Adderall Dosage

Adderall is often prescribed for patients with Narcolepsy and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Examinations are conducted to determine if certain behavioral disorders are the result of a chemical imbalance that can be managed with Adderall. Prescribed Adderall dosage depends on a number of factors, including disease, age and other medical conditions.

Indications and Usage for Adderall

There is no standard examination for the prescription of Adderall. Doctors will test multiple factors throughout the patient's history to determine if the drug is necessary. A doctor may wish to observe the patient at work or school to see how easily distracted, fidgety, and forgetful the patient tends to be. They will also check if these symptoms were present before age 7 to determine if a chemical imbalance is the underlying cause of the behavior. Typically, Adderall will be administered if at least six warning signs for ADHD are regularly present in the patient for a period of at least six months.

Adderall should be taken each morning. Doses are usually administered in low amounts until the doctor can evaluate how the patient reacts to the medication. Taking Adderall regularly in the evening often leads to insomnia. If you notice significant insomnia in the patient, talk to your doctor about adjusting the dose to help alleviate these symptoms. In rare cases, there have even been allergic reactions to the drug.

Recommended Adderall Dosage

Adderall dosage will vary greatly depending on a multitude of factors. Doctors will consider any existing medications or illnesses that may impact the effects of the medication. This is particularly relevant if the patient is taking any other medications that may counteract the effects of Adderall, such as other medications prescribed for psychological conditions.

Adderall dosage will also vary based on the age of the patient and whether or not it is being used to treat ADHD or Narcolepsy. Patients over 12 years of age will typically be given 5 mg once or twice a day for their first dose. This will be increased as necessary until the doctor determines the appropriate level to maintain a normal attention span. Doses must be taken as soon as the patient wakes up in the morning and may then be administered in 4-6 hour intervals as necessary. Doses will occasionally be interrupted so the doctor can observe whether or not symptoms return to an extent that requires continued medical intervention.

Those being treated for Narcolepsy will also typically start with a small dose, though these doses are larger than those for ADHD. Patients over 12 usually begin with 10 mg daily, and increments will be increased weekly until the optimum dosage for the patient is determined. Narcolepsy patients see a significantly increased risk for insomnia, so it is vital that patients start their dosage as soon as they wake up in the morning. Those who struggle seriously with sleep issues or those who develop anorexia should contact their doctor immediately to adjust their dose.

Table 1: Adderall Dosage


3-5 years of age

6 through 12

12 and older


2.5 mg daily

5 mg once or twice daily, increased as necessary

5 mg-40 mg in divided doses every 4 to 6 hours



5 mg daily

10-60 mg daily in divided doses every 4-6 hours

Minimum Effective Dose and Tolerable Upper Intake Level

The minimum effective dose for the treatment of ADHD is 2.5 mg daily. This may be increased to up to 40 mg per day in divided doses. In very rare circumstances, a doctor may decide to increase this dosage above the 40 mg a day, but this should never be done without supervision and careful analysis of potential risk. The minimum effective dose for the treatment of Narcolepsy is also 5 mg per day. The tolerable upper intake level is 60 mg per day in divided doses.

Dose for Children, Seniors, and Patients with Liver or Kidney Problems

Children under the age of 3 should NOT be given Adderall. Those between the ages of 3 and 5 should be limited to 2.5 mg per day, or in weekly intervals. Your doctor will determine which is more appropriate depending on the severity of the ADHD in the child. Children 6 and older will usually begin with 5 mg in weekly intervals, which will be increased as necessary. Young children are rarely diagnosed with Narcolepsy.

There is no specific risk associated with prescribing Adderall to seniors. However, the medication does tend to have a decreased effect on symptoms over time. This increases the likelihood that seniors who have used the drug for many years will not see the same results that they once did. Adderall users also have an increased risk of seeing side effects if the medication is taken with conflicting prescriptions. This is especially relevant to those with heart, liver, kidney, or thyroid issues. Those with mental issues including mania, bipolar, or depression are also at risk for taking conflicting prescriptions.