Difference Between Adderall And Amphetamine Salts


I was recently diagnosed with Adult ADD and have been prescribed Amphetamine Salts (Generic for Adderall) for a few months now. The initial dosage was one 10mg tablet/ three times a day and recently my Doctor upped the dosage to one 30mg tablet/ twice a day. I know that overall this has been very beneficial for me but I cant help but wonder if the generic brand (IR Amphetamine Salts) has less of the active ingredient, and more unnecessary side effects(irritability, fatigue). I know that while the active ingredients are likely to be the same, the "fillers" usually are not and even the active ingredients can vary up to 10%. I also know that everybody reacts differently depending on their bodies' make-up as well as the drugs and I have always reacted sensitively to any kind of drug. The more I "google" the more I want to stay away from the generic form. Also- almost every pharmacy around has little to no Adderall Brand IR tablets in stock, they only have the generic brands and possibly Adderall brand but only the Extended-Release. My Doctor seems to firmly believe that there is no difference between Adderall XR and Adderall IR, and because she prescribed me the generic form (Amphetamine Salts), she probably doesn't see a difference there either. I don't have the time to ask 10 doctors what they think so if anyone has any information or experiences please share! Thank you!

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Hi Lissa,

Your thoughts are on the right track here!

I find it to be true that certain "inactive" ingredients which may or may not be present in each brand, are actually detrimental to how the drug is metabolized and used by your body. Because everyone is different, your body may respond favorably with one medication and not the other, due to how you feel or based on whatever side effects present themselves.

When you switch brand names or manufacturers, the drug itself doesn't change, but rather the binders or fillers that they put with it. This is where the primary difference lies.

In this case, we know that Adderall contains the salt combo (Amphetamine + Dextroamphetamine). And to my understanding, Adderall is just the proprietary brand name and Mixed Amphetamine Salts is the active ingredient and thus, the generic name.

Here is an article that may also have some reassuring information on this topic:

I know my thoughts are scattered a bit in this reply, but I hope it helps to answer your question!

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there is no difference, adderall is aphetamine; also known as speed. it is a highly addictive and powerful psychoactive drug that for most people causes more problems than it solves, like all illegal and controlled substances. trust me, adderall is no joke and should never be used by minors. the only real medical use it has is for narcoleptics who fall asleep while standing at the bus stop, otherwise it should only be prescribed under the most severe of circumstrances, like xanax. we all the know that age old story. at first people use drugs for harmless fun, or to solve some issue they are having in their life, soon they need the drug, and after awhile, they need more and more until they realize the drug has caused them more problems and all they wish is to be off the drug. they stop taking the drug and they are never the same again, and they realize they wasted years of their life on the drug. and no, this is not hyperbolie and im not being pretentious. i'm not exaggerating, adderall is in league with cocaine and methamphetamine, stop taking it. i know what im talking about kido

Editor's note: this post has been demoted due to multiple complaints.

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Yes there is a huge difference. I was taking the brand name adderall XR and was perfectly happy. I could focus and I felt great. Then I lost my insurance and now i'm on generic IR and I'm miserable. I'm depressed, cant focus and have no energy or desire to do anything. also gained 15lbs in one month to boot. My advice, get some insurance. Margarite, people need this drug to function. "If you are stupid, its because god made you that way" Are you kidding me? First off there is no god! and second of all who are you to play doctor?

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Celeste- thank you for the advice! I switched to brand name adderall for a month then decided to try Vyvanse for a few reasons- The lack of side effects complaints and the difference between the active ingredients. I have found that Vyvanse, because it is absorbed differently than Adderall, helps me to concentrate and feel normally alert (I still get to drink my coffee in the morning without having a heart attack). With adderall and the generic form I felt more jittery and aware of the drug as opposed to Vyvanse where I now feel like myself, only better able to battle my ADD. Knowing we are all very different and our bodies respond differently to these drugs I would still suggest looking into Vyvanse. Finding the right treatment plan is definitely a process and you will most certainly become frustrated and perhaps want to give up. Don't! Also- don't feel like you need to "suck it up" and deal with the negative side effects because your Doctor prescribes you a certain dosage of a certain drug. The process of finding the perfect treatment plan can be difficult, but usually worth it in the end.

Margarita- Adderall contains a mixture of amphetamine salts and dextroamphetamine salts. Amphetamine aspartate and amphetamine sulfate are DERIVATIVES of amphetamine and are designed to slowly release as your body digests the drug (hence the "EXTENDED RELEASE"). "Speed" is slang. It is casually used to describe the drug category of "uppers", which include anything from ritalin to cocaine, to meth. My point is- this slang term you're so easily throwing around can include both legal and illegal substances. If you would like to use the term "speed" to describe Adderall and/or Vyvanse then that is absolutely accurate but there is no need for attaching negative connotation. This is a place where people go for advice and help.

Also- xanax in the lowest dosage is very helpful for people who have anxiety. Taking a drug because of experienced uncontrollable and unpleasant feelings that are affecting your daily life cannot and should not be compared to an abuser, buying whatever from whoever illegally, and shoving them up their nose. We are all responsible for our actions and we are also responsible for sharing our stories and experiences in order to help others. For those of us that are trying to better ourselves, whether it be through drug therapy or any other therapy, cheers and good luck to us all:-)

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Hi Lisa,

I tried Vyvance first because low income people with no insurance can get it free of charge through Shire (have you checked into this) Shire makes both Vyvance and Adderall but you cant get the Adderall. Makes no sense. I wasnt it on it a week and it was awful. Not only did it help none of my symptoms but it made them 10 times worst. I am going back to the brand adderall xr and will try only taking one a day (235.00/mo) instead of 2 (470.00/mo) and somehow figure out how to pay for it. I'm glad the Vyvance worked for you.

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Woah Margarita,,!! I do not appreciate the way you used the label "stupid" while referring to the affects of someone with ADD. Do you know anything at all about ADHD to be giving any advise about medicating or controlling it? Do you know that ADD is at times VERY detrimental and doesn't make people "stupid" as you suggest. You are on the addictions bandwagon and need to get off while it isn't appropriate here at this time.

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Sorry about the post, but Margarita angered me. She has no Idea what she is talking about. Using her logic, people born with type I diabetes should not take insulin and just die because that's the way "god" made them? Cancer patients should avoid treatment because "god" decided to give them cancer? I suppose the entire medical profession should be abandoned because of this "god" she speaks of. I suffer from Adult ADHD and take stimulant medications, quite successfully I might add, and I am FAR from stupid. I also have Panic Disorder, and take 8mg of Xanax a day with NO problems. I suppose I should spend the rest of my life curled up in the fetal position because that's the way "god" made me too. Why don't you walk a mile in someones shoes before you even fathom the idea of judging them, and once you have, make the decision to NOT judge. You will be a better person for it.

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In response to Margarita-
I am a 26 year old female with two post-grad degrees in extremely competitive, "intensely" challenging fields. I had been diagnosed with ADHD at a very young age and, because my mother was against such meds at Adderall, I was forced to struggle through school. At times I found it impossible, yet still managed to graduate high school at 16, college at 20. I didn't start taking the medication until after college because I couldn't focus at work, my body wasn't able to stay still, etc. The words you posted are not only ignorant and untrue, but mean spirited and down right rude. Yes, the drug can be addictive to those who don't need it but that can be said about MOST drugs. Most drugs, if not taken as prescribed (and for actual diagnosed disorders) can ruin a life. You shouldnt be so ignorant and completely misinformed before writing such plain stupidity on an open forum, with whom intentions are to be helpful and informative. I will never allow myself to fall into a category of "stupidity" because I was born with a chemical imbalance. My IQ is probably 3x's yours just going off your post alone. So, with all this said, please don't group all human beings together. Doing so only makes yourself look as though your born "not smart." You probably have had your own life or one close to you effected by this drug and I can understand why you would react that way but, as an adult, it is your responsibility to be mature and realize that it probably ruined yours or a close ones life because it wasnt taken properly or for a real disorder. That's no ones fault but your own. Not the drug itself. For people like myself, with ADHD, it does what its supposed to and nothing more. So maybe go back to whatever ignorant life you have and start reading up on your pharmaceuticals.

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I doubt your IQ is 3x anyone's. You would either be the smartest person to ever live or the rest of us would be turnips. Calm down, its the internet. Let other people be ignorant because you cannot force them to be otherwise. Aside from that you raise good points and its very impressive you were able to accomplish what you have despite your hindrance and family's lack of support.

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Sounds like an abuser

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I mean Margarta sounds like an abuser. My heart goes to all those struggling with ADHA.

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Of course my IQ isn't actually 3x's anyone's... I was obviously exaggerating to get my point across. Yes, this is the Internet and yes, people can have their own opinions. For that very same reason I felt as tho I needed to say something in response to a person, such as Margarita, that feels the need to put myself, or anyone else who struggles with this disorder, into a group labeled as "addicts." This forum is supposed to be a place to come and discuss questions and/or comments about medical disorders. Not to belittle or degrade others. It's hard enough to deal with ADHD or for anyone with any type of out-of-the-ordinary behavioral characteristics, without others putting you down. I just was venting and apologize if it offended you. I have just had enough of people ignorantly commenting on issues they most certainly know nothing about. And thank you for your kind words about my accomplishments. They did not, and still don't, come easy.
Take care

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Thank you for your insight!! I, too have found the "inactive" ingredients in adderoll and, actually most other medications I've taken, metabolize way differently than described. Those same ingredients that are supposed to be "inactive" definitely feel "active" with the way my body breaks them down. I've asked a few others I know taking the same meds, as well as more than just one psychiatrist, and every doctor has a different answer.. Every person taking them also have different answers to how it effects them. Thanks for your post.. Glad its not just me!

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I am taking the same thing as well and I have noticed the same results as well I use to take adderall the real adderall and now I'm taking the generic brand and I noticed a big difference in the last 2 months so there is something wrong with this medication there has to be something done about that s order needs to be another decision by the doctors offices. I know my insurance don't pay for adderall at all but I have to pay 137 dollars for the generic so I wonder is it worth paying 137 dollarsfor this medication because I am really tired and it seems like I do not do anything right I have ADHD and my daughter has been for scrapping this medicine to me since I was 13 so what is wrong with his medicationbad he. my wife even notice a difference in my attitude in my performance with her and my children as well with work

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I agree this is one of the more serious and dangerus drugs out there and should be used with extream caution but I disagree about I helping inprove the quality of ouyr life I am extreamly dyslexic. The amount out energy I have to use at work double and triple checking every thing I do is exhausting but with a small amout ofm the aderall I make is less exhausting and and easier to do allmthe trick I have learnd over the years to hide my dyslexia from my co worker is stead themthink they think the opposite and concered me to be one ofm the most thuro and accurate workern they know no adderall will not salve you problems or make them go away put will help u deal with them better

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After years of struggling with what I have come to realize is ADD, I have finally done something about it. I'm about to take the generic version of Adderal for the very first time. Some recent mistakes at my job could have been life threatening to my patients. All my life I've heard things like..."ADD is a form of mental retardation....ADD is all in the persons head.....if you think you have ADD then you're just being stupid...etc." Since that situation happened at work I've done some intense research. See, when ever I have taken Vivarin I've been totally focused and not at all forgetful. Turns out Vivarin is a brain stimulant. So I looked up that which took me to links for Adderal....which we know is for ADD. So I talked to my Dr. today and he said from everything I've told him .....which I told him everything since I was like 12, now 42..he agreed that this is the problem. I'm going to try this and hopefully it will solve that. If it doesn't work, then I will have to take a different approach. But I tell you, medication that affects the brain scares the HECK out of me. I know now I'm not stupid and I do NOT have any form of mental retardation. ADD is a LOT more common than people realize; like me, maybe many MANY others are just afraid to admit it for fear that some will think they have mental issues.

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That is very true and one more thing its everywhere now it's very scary thank god I stoped

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That has nothing to do with generic or brand name. That is in the ER/IR change. ER meaning extended release-being released into your body throughout the day, and IR meaning immediate release, the medication is all released immediately (as your stomach dissolves the pill/capsule).

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I was diagnosed with adhd 3 months ago I never even knew what that signs were but my Dr started me out on 30 mg vyvanse at first it seemed to be working I noticed I was able to focus a lot different than I had been. But after about 2weeks I began staying sleepy. I would get up in the morning and be fine well rested then eat breakfast and take my medicine and go about my day. Well it takes 2hrs for the full effect and as soon as it began to kick in I became so sleepy and didn't understand y. So I told my Dr and he had no answers. So rather than taking me off and trying another he increased my mgs to 40 once a day in the am so I began taking it and I became even worse so bad in fact I fell asleep behind the wheel going to take my Mom to the Dr she said I was talking one minute and then I just went out. So I called the Dr and told him and again nothing no answers so today I went to him told him everything about the side effects I was having and he basically made me as if I were crazy or uneducated so I had to literally tell him about my physical that I had bc of me being tired constantly I was concerned something was wrong but all my tests come back normal and he still didn't want to change me but he did he put me on the generic adderall. Amphetamine salts 15mgs and specifically added that the highest dosage. For adults is 20mgs and hes full of it I think he's just saying that BC hes pissed at me bc I won't allow him to treat my daughter anymore BC I had to admit her to a behavioral facility and she had to have a 72hr evaluation. My daughter has bipolarism and has and is currently taking a mood stabilizer called lamictal 200mgs once in the morning then after 6 months now he wanted to treat her adhd and added 30mg vyvanse and it caused my daughter to have a manic break and he told me that the meds had nothing to do with it the Dr who treated her in the hospital said it was without doubt the medicine. He said u never put a child with bipolarism and on a mood stabilizer on a stimulate so he took her off and she has been fine again herself thank God so I worry BC what happens if I have other problems bc I do I also have anxiety and panic attacks and when we discussed that issue he made it very clear it was either control the adhd or the anxiety not both but yes he put my baby girl on 2 without hesitation Idk what I should do in this situation bc he's supposed to talk with nope in and out maybe 15 minutes

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Hello All,

I'm a 28 year old male recently diagnosed with adult ADHD while my son was sitting through a questionnaire (he was also diagnosed). At the expense of sounding like a hypochondriac, it opened my eyes to what I've ignored all my life. I've learned to deal with my focus and attention issues by being (sometimes brashly) outgoing, and I've been very successful with school and work because I learned to move from subject to subject and topic and topic to accomplish tasks. I was just prescribed Amphetamine Salts ER 10mg two times daily, and I'm very nervous about taking them. Some of the postings here have made me feel better, and my doctor is very good and attentive, which also makes me feel better. I still have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind asking, "Do I really need this", despite the fact that I KNOW it will help. My question is, did everybody feel like this when starting? Also, I'm extremely reluctant to start my 6 year old on anything, but logically (after perusing a seemingly infinite amount of case studies) I know it will help him. Sarah, you're post in particular along with my own childhood experiences made me feel as though I'd be hindering him if I don't help, but that doesn't stop me from feeling extremely reluctant. Does anyone have any experience with prescribing children? If so, I'd appreciate any input. Thank you all for sharing your information and stories! It's been extremely helpful.

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Re: David (# 1) Expand Referenced Message

I’m taking D-Amphetamine and this past year has been terrible and recently I believe that I was in withdrawal !!! This country has really turned a blind eye to this problem and I don’t see anyone coming to rescue us !!!

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Re: Cyr (# 679) Expand Referenced Message

My point exactly. These medications are controlled, all C2 's should be the same. We should be confident these are manufactured correctly. Our DEA pushes their weight and authority around but falls short in controlling quality and now quantity. As important as pharmaceuticals are to everyone from doctors, pharmacist and the consumer, this should be done exactly right!

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Re: Jan (# 680) Expand Referenced Message

I was diagnosed with ADHD years ago. My comments in a previous comment reflect what I've experienced in our Adderall and generics for many years now. These medications can work very well for most of us with this condition. My insurance no longer covers Brand, I use what generic I'm dispensed. During this shortage your pharmacist can no longer order a specific manufacturer with any hopes of receiving it. These Amphetamine Salts should be manufactured with consistent quality. This can be accomplished with stricter standards on all ingredients. Active also binding buffers used.

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Re: Jan (# 680) Expand Referenced Message

I agree with Jan on this subject, if the government is going to control our medication they should follow through with what goes into these medicatios. Adderall for one, there's a dozen different manufacturers, formulations are all different and it shows in the way they work in our body's. Once approved little attention is provided for how their made. Brand name and generics are as different as night and day. The same is true with generics. To much flexibility is allowed, 20% is huge. Each should have the same % active ingredient as well as binders used. Patients need not hope what they are dispensed will work for them. With stricter standards these medications would all work the same within 2 %. Theirs way to much prescription medication in our Pharmacys that are Sub Standard !!

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Re: Margarita (# 2) Expand Referenced Message

Find somewhere else to talk out of your ass.

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Re: Celeste G. (# 3) Expand Referenced Message

YES, There IS a God. His name is Jesus the One True God. Who came to earth became God made flesh. He loves YOU! You must not deny Him. You have nothing to lose to believe in Him and be wrong when you die, but you have everything to gain when you did, because He does exist. Jesus loves you, His Mother loves you, the angels love you, and the time is upon us where food will be scarce. Pray and Jesus will get it for you

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We need the meds. No one is watching the pharmaceutical companies. There needs to be strict government oversight and regulations like the FDA to watch what fillers are added. I almost died taking a generic adderall from Malinkrot pharmacy.

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Re: Soontobeadoctor (# 675) Expand Referenced Message

Camber is the worst generic Adderall. There is an entire topic on how bad it is. Having said that, I am glad it works fine for you.

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Re: Sarah (# 12) Expand Referenced Message

Exactly what You said. Actually it had helped Me in My addiction. I didn’t know what was wrong . I have a WONDERFUL DR.

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I absolutely agree these generics are trash. They didn’t use to be but the have definitely changed.

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