Adderall is a phenethylamine drug that is a combination of two stimulants – amphetamine (amphetamine aspartate monohydrate and amphetamine sulphate) and dextroamphetamine (dextroamphetamine saccharate and dextroamphetamine sulphate). Adderall stimulates the activity of two neurotransmitters in the brain – dopamine and norepinephrine, to improve concentration as well as impulse control.
Adderall is available in two trade names Adderall and Adderall XR, both of which have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration or FDA. It was originally released in 1996 as an instant release tablet by Richwood Pharmaceuticals. Adderall is generally considered a prescription drug and the control as well as distribution varies depending on the laws from country to country.
What is this Adderall used for?
Adderall is most commonly known for its use in treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, with years of clinical research showing that long-term use can improve nerve growth, decrease abnormalities in certain sections of the brain, as well as improve brain functioning.
Amphetamine in Adderall has been shown in various ADHD researches to increase an individual’s average IQ, especially in children, by around 4.5 points. On top of that, it has also shown that Adderall may actually lessen disruptive behaviors, improve one’s attention, minimize hyperactivity, as well as have better impulse control.
Other than its use for ADHD treatment, Adderall has also been cited as useful for:
- Treating other disorders such as narcolepsy, hypnolepsy, or the disorder that affects sleep and wakefulness
- Enhancing performance in working memory, task saliency, and all sorts of goal-directed behaviors
- Increase stamina, physical strength, acceleration, endurance, as well as alertness of athletes
Adderall is a prescription drug because of the high potential for misuse and moderate dependence liability rate. Although it is considered effective, Adderall has the tendency to be habit forming in the long run, which is why there are those people who look for natural Adderall alternatives or over the counter Adderall alternative.
Side Effects of Adderall
Perhaps the most talked about drawback of Adderall is the fact that the amphetamine and dextroamphetamine in Adderall can be habit forming. It has also been found that the following are possible side effects that may be encountered:
- Loss of appetite and stomach pains
- Dry mouth
- Tremors and muscle twitches
- Headaches, buzzing in the ears and anxiety
- Shortness of breath and chest pain
- Side effects on the heart (such as uneven heartbeat) with improper or prolonged use
However, this is also to note that these side effects may or may not be experienced as substance reaction differs from body to body.
Like any other drug, Adderall also comes with several precautions such as:
- It should not be used by those with anxiety, tics, Tourette’s syndrome, and glaucoma.
- It should not be used within 14 days of using MAO inhibitors like linezolid, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, and selegiline.
- It should not be used by anyone with a history of drug abuse or addiction
Is There a Natural Alternative to Adderall?
These days, there has been a rise in concern regarding the side effects posed by Adderall. More and more people are searching for alternative medicine for ADHD and substitutes for Adderall without the harmful side effects, synthetic ingredients, and the need for prescriptions.
The good news is that, there are actually some OTC Adderall alternatives which can be found in the market today. Most of them are considered supplements, but they are said to be quite comparable to Adderall. Take a look at some of the best ones in this quick and concise rundown:
Nitrovit is a supplement that falls under the broad category of natural cognitive enhancers, Nootropics, and ADHD helpers. Nitrovit is a product of Neuro Labs, which boasts that the components of Nitrovit are guaranteed to be of high quality, there are no powders or fillers, and that the cognitive effect can really be felt.
The following are main Nitrovit ingredients:
- Vinpocetine – aids in focus and cognition
- GABA – lessens anxiety, improves mental focus, and reduces sleep difficulties
- L-Taurine – delays cognitive decline, improves learning and retention, fights oxidative stress, boosts force production, endurance and stamina
- Alpha GPC – improves learning, thinking skills, memory, and alleviates some symptoms of dementia
- Vitamin B6 and B12 – boosts overall brain health
The other ingredients include Gingko Biloba, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Bacopa, Oat Straw, Huperzine A, and Phosphatidyl Serine. The recommended dosage of Nitrovit is 2 capsules a day for 15 days, with the effects intensifying through prolonged use.
Here are some of the things people say in Nitrovit review:
- Increases good mood and feeling of confidence
- Heightens productivity
- Great that it has a 90-day money back guarantee
- Reasonably priced compared to other cognitive enhancers
- It is a “true nootropic”
- The effects can be felt as soon as 30 minutes after taking
- The effects last up to 4 hours
- Mental clarity, motivation, increased focus, and memory retention are some of the positive effects felt by users
- Outside of productivity in work or school, users also report greater workout intensity, increased vocabulary, more stamina and confidence in the bedroom and having more lucid dreams
- Lower chances of dependence since there is no caffeine in the formula
- Reasonably priced for the quality of the ingredients
- The effects are gradually felt, both in increase and decline, so there is no “crash” or intense mood swings that follow intake
- Does not affect sleep patterns.
Addtabz reviews from various former Adderall users call it the closest alternative there is. It also addresses focus, energy, and productivity without the issues of possible addiction and less potential side effects.
Some of the Addtabz ingredients include:
- Ampheta CDP
- Cytidine 5′ diphospocholine/Choline Bitartrate matrix (nootropic for mental focus and energy stimulation)
- 7-methyltheophylline (chemical name of caffeine)
- Methylhexaneamine (stimulant)
The examples of the reported benefits of Addtabz are:
- Weight loss due to appetite suppression
- Boost in short-term and spatial memory
- Increased speed of recall
- Positive mood effect
- Higher concentration
- Better motivation
The recommended dosage of Addtabz is 200 to 400 mg per day. It is to be taken with a full glass of water and on an empty stomach (1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal) to reduce chances of digestion affecting the supplement. The effects can be felt within just 30 minutes of taking it.
The side effects associated with Addtabz are common to other stimulant supplements. Some reports of nausea, post use burnout, nervousness, anxiety, stress, panic attacks and palpitations are examples. These side effects may not occur with just one dosage, but with several tablets on a regular basis. This is why Addtabz is not recommended for those who have hypertension or heart problems.
Addieup is a natural supplement for boosting mental concentration and energy developed by chiropractor Dr. Mike Baker. Dr. Baker was looking for alternatives for Adderall and other medications as he has been consuming them after being diagnosed with ADHD as a child.
Addieup relies on Nootropics and stimulants to increase oxygen supply to the brain and aid in nerve growth. Because it is a natural supplement, Addieup is commonly searched for by people who need the benefits and want to get it legally without having the need to acquire a prescription. The impressive list of ingredients is as follows:
- Choline – aids in the function of nerve endings
- Huperzia Serrata – supports focus and memory while protecting the brain from free radical damage
- Ginkgo Biloba – antioxidant that enhances attention, cognition and memory
- Caffeine Anhydrous – heightens alertness and keeps drowsiness from happening
- Yerba Mate – aside from being a stimulation, this also has 24 vitamins and minerals and works as an antioxidant, too.
- Guarana – improves cognitive ability, boosts energy and endurance
- DMAA from geranium oil – energy booster
The suggested dosage of Addieup is 1 to 3 capsules daily, not taking more than 3 within a 24 hour period. People who have used Addieup say that it is a very effective nootropic supplement. Take a look at some of the pros and cons according to Addieup reviews:
- Increased focus and mental clarity
- Ease in bouncing back from tasks
- The effects last for hours
- No hard burnout or crash after use because there are less stimulants
- Reasonable price and money back guarantee
- Has natural ingredients
- Available over the counter
- Takes about 1 hour to kick in
- You need to drink a lot of water since there can be a feeling of dehydration
- The exact percentage or amounts of ingredients are not stated on the label
- It is not commonly sold in stores
- Minimal to no adverse side effects
Focus Factor Review
Focus Factor supplement is an over the counter product that is available at several local drugstores. Focus Factor is not just for ADHD, but is considered as a supplement for brain health because of the antioxidants, botanical extracts, vitamins, and minerals included in its list of ingredients. The combination is said to boost concentration and aid memory. The formula looks something like this:
- Vitamins A, C, D, and E
- Vitamins B6 and B2
- Bacopin – to improve adult memory health
- Huperzine A and Phosphatidyl Serine – improve memory in patients with dementia
- Choline – aid in neurotransmitter communication
- Vinpocetine – boosts cognition in extended periods of time
4 Focus Factor tablets are to be taken in the morning as a recommended dosage.
The question now is does Focus Factor really work?
Focus Factor is more of a multivitamin that boosts brain health and it does not promise miraculous changes in IQ or ADHD condition. On that note, here are the pros and cons of Focus Factor:
- Great for maintaining good cognitive function
- Available in local drugstores without need for prescription
- Reasonably priced
- The ingredient list does not include the exact amount of effective nootropic components
- Very little feedback from users and clinical trials for the conditions such as ADHD or other cognitive concerns
Doxiderol is most popular with students as study pills. Doxiderol is manufactured by Mentils Laboratories and is marketed as a supplement that “works in five distinct ways to improve both short term and long term brain function”. Doxiderol’s list of ingredients is pretty short with just 7 key components for brain functioning:
- Caffeine – for alertness, energy, concentration and attention span
- L-Theanine – stimulate neurotransmitter function, reduce stress and anxiety
- Vinpocetine – alkaloid for increasing blood flow to the brain, thereby increasing motivation, focus and stamina
- Citicoline (CDP Choline) – for the synthesis of acetylcholine neurotransmitters; better neurotransmitter connections, better memory
- ALCAR (Acetyl-L-Carnitine) –amino acid for preventing brain deterioration that comes with age, improves reasoning and cognition
- Bacopa – traditional Ayurvedic treatment for short term and long term memory
Doxiderol reviews are somehow mixed, but here is a collated list of pros and cons:
- You can feel the effects quickly
- Good mood effect
- No reported adverse side effects of Doxiderol (e. burnout or crash in other supplements)
- Cheap compared to other supplements
- Is not habit-forming like Adderall
- No need for prescription
- Available online and can be shipped anywhere in the world
- Purely natural nootropic stack
- Not available in stores
- Must be stacked with Piracetam, Noopept and Adrafnil if you want stronger cognitive enhancement effects
This list of 5 is just one of the many Nootropics and supplements currently in production. Although none of them is exactly comparable to Adderall, the positive effects reported by users are quite impressive. Across the 5 alternatives to Adderall stated here, it is quite obvious that they all try to address the issue of possibly getting hooked on Adderall, which is why the ingredient lists of the supplements are more on the natural side. It is also a plus that the supplements are available without prescription. It has to be remembered though that these alternatives, although generally regarded as safe, do not have ample clinical trials to back them up and nor do they have FDA approvals. In addition, since most are available online, it is advisable to always obtain from a legitimate supplier to guarantee safety. It is always better to be safe than sorry, right?