In with a history of a heart defect

In my
research of psychotropic drugs, I chose two that I knew a little about through
some friends and family members taking them. I’ve learned through observing
these people and research that psychotropic drugs can be very helpful but can
also come with some serious side effects.

The first
medicine that I studied about was Adderall. I chose to study about this
medicine because I have a younger cousin that has been prescribed this medicine
to suppress the symptoms of ADHD. He seems to do well on it though the side
effects of this medicine are very evident in him.

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Adderall is
one of the most popular name brand medications for children and adults that
suffer with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is also
occasionally prescribed by doctors to treat narcolepsy.

Approved by
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1960, Adderall has since been used to
treat the symptoms of ADHD by increasing the attention span of the patients and
helping them control their daily activities. It also eases the symptoms of
narcolepsy by preventing the sudden attacks of daytime sleepiness.

Adderall is
classified as a central nervous system stimulant. The drug works by stimulating
brain activity and increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. It has
proven to ease symptoms by helping the patient focus on every day tasks and
calm them down significantly.

Though this
drug can be very helpful to those that need it, the side effects could be life threatening.
The list of common side effects of this drug includes nervousness, dizziness,
restlessness, headache, stomach ache, decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, dry
mouth, weight loss, constipation, diarrhea, and loss of interest in sex. More
serious side effects include seizures, chest pain, severe weakness or numbness,
uncontrolled movements or voice sounds, changes in vision, and trouble
breathing. Adderall can also increase the risk of stroke, high blood pressure,
and heart problems.

Before
prescribing this drug, doctors must check children for any heart problems. Any
child with a history of a heart defect or heart problems can be put at risk for
sudden death if the drug is taken.  One
should consult a doctor before taking Adderall if they are pregnant or over the
age of 65. The drug should never be taken while breastfeeding.

Adderall can
also increase the risk of other mental health problems.  Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and
other aggressive, violent, and unusual behaviors are common side effects of
this drug. It can also cause hallucinations and the patient believing things
that are not real.

A rapidly
increasing amount of children and teenagers are being diagnosed with ADHD,
which has resulted in the growing number of Adderall prescriptions. However,
Adderall has become readily available to those seeking to abuse it. Doctors
have been known to prescribe Adderall to patients who have not been diagnosed
with ADHD or narcolepsy. Studies show that prescriptions for ADHD medications
have increased by over 45 percent between 2002 and 2010. In 2010, the total
number of Adderall prescriptions has topped 18 million. Young people without
ADHD are taking this drug to get better grades in school, and putting
themselves at risk for some potentially deadly side effects. This drug has
worked its way up to being one of the top drugs used by college students. This
“smart pill” is believed to increase learning ability, but is really not a help
to those who do not suffer from ADHD.

Those who
take Adderall regularly can easily become addicted. Those who have a history of
abusing drugs or alcohol are at higher risk of an addiction.