• 2 months ago


    I am looking for advice on the difference between Adderall X-r and amphetamine salts XR. I was diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school and after trying multiple we found adderall worked best for me. I was on it through highschool but stopped my senior year. I recently started it again about a year ago at the age of 23. This time I have been taking only the generic brand amphetamine salts XR. I was prescribed a low dosage because I remembered it making me moody. Now I'm up to 30 mg and it has been working great . Recently my mom picked up my prescription and got adderall instead of generic. I haven't really slept but 2-3 hours a night since I started it a week ago. It doesn't matter how early I take it. It helps more on a daily basis than generic did, (and doesn't give me severe shoulder aches like generic did) but never seems to wear off at night like generic did. Can anyone tell me the difference? Or any advice on what I should do..

    Also, I'm living in Paris at the moment with no way to change or get a new medicine bc adderall doesn't exist here.


  • 2 months ago

    RE: ADHD

    There is no difference whatsoever. Must be placebo effect, or other factors.
      • 2 months ago
        Thanks for your response. Well I've read online that there have been a lot of cases where everyone who took both could tell a huge difference. Something about the main ingredient in adderall not being as strong in generic. Have you taken either of them?
      • I'm sorry but that is incorrect. I will post more in a separate response.
  • RE: ADHD

    HI there,

    Just to make sure I understand your question, these are the details:

    1. You have for the past year been taking the generic version of Adderall,
    amphetamine salts XR.

    2. Earlier in life, you took the brand Adderall and didn't like the side effects. The generic seems to not have the same side effects (but also not the same effectiveness)

    3. Now you report that your last prescription has been filled with the brand Adderall, instead of the generic you've been taking. As a result, you are feeling:

    --more moodiness
    --more adverse effects on sleep
    --but also more help in mitigating symptoms.

    4. You want to know if you're the only one experience differing responses from brand vs. generic.

    Did I get all that right?

    Here is my response:

    Brand and generic medications are NOT the same. PERIOD.

    I wrote a blog post to explain this commonly asked question:


    Here is an excerpt:

    Here are two key differences between brand and generics:

    1. Variable dose of effective ingredient:

    Bioequivalence does not mean true generics are exactly the same as brand. In the U.S., the FDA requires the bioequivalence for the generic product to be between 80% and 125% of the original product. Yes, that’s roughly 20 percent up or down—a huge window of variance.

    This variability alone can wreak havoc for the many people with ADHD. They might do best with a specific dosage; taking much more or less than that dosage is not as effective—and can even be very problematic. Especially when you’re not expecting it. And especially when you question the pharmacy about the different-looking pill and you’re told that generics are the exact same as brand. Wrong.

    For example, you and your prescribing physician have established that 30 mg of medication X is best for you. You’ve tried 40 mg and 20 mg, both to poor effect. It is 30 mg!

    Given this allowed ”bioequivalence” generic range of 80 to 125 percent, your generic pill could be anywhere from 24 mg to 37.5. Even that number will not be constant; it might vary each time the prescription is filled, because pharmacies often switcher suppliers.

    2. Different dyes, fill material, and binding

    Moreover, branded drugs and their true generics almost always contain different dyes, fillers, and binders. These are all ingredients to which many people are allergic or have other adverse reactions. (I cannot cite research to support it, but abundant anecdotal reports indicate that people with ADHD might be more prone to these sensitivities.)

    Imagine when your physician has no clue that the filler is the problem, not the medication—and not some additional condition, such as bi-polar disorder.

    Now, you say you are in Paris, where you cannot get a different prescription.

    (That might not entirely be true. ADHD treatment is very difficult to find in France, but I'm sure it's possible in Paris, if you have the cash. I don't know what medications are available there, though. France is one of the more backward European countries when it comes to ADHD.)

    You absolutely cannot continue with this pattern of sleep deprivation. That is dangerous and surely will not help your ADHD symptoms.

    You could try a lower dose of your brand Adderall and take it earlier in the day.

    Don't consume caffeine or tobacco.

    Avoid using electronics in the evening.

    Get exercise to help deal with anxiety.

    Ideally, you should be given trials of other options in stimulant. (There are many more now than when you were younger.) And you should be screened for co-existing anxiety and/or depression, both of which can be intensified by stimulants if not also managed with medication.

    Good luck!
    Gina Pera
      • 2 months ago
        Thank you Gina! That was very helpful. As far as my adderall goes now, I've been trying to wake up around 5am and take it. Then I lay back down to sleep for a few more hours. That way it can be out of my system earlier in the evenings. I have been taking melatonin as well so I have been sleeping better. I will say I have noticed a huge difference in my personality though..I am very antisocial towards my classmates at school. So much so, that they have all asked me about it when they barely know me. Does this mean I need to be on a lower dose when I go home?

        Yes I am in France now, and I have seen a doctor here. You are right, Europeans think ADHD is nonexistent. He basically told me that "people here don't take that they just get over it" or something along those lines. Which is frustrating when you deal with it forever. He says that I can make another appointment and he will put me on Ritalin. Do you have any advice on switching to that? I think I've tried that one when I was really young but obviously I didn't stay on it long until we decided on adderall. I don't remember it.
      • Hi,

        I'm glad my response was helpful.

        Yes, definitely, Adderall can create personality changes. I learned about this 20 years ago, with my own husband. I thought, "Is this the treatment? Seriously?"

        Then I started a support group for the partners of adults with ADHD, to see if they were having similar experiences. They were. There's a reason I call it Adderall.

        Thus my advocacy was launched.

        A primary reason for writing my first book was to help people get better results from medication. The MDs just weren't paying attention! Some still aren't.

        No one can predict if a person with ADHD will do better on an amphetamine stimulant (Vyvanse, Adderall, Dexedrine) or a methylphenidate stimulant (Ritalin, Focalin, Concerta, etc.). It's all down to neurogenetics.

        That's why a person should be given a trial of each.

        It would be worth your while to read my first book's chapter on medication. It's simply not available anywhere else. http://amzn.to/2y6EKlF

        So, the answer is, MAYBE Ritalin will work better for you. You should give it a try.

        Even though you tried it as a child, who knows what the dose was, how they were measuring efficacy, etc. Sometimes, it's little more than "throwing spaghetti at the wall." Not methodical. Random.

        It still might be that you have co-existing depression/anxiety (quite apart from ADHD fallout), and that should be treated medically as well.

        But first things first. Try the Ritalin and see. Start low, increase slowly.

        While you're waiting for that, try a lower dosage of the Adderall. If you can split the pill with a knife, etc.

        Bonne chance!