Why do some people who consume Adderall also consume L-Tyrosine as an added supplement? Do they really synergize the effects of one another? Let’s take a closer look at these two supplements and find out why they are a great combination indeed.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a single-entity amphetamine product that combines the neutral sulfate salts of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, with the dextroisomer of amphetamine saccharate and d, l-amphetamine aspartate monohydrate. Since it is an amphetamine, Adderall acts as a Central Nervous System stimulant and is thought to block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine into the presynaptic neuron and therefore, increase the release of these monoamines into the extraneuronal space. 1
Moreover, Adderall is a prescription drug and is regarded as a controlled substance in the US. In other words, those interested in using the substance cannot just purchase it over the counter. Instead, they must obtain a legitimate prescription from their doctor and then proceed to purchasing it. Since Adderall use can lead to dependence and can potentially be abused, a prescription is absolutely necessary.
Adderall and ADHD
Adderall has been regarded as the mainstay medication for the treatment of ADHD. ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a chronic neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorder, considered to have neurobiologic origins. It is diagnosed on the basis of the number, severity, and duration of three clusters of behavioral problems: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is the most commonly diagnosed behavior disorder in children. ADHD was originally called minimal brain damage, then minimal brain dysfunction, and in the mid-1900s the term hyperkinetic reaction of childhood was given to the symptoms. It most commonly affects men and has a high rate of heritability.
Although the exact etiology of ADHD is unknown, a combination of organic, genetic and environmental factors is thought to be involved. A variety of factors put a child at risk for symptoms of ADHD:
- ADHD is seen more often in children who have family members with ADHD, especially the father, the brother or an uncle.
- There is also an increased incidence of substance abuse, conduct disorders, learning disabilities, depression, and antisocial personality disorder in families of children with ADHD.
- Chromosomal or genetic abnormalities such as fragile X syndrome have been implicated with ADHD. A sex-linked factor may be operating because the disorder is much more common in boys than girls.
- Other risk factors include exposure to toxins or medications, perinatal complications, chronic otitis media, head trauma, meningitis, neurologic infections, and mental disorders such as the affective disorders.
Pathophysiology of ADHD
The neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine are implicated in the pathophysiology of ADHD. In some children, there may be an absence or insufficiency of these neurotransmitters.
The preceding neurotransmitters normally occur in high concentrations in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in reward, risk taking, impulsivity, and mood. Norepinephrine modulates attention, arousal and mood.
- It is hypothesized that children who lack these neurotransmitters experience learning difficulties in reading, math, and language, and are prone to impulsivity.
- The fact that some children with ADHD display decreased symptoms in stressful situations (such as in the doctor’s or principal’s office) provides additional support for this theory, because stress increases the level of norepinephrine.
Another neurochemical theory suggests that:
- The symptoms result from an excess of norepinephrine and/or alteration in the reticular activating system of the midbrain, an area that controls consciousness and attention.
- This excess abnormality interferes with the function of filtering extraneous stimuli. Consequently, children are unable to focus on one stimulus and are compelled to respond to every stimulus in the environment.
Other theories suggest that symptoms of ADHD result from:
- Dysfunction in the brain circuits of the behavioral inhibition system
- Structural abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex, caudate, and thalamus
- A gene variant known to code for a receptor for dopamine. 2
Adderall may help a person with ADHD pay more attention, concentrate, and stop fidgeting.
What is L-Tyrosine?
Tyrosine is one of the nonessential amino acids in the body and is made from phenylalanine, another amino acid. It is regarded as the building block of protein and can be found in our diet, especially in dairy products, meats, eggs, fishes, and beans. Tyrosine is crucial for the brain’s neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine (for proper neuronal communication and regulation of mood). Tyrosine also aids in the production of melanin and in the proper functioning of organs responsible for making and regulating hormones. 3
Adderall and L-Tyrosine
At present, it is a common practice to take L-Tyrosine when using Adderall. This is mainly because Adderall may cause withdrawal reactions that L-Tyrosine may address. When taken in high doses or in a long duration of time, Adderall may cause severe tiredness, sleep problems, changes in mood and depression. Despite the benefits that Adderall provides, this medication may cause one to become dependent and addicted to it. 4
Adderall can intensify the release of neurotransmitters in the brain and can address problems such as ADHD however, when the storage of these neurotransmitters are used up, low feelings, exhaustion, and a reduced amount of energy the following day may result; this is referred to as Adderall Comedown. With this scenario, users may notice problems with focus and attentiveness, even more than people who have ADHD. L-Tyrosine on the other hand, can counteract this Adderall Crash. Since it acts as a pre-cursor to the preceding neurotransmitters, it can help replenish the levels of those chemicals. It is recommended that L-Tyrosine is taken the day after consuming Adderall, as it can prevent you from experiencing the after effects of Adderall or having the Adderall crash.
If you are supplementing you should definitely consider using Trackmystack as a “nootropic tracker” to manage the effectiveness of your medical stack. To see what others nootropics others are taking you can see the nootropic stack list here.
2 Silliman University Institute of Rehabilitative Sciences Book Compilation Batch 2014.