Adderall and Adderall XR are prescription drugs with powerful blends of four amphetamines that include Dexedrine and Benzedrine. Amphetamines (with common street names such as “uppers” or “speed”) once were available over the counter (OTC). In 1971, amphetamines were taken off the approved list of OTC medications in the U.S. through the Controlled Substances Act, when they became Schedule II drugs. They can now only be obtained legally only by prescription.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires a “black box” warning on all amphetamines, including Adderall and Adderall XR, which means that these drugs can cause serious or even life-threatening adverse effects.

All active-duty Military Service Members must undergo a urinalysis at least once a year to test for the presence of any controlled substances, including amphetamines such as Adderall. The Medical Review Officer will report whether use is legitimate (that is, by prescription) versus not legitimate (abuse) if you test positive for amphetamines. Since Adderall can cause a positive drug test, be careful not to share it or any other prescription medications with friends or family members. For more information on drug testing, please see OPSS’s “Drug testing and dietary supplements.” We also suggest reading FDA’s medication guide for Adderall.

Updated 27 February 2019

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