How does Adderall XR treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Diana K. Blythe, MD
Adderall XR is one type of stimulant medication used to treat ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The XR refers to the extended release version that allows the Adderall work throughout the day, rather than all at once. Some people only need one pill daily because the extended release version lasts long enough to finish the school or work day.

Scientists aren’t completely sure how Adderall XR treats attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Somehow the active ingredients in Adderall XR alter brain chemicals, which affects behavior and attention span. Even though the exact mechanism of Adderall XR isn’t understood, the medication is proven to help adults, teenagers, and children who have ADHD pay attention and sit still.