Tween on Adderall, Pupils Dilated?

Updated on December 13, 2012
C.C. asks from Apex, NC
5 answers

Hi all, my 11 yr old is on Adderall for ADHD. We increased her dose from 5mg to 10mg about 2 weeks ago and her moods have been so extreme. Very happy and hyper one day and then super sad sometimes. I thought she was staying up past bedtime reading which I know this would make her super tired and cranky but she says she's not. Anyway, my biggest concern is that her pupils are dilated and they have been since yesterday. I didn't notice it until last night and they are still dilated this AM. Is this normal? I want to call the doctor but wanted your input before I send her to school. Please respond with feedback. Thanks!
Thank you so far for all your input. I am waiting for the doctor to call me back and will let you know what happens. :)

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answers from Sacramento on

Adderall has the nickname Maderall because of the moodiness and even rages it can cause.

As far as pupil dilation, I'd call the doctor on that. Our son has been on a variety of ADHD meds over the years, including Adderall, and I've never seen that happen. I've learned that anytime something seems strange or "off," it's worth a call to the doctor.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

The mood swings would concern me enough, but I would absolutely call her doctor. It's an amphetamine, so her pupils would react, but I would call, just to be on the safe side. If her mood swings are so drastic, that's sign enough she's not medicated right.

ETA: Google Adderall pupil dilation -- there's a ton out there on it. And on a side note, please be sure you're keeping a close watch on those pills. Adderall is one of the most commonly abused drugs teens have access to, and if you think 11/12 year olds don't do that, my niece started at 12 at a friend's house. Even if you trust your daughter, her friends may have different ideas.

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answers from Hartford on

Call your daughter's doctor. This is the sort of thing that your pediatric neurologist expects you to call her immediately about when there are any changes in the medications: behavior, mood, physical, appetite, sleep/wake cycle, illnesses, rashes since the med change.

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answers from Boise on

That must be painful for her.

What you need to know, is that there can be another option here.
ADD is a 'new' term for a disease called Addisons or Adrenal fatigue. 60 years ago, people with those symptoms were called Addisons patients. There was no such thing as ADD. ADD drugs increase some chemicals which the person is lacking because the ADRENAL GLAND is failing. When the adrenal gland fails, the body can eventually exaughst itself and go into a type of shock, organ damage occurs, etc, ,,,so instead of bandaging symptoms and covering them up, ask them to test her for Addisons disease or adrenal fatigue. They are basically the same thing; the gland no longer puts out cortisol, or aldosterone, or both. This causes little to no dopamine production. In fact, ALL the hormones and minerals are out of whack. It causes reactive hypoglycemia. Insulin resistance and blood sugar swings will cause a very moody person; aggitation, inability to cope, and getting upset over simple things. It causes lack of concentration, (in fact downright inability to concentrate due to extreme short term memory loss.) Aldosterone works on muscle control, so Low aldosterone keeps the eyes dialated and unable to dialate down to sheild them from bright lights. Florecent lights can make an Addisons person feel very sick. But they feel sick alot anyway. They will have nausea, (and vomiting when hormones get dangerosly low) chronic fatigue, inability to get out of bed in the morning, lack of ability to sleep at night, high teststerone (acne), low estrogen and progesterone, higher blood calcium and the tissues will retain potassium and release too much sodium (which causes a state of chronic dehdration) asthma, migraines, stomach pain, hip, knee and back pain, muscle pain, especially in legs after excercise, fainting and dizzy, food allergies andfood aversions of all kinds, metal skin allergies, sometimes cold hands /feet (raynauds), thyroid problems, brittle hair and possible excess hair in places like the back, upper lip. sideburns, etc.... migraines, bad breath from the out gassing of acidosis occuring at the tissue level, badfront teeth that are pushed back needing braces, jabbing pains in ribs, even so much more. Because the body is low in blood sugar, it causes the body to have to force itself to use the backup mechanism: adrenaline. The body tries desperately to maintain control and surival , it will tell the adrenal gland to pump out more adrenaline. This will help increase blood sugar. It is a flight or fight hormone. It will constrict viens and keep blood pressure up,(more blood in the brain= better memory recall) it will send blood to the muscles, increase oxygen, raise heart rate, raise ACTH in the pituitary,and increase adipose fat burning. Adrenaline acts on nearly all body tissues.So the body will use it to its advantage. But it is also very hard on the heart, so its not desirable. it would be better to have a drug that helps keep the original hormone (aldosterone/cortisol) or replaces it (Florinef and/or hydrocortisone).

It is a fact that they used to give a drug called adrenaline to people to treat low blood sugar.

Ritalin and Adderall work by increasing dopamine in the brain. See this:

You need to be very careful increasing any kind of substance (like adderral) that increases dopamine. High dopamine can cause skitzophrenia, phobia ,and parkingsons. That is why in the begining these drugs seem to work somewhat- i mean- the body has been starved of hormones for a long time. But soon the benefit starts to wane because it is not enough. There are hundreds and thousands of hormone /chemical triggers happening in the body all the time, and just raising dopamine is a start- but not enough. The treating physician's typical first response is to increase the dose. The typical second response is to add another drug on top of it. It can get increased again. Before you know it, the child can end up with 'serotinin syndrome', - a documented condition which is basically, poisoning.

You should have your daughter clinically tested for hypoglycemia, (they have to be monitored in a hospital for this) tested for Addisons, have a renin/aldosterone blood test done, see if she is wasting high amounts of sodium in the urine, Have a saliva cortisol test (not blood), and there are so many more tests. but this will get you on the right track at least.

Before they had man made stroids, they gave addisons people Licorice Root. I treat my child with Addisons with 2 caps of glycerized Licorice Root the minute she wakes. It helps "capture" the hormones from the adrenal gland and keeps them from getting metabolized too quickly. Eating salt and chasing it with water helps her also.She will take licorice again about 3-4 hrs later.
Please lookup some of these terms. If u have any questions mail me. Bless u,


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answers from Seattle on

ADD / ADHD IS NOT Addison's Disease. They are 2 wildly different disorders that have almost zero similarity. For a brief description of Addison's.

ADHD has always been around, its just that the DSM (diagnostic & Statistic Manual was only WRITTEN 50 years ago! Its had 4 revisions, and the 5the revision is due to come out soon. ADHD was originally named in the DSM-II. Like manic-depression became bipolar disorder... Names and definitions have changed. But ADHD didn't appear out of nowhere, and it was NEVER Addison's. Ever.

Pupil Dilation is a common side effect / tell of stimulants & hallucinogens
Pupil contraction is a common side effect of opiates.

Both usually only on higher doses, but done people are more sensitive / react stronger.

Mention it to his doctor.

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