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Adderall Bipolar

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Health professionals believe that taking Adderall can contribute to Adderall bipolar disorder, or heightened or increased bipolar behavior in bipolar patients-- Adderall is also prescribed to people to treat bipolar disorder. Currently, Adderall bipolar attorneys are investigating Adderall bipolar lawsuits.


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Adderall Bipolar Disorder

If you have been prescribed Adderall off label for bipolar disorder you may have a claim against Shire, the Adderall manufacturer. Some health professionals believe that Adderall should not be used to treat patients with bipolar disorder: If the medication is taken during a manic stage of the condition they could go into Adderall psychosis, which can be very dangerous, both to themselves and others.

Adderall bipolar attorneys are investigating safety concerns regarding an increased rate of bipolar disorder in patients currently taking Adderall. As well, research indicates an increased severity of Adderall bipolar side effects in individuals with a past history of Adderall use for ADHD in childhood (American Journal of Psychiatry 163 (7).

Adderall for ADHD

Adderall is a dextroamphetamine/amphetamine composite medication that was first marketed for weight loss more than 30 years ago. The FDA approved Adderall in 1996 for treatment of ADHD in adults and children aged three and over.

Ritalin and Adderall

The most commonly prescribed drugs to treat children diagnosed with ADHD and other disorders are either the "amphetamine-like" methylphenidate, such as Ritalin, or actual amphetamines (Adderall is a mix of amphetamine salts and very similar to Ritalin). These amphetamines are believed to boost levels of dopamine in the brain, which helps the ADHD and bipolar patient to focus.

Methylphenidate, (brand name Ritalin) is an amphetamine derivative and potent central nervous system stimulant that can lead to a psychosis from chronic use.

Edmund S. Higgins, clinical associate professor of family medicine and psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina states, "Methylphenidate has a chemical structure similar to that of cocaine and acts on the brain in a very similar way."

Both Ritalin and Adderall go to brain cells and stop them from taking up dopamine and norepinephrine—chemicals associated with focus, motivation and pleasure. Adderall takes this process one step further: it goes inside the brain cells and causes them to pump out dopamine. It therefore blocks the reuptake of the substance and also acts to increase its levels directly, which means it is a stronger medication than Ritalin in some regards and is usually prescribed about 1/2 that of Ritalin.

(Ritalin' widespread use has resulted in a number of lawsuits claiming that ADHD is being over diagnosed to boost Ritalin sales to children who are simply unruly. More recently, Ritalin's potential for abuse in public schools is so high that US House Judiciary Chair Henry Hyde recently filed a request with the General Accounting Office to conduct an investigation.)

Adderall Bipolar Addiction

People suffering from bipolar disorder can become attracted to amphetamines such as Adderall because these medications keep the bipolar patient up in the "manic"state, which is naturally preferable to the down or "depressive"state. Therefore the mania itself becomes addicting. (Manic Depressive, which comes from the words mania and depression, is similar to bipolar disorder.)

One blogger writes:
    "My husband is bipolar and was prescribed Adderall by his doctor. He complained of mood changes and aggression…He subsequently suffered a psychotic episode."

Bipolar Children and Adderall

The rate of psychotic symptoms that first appear during stimulant treatment was published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 2, Issue 3, Ethical Human Sciences and Services. A 5-year study of 192 children diagnosed with ADHD showed that psychotic symptoms developed in more than 9 percent of the 98 children treated with methylphenidate. According to the researchers, "The symptoms ceased as soon as the medication was removed". No psychotic symptoms were reported among the children with ADHD who did not receive stimulants. The psychotic symptoms caused by methylphenidate included hallucinations and paranoia. The authors conclude that, due to poor reporting, the rate of stimulant-induced psychosis and psychotic symptoms was probably much higher. The researchers reported that when these children developed depression, delusions, hallucinations, paranoid fears and other drug-induced reactions while taking stimulants, their physicians mistakenly concluded that the children suffered from "clinical depression," "schizophrenia" or "bipolar disorder" that has been "unmasked" by the medications.

According to, ADHD medication does not cause bipolar disorder, but ADHD medications "can make pre-existing manic symptoms worse". The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) says that in rare instances, these medications "may also cause manic episodes or behavior. If your child becomes manic or overly irritable while taking ADHD medication, contact your child' doctor immediately".

However, The New York Times reported that AACAP expert Russell Barkley, Ph.D., receives or has received research support, and acted as a consultant and/or served on a speaker' bureau for Shire Pharmaceuticals Group—the maker of Adderall.

Shire Pharmaceuticals states the following Contraindications on its Adderall label:
  • Bipolar Illness
    Particular care should be taken in using stimulants to treat ADHD patients with comorbid bipolar disorder because of concern for possible induction of mixed/manic episode in such patients. Prior to initiating treatment with a stimulant, patients with comorbid depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for bipolar disorder; such screening should include a detailed psychiatric history, including a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, and depression.

  • Emergence of New Psychotic or Manic Symptoms
    Treatment-emergent psychotic or manic symptoms, e.g., hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania in children and adolescents without prior history of psychotic illness or mania can be caused by stimulants at usual doses.
In the treatment of ADHD for children and young adults, Adderall XR is often prescribed as a first-line drug. "This is, in my opinion, a very serious mistake," saidJack M. Gorman, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and deputy director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

The FDA Advisory Panel has recommended Black Box Warnings for Adderall and other ADHD/ADD Drugs.

Adderall Bipolar Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered damages in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a Adderall lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.

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Adderall Too Easy to Prescribe, Led to Jail Time
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August 7, 2013
Burbank, WA Rocky tried Adderall and liked it, it made him feel better. That pretty much sums up all he said to a doctor at a walk-in clinic to get a prescription for the stimulant. Six months later he had a “psychotic episode” that landed him behind bars on more than one occasion [READ MORE]

From Caffeine Pills to Adderall
From Caffeine Pills to Adderall
July 14, 2013
Norfolk, VA When Steve was an undergraduate, he started taking caffeine pills and says his grades got a whole lot better - from C’s to A’s. So it is no surprise that he took a psychiatrist’s advice and took Adderall [READ MORE]


Posted by
Kara Williams
My son has been taking Adderall off and on for years. He was prescribed the medication for ADD/ADHD starting in 3rd grade. He's now 24 and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia affective disorder (combined with bipoloar). He's no longer taking Adderall but has had symptoms of hallucinations & paranoia to the point he's been hospitalized for 10 days at a time and lives with us full time. He's behavior took a sudden change around the age of 14 and has been out of control since. We originally thought it was a drug problem and it's took years to get a true diagnosis that I'm wondering if Adderall contributed to his condition. We've had to file for disability and not able to work.

Posted by

Posted by
David bisher
Please help!

Posted by
Worsening of bipolar disorder and panic disorder, anxiety, and permanent side effects such as tics, paranoia, insomnia, and delusions.


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