced unusual/unpleasant side effects, consider asking your doctor to have your prescription dispensed “as written.” If you are new to Adderall and, after taking a generic control-release version, find your side-effects intolerable or find the drug ineffective, it might be prudent to try to brand name version before giving up on the drug.