7 Surprising Facts About the Invention of Adderall

When it comes to treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), one of the most popular medications is Adderall. While many people think this medication was created relatively recently, the surprising truth is that it has been around for over 90 years. Here are some facts about the invention of Adderall that may surprise you.

OTC Alternatives

Before delving into the history of Adderall, it’s important to note that there are OTC alternatives available for those who don’t want to take such a powerful prescription drug. Natural remedies like GABA and L-Theanine have both been proven effective in reducing anxiety, while herbal supplements like passionflower and lemon balm can help to reduce stress levels and improve focus.

1. Originally intended as an appetite suppressant

Adderall first came onto the market in 1936 as an appetite suppressant – not as a treatment for ADHD or any other mental health problem. It was developed by chemists at Smith, Kline & French – now GlaxoSmithKline – who wanted to create a stimulant similar to ephedrine but without its dangerous side effects. The drug was prescribed for weight loss, giving patients more energy and suppressing their appetite.

2. Wasn’t used for ADHD until 1996

It wasn’t until 1996 that Adderall was approved by the FDA for the treatment of ADHD symptoms in children 6 years and older. This approval made Adderall one of the first drugs specifically designed to treat ADHD, but it wasn’t until 2002 that it became widely used, thanks to extensive marketing campaigns by its manufacturer, Shire Pharmaceuticals Inc, to find psychiatrists and pediatricians willing to prescribe it off-label for adults with ADHD or narcolepsy.

3. Its name is an acronym

The name “Adderall” is actually an acronym made up of two words: Alpha-Methylphenethylamine (or AMPEA) and Dextroamphetamine Sulphate (or DAS). These two ingredients were combined with lactose filler when the drug was originally formulated in 1939 to make what we know today as ‘Adderall XR.’ According to Shire Pharmaceuticals, they chose this particular acronym because they wanted something simple yet memorable so that doctors could easily remember what type of medication they were prescribing to their patients with ADHD or narcolepsy symptoms.

4. It has been dubbed “The Boundless Pill.”

For many college students struggling with exams and sleepless nights studying, Adderall has become something of a miracle pill – helping them stay focused for longer than ever before and increasing productivity exponentially – earning it nicknames like “the limitless pill” among students on campuses everywhere! However, despite its popularity amongst students seeking an academic edge over their peers, experts warn against the recreational use of this drug, as long-term use has been linked to serious medical conditions such as addiction or even psychosis if misused or taken in large doses over a long period of time without proper supervision or guidance from a doctor!

5. It is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America

According to statistics compiled by IMS Health in 2014, sales figures showed that around 40 million prescriptions were filled annually in the US alone – making Adderall one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America! What’s more, analysts predict that total global sales will exceed $10 billion a year by 2020!

6. It is highly addictive

With its ability to increase alertness whilst also decreasing feelings of fatigue, its no wonder why many people have become addicted to taking this drug regularly just so they can feel normal every day – resulting in huge risks attached, such as dopamine deficiency caused by prolonged use leading to serious physical problems including cardiovascular problems down the line!

7. Its side effects can be serious.

Despite being highly effective when taken correctly under medical supervision, side effects experienced after taking Adderall, especially long term, can range anywhere from headaches all the way through insomnia, increased heart rate & blood pressure right up to seizures depending on the individual’s body chemistry!


Overall, it is clear why Adderal has been so successful since its invention nearly 90 years ago; however, caution must always be exercised when using this medication due to potential risks associated with misuse!