Overload

ADHD drugs

Category: Medicines

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

 

 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or AD/HD or ADD) is defined as a “developmental disorder characterized by the co-existence of attentional problems and hyperactivity, with each behavior occurring infrequently alone" and symptoms starting before seven years of age.

ADHD drugs were devised to treat ADHD.  I suggest you read the section on ADHD before you read more about these drugs as the background information is important.  The observations from Dr Marcia Angell may also be of interest.

ADHD drugs also have a reputation for producing hallucinations, which is why they are on the site.

 

The Drugs

 

All ADHD drugs are stimulants and  their action like many of the pharmaceuticals in this section can be hugely complex with multiple receptor activity, a number are reuptake inhibitors, some are release agents.

The number of reports being received of the side effects from taking ADHD drugs has increased over the years as they are prescribed more and more.  If we take but one example drug and the figures from the USA,  derived from Adverse Drug reports compiled by SEA and the FDA, this is what we get:

On Oct, 26, 2014: 11,151 people who reported to have side effects when taking Adderall are studied

 outcomes

 

Adderall is believed to work [sic] by increasing activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, namely norepinephrine and dopamine, which results from its interactions with trace amine associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) and vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2). ......  The most common side effects are cardiovascular, such as irregular heartbeat (usually as a fast heartbeat), and psychological, such as anxiety. Much larger doses of Adderall are likely to impair cognitive function and induce rapid muscle breakdown. Substance dependence (i.e., addiction) is a serious risk of Adderall use.  It is possible for Adderall to result in psychosis (e.g., delusions and paranoia) .

And from eHealthme and the actual reports

insects are common in hallucinations caused by drugs

Most common side effects by gender  :

Female Male
Nausea Drug Ineffective
Depression Aggression
Fatigue Fatigue
Pain Depression
Anxiety Insomnia
Headache Abnormal Behaviour
Drug Ineffective Nausea
Insomnia Anxiety
Dizziness Suicidal Ideation
Weight Increased Somnolence

The degree of aggression now prevalent on message boards, youtube, blogs and so on - largely from young lads, can probably be explained by the effects of these drugs - that and the lead poisoning.

Other side-effects from the eHealthme website from the surveys they do

I take both Adderall and effexor to treat ADHD and anxiety/depression. I have taken both for years but Adderall longer. My ability to hold an erection and to experience an orgasm has decreased

There are however a host of other side effects that have been reported, for example [again from eHealthme, the spelling is as it was on the post]

I've been taking a aderol xr 20 mg (not the name brand ones a non generic). And maybe 3 days later my testicals started to hurt. Was wondering if aderol can cause epididymitis

and

Posted by LuckytobeAlive on Dec, 19, 2013 at 1:25 am:  Who:
Age: 42   Gender: female
Conditions: Cardiomyopathy, Cardiac Arrest
Medications: Adderall Xr 20
Details:
38 year old mother of four, non smoking, no drugs, 5'6" 135 pounds, active healthy lifestyle, Family History of heart disease, only medications taken were Adderall XR 20 1 time per day from 2007-2009. I w0uld love to take part of any study to find out if the Adderall has any relation to the cardiac arrest.

 

Death

One perhaps under reported side effect of ADHD drugs is death - the ultimate spiritual experience of all. 

Again here are the statistics from the eHealthme site:

  • On Oct, 22, 2014: 18,414 people reported to have side effects when taking Strattera. Among them, 62 people (0.34%) have Death.
  •  On Oct, 28, 2014: 1,141 people reported to have side effects when taking Focalin. Among them, 7 people (0.61%) have Death.
  •  On Oct, 26, 2014: 11,103 people reported to have side effects when taking Adderall. Among them, 77 people (0.69%) have Death.
  •  On Oct, 28, 2014: 5,559 people reported to have side effects when taking Vyvanse. Among them, 30 people (0.54%) have Death
  •  On Oct, 31, 2014: 9,685 people reported to have side effects when taking Ritalin. Among them, 132 people (1.36%) have Death.

 That seems to me a lot of children [and adults] who have died just because they may have been bored out of their tree by the school curricula, and the teacher then reported them; an unnecessarily harsh punishment - don't you think?.......

How it works

 

Giving a child a stimulant, when in the first place ADHD [from what one can gather from the man who invented the term] does not exist as an illness at all, and in the second place where the 'symptoms' have little to do with body chemistry, is essentially poisoning them and thus all the hallucinations and experiences in this list are produced by poisoning.

It should be noted that overdosing on these classes of drugs can result in permanent brain damage, endothelial dysfunction in the long term and heart problems as well as cardiac arrest, presumably the child quietens down a bit once its poor little brain is so damaged, it can’t think anymore.

see also Amphetamines and stimulants for more details - most of these drugs are  amphetamines or stimulants.

 

Observations

The number of hallucinations  - involuntary spiritual experiences – caused by these drugs is shown in the table below following the name; the figures were derived from SEDA figures on the eHealthme web site and were correct as at 2011.  In some cases the EROWID web site is referenced as there are more details of the experiences and side effects on this site, often with examples.

As you can see the grand total is 795.

I have provided a link through to the eHealthme web site so that you can see an up-to-date list of all the side effects of each drug and a curent number of hallucinations

Observation identifiers

Observation name

No of hallucinations

001511

Strattera

154

001512

Focalin

18

001513

Adderall

121

001514

Vyvanse

62

001515

Ritalin

430

001516

Pemoline

10

 

TOTAL

795

[Note Mesocarb (Sidnocarb, Sydnocarb) - was developed in the USSR in the 1970s. Its structure is a little different from others in this list, but it is essentially similar in action.  It is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, used to counteract the sedative effects of benzodiazepine drugs [uppers and downers] “increase workload capacity and cardiovascular function”, treat ADHD and hyperactivity in children, and as a drug to enhance resistance to extremely cold temperatures, I could find no figures for any hallucinations, but then it is not used in the USA where my figures come from].

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2011; 7: 31–38.  Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with monoamine amino acid precursors and organic cation transporter assay interpretation - Marty Hinz,1 Alvin Stein,2 Robert Neff,3 Robert Weinberg,4 and Thomas Uncini5

A large meta-analysis (n = 171,756) published in 2007 involving the review of 303 literature articles placed the worldwide pooled incidence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at 5.29%. However, this review suggested that geographic location plays only a limited role in the reasons for the large variability of ADHD/hyperactivity disorder prevalence estimates worldwide……
The diagnosis of ADHD is dependent upon meeting the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria in the areas of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity which negatively affect performance in school and work, as well as in relationships with others…. .
In response, the pharmaceutical industry has demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that certain drugs … meet FDA efficacy standards. Examples of these drugs include neutral sulfate salts of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, methylphenidate,dexmethylphenidate, atomextine, and lisdexamfetamine dimesylate.
Side effects and adverse reactions associated with ADHD prescription medications are significant, serious, and potentially life-threatening. The following is a limited list of these events associated with the ADHD group of drugs as a whole, ….

  • Black box warning of increased risk of suicidal ideation
  • Severe liver injury
  • Sudden death in cases with pre-existing structural cardiac abnormalities or other serious heart problems
  • Risk of stroke and myocardial infarction
  • Exacerbation of symptoms of behavior disturbance and thought disorder in patients with a pre-existing psychotic disorder
  • Induction of mixed/manic episodes
  • Treatment by stimulants at usual doses can cause emergent psychotic or manic symptoms, eg, hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania in children and adolescents without prior history of psychotic illness or mania
  • Amphetamines may impair the ability of the patient to engage in potentially hazardous activities such as operating machinery or vehicles
  • Higher incidence of infection, photosensitivity reaction, constipation, tooth disorders, emotional liability, decreased libido, somnolence, speech disorder, palpitation, twitching, dyspnea, sweating, dysmenorrhea, and impotence
  • Integument disorders including, but not limited to, urticaria, rash, and hypersensitivity reactions, including angioedema and anaphylaxis; serious skin rashes, including Stevens Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • Lowering of seizure threshold
  • Increased aggression and hostility
  • Contraindicated in patients with marked anxiety, tension, and agitation, because the drugs may aggravate these symptoms
  • Risk of drug dependence
  • Development of leukopenia and/or anemia.

These drugs do not increase the total number of neurotransmitter molecules in the central nervous system. Their primary mechanism of action is thought to be reuptake inhibition /releasing agents which set up conditions that move neurotransmitters from one place to another.

Related observations