Precautions and Warnings With Amphetamine-Dextroamphetamine Extended Release
There are several precautions and warnings with amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release, such as those relating to a potential dependence on the medication, possible drug interactions, and the possibility of sudden death. Also, there are certain people who should avoid this drug, including those who have a heart condition, moderate-to-severe high blood pressure, or glaucoma.
Amphetamine-Dextroamphetamine Extended Release: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release (Adderall XR®) if you have:
- Heart problems of any kind
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Mental illness, including bipolar disorder and psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder)
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Tourette syndrome
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
- Glaucoma (a condition of the eye)
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
It's also important to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, antacids, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some Amphetamine-Dextroamphetamine Extended Release Warnings and Precautions
Patients taking this drug should keep the following warnings and precautions in mind:
- Amphetamines (including amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release) are often abused. Taking amphetamines for long lengths of time can lead to a dependence (see Adderall Abuse for more information). Because amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release is so commonly abused, there are special rules for prescribing it (see Adderall: A Controlled Substance for more information).
- Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Amphetamine-Dextroamphetamine Extended Release).
- Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that the medication may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Discuss the safety of this drug with your healthcare provider before using it during pregnancy (see Adderall and Pregnancy for more information).
- Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this. He or she can decide whether taking this drug while breastfeeding would be the best option for your particular situation.
- Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release may affect your ability to perform tasks that require complete concentration, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. It is recommended that you discuss this with your healthcare provider.
- In children with psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder), amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release can make psychotic symptoms, such as thought disorders and behavior problems, worse.
- There have been reports of priapism in people taking ADHD medications, including this one. This side effect is an abnormally long-lasting, painful erection and can cause serious, permanent damage to the penis. It can occur in males of any age. Young boys might not recognize this side effect, and males of any age might be hesitant to seek parental or medical attention, due to embarrassment. Prompt treatment is necessary to avoid damage.
Be especially on the lookout for this side effect whenever the dosage is increased or during a drug "holiday" or any other time when the drug is stopped.
- Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release may make bipolar symptoms worse, especially manic symptoms.
- In children and adolescents with heart problems, sudden death has been reported while taking normal doses of amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release. If your child has heart problems, talk with your healthcare provider about whether this drug is appropriate for your child's situation. Also, let your healthcare provider know if your child develops any chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.
- Sudden death, strokes, and heart attacks have also been reported in adults taking normal doses of amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release. This also seems to occur more often in adults with heart problems. If you have heart problems, discuss whether amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release is appropriate for your situation. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you develop any chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.
- Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. In most cases, the increase is small and does not cause problems. However, there is an increased risk for people who already have high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, certain irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or have recently had a heart attack.
- Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release can cause a temporary slowing of growth in children. This slowing of growth is usually small (less than an inch and less than two pounds), and children usually catch up to within normal limits in time.
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