Xanax is a benzodiazepine, while Adderall is a stimulant. Under the supervision of a doctor, the drugs may be safe to use together.

Benzodiazepines slow down activity in the central nervous system and can help a person feel more relaxed and less anxious. Stimulants, on the other hand, speed up central nervous system activity, helping a person feel more awake and focused.

Since these drugs have opposite effects on the central nervous system, they may work less well if a person takes them together.

It is not safe to combine Xanax (alprazolam) and Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts) without a prescription. Learn more about Adderall and Xanax, and how they may interact with each other, in this article.

Are Adderall and Xanax safe to take together?

A woman putting Adderall and Xanax into a medicine box
Adderall and Xanax might work less well when a person takes them together.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labels for Xanax and Adderall do not list interactions between these two drugs. No official guidelines recommend that people avoid taking Xanax and Adderall together.

Under the guidance of a doctor who has diagnosed a person with conditions for which each drug is appropriate, taking Xanax and Adderall together may be safe.

However, as with any other drug, these two medications may interact in harmful ways. This risk is especially so in those with serious medical conditions and anyone who use these drugs without a prescription.

A person who uses Adderall as a performance-enhancing drug might feel jittery or anxious, and they may take Xanax to calm their nerves. As the drugs have opposing effects on the central nervous system, neither drug may work as well.

Many younger adults use focus boosting drugs without a prescription to help them study and stay on track with work. However, new research suggests that such drugs bring healthy adults very few — and only short-lived — benefits while placing their cognitive health at risk in the long run.

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Taking focus enhancing drugs without a prescription could do more harm than good, new research shows.

"Adderall and other stimulants [...] are the perfect chemical accomplice in a society that prizes productivity above all else," notes a short article that featured last year in The Lancet.

Adderall is an amphetamine based drug that doctors prescribe to individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy — a condition that causes people to fall asleep suddenly, even in the middle of the day.

The manufacturers of this drug created it to allow people with these conditions to remain alert and focused. Increasingly, however, healthy young people have started procuring and using this and similar drugs as a way of "hacking" their brains to enhance performance while working or studying.

A 2016 study by researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD, found that in the United States, the nonprescribed use of Adderall had increased by 67% among young adults over approximately 6 years.

Yet, according to a new study by researchers from the University of California, Irvine, the nonmedical use of psychostimulants such as Adderall only brings short term benefits. The team found that in the long run, these drugs, in fact, negatively affect focus, working memory, and sleep quality, creating a vicious cycle.

People may pick their skin occasionally. For example, they might itch a scab or pop a pimple. However, occasional skin picking can develop into a chronic behavior called skin picking disorder, or excoriation disorder.

The exact cause of skin picking disorder remains unknown. That said, it may develop alongside other health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism.

Skin picking disorder can significantly impact a person's quality of life and overall health.

In this article, we discuss the potential causes and common treatments of skin picking.

What is skin picking disorder?

a woman with skin picking disorder
People with skin picking disorder may repeatedly pick at pimples, blisters, or scabs.

Skin picking disorder is a body focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) that affects about 1.4% of adults in the United States.

People with skin picking disorder may repeatedly pick, pull, or tear at healthy skin, pimples, blisters, or scabs.

Skin picking disorder occurs more frequently in females than males. Symptoms most often develop during adolescence and adulthood.

Symptoms of skin picking disorder include:

  • engaging in skin picking despite multiple attempts to address the behavior
  • developing recurring skin lesions or open wounds due to picking
  • experiencing significant psychological, physical, or social impairment as a result of skin picking

People may pick their skin for various reasons. Some may feel compelled to remove perceived imperfections, while others pick in response to stress, boredom, or out of habit.

In many ways, skin picking disorder is a repetitive or obsessive grooming behavior similar to other BFRBs, such as hair pulling and nail picking.

Skin picking behaviors can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours or several months, with periods of remission in between.

The Food and Drugs Administration have approved Strattera and Vyvanse to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults.

Strattera (atomoxetine) and Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) have different mechanisms of action to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Strattera is a nonstimulant drug while Vyvanse is a stimulant. There are some differences in their side effects, dosages, risks, and drug interactions.

This article looks at the similarities and differences between Strattera and Vyvanse to help people make decisions about treatment for ADHD.

What is Strattera?

strattera pills image credit gloom 2010
A doctor may prescribe Strattera to treat ADHD.
Image credit: gloom 2010

Atomoxetine, the active ingredient in Strattera, is the best known nonstimulant medication to treat ADHD.

Strattera is technically an antidepressant drug, which doctors classify as a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). Doctors prescribe other SNRI medications to treat depression, but they only prescribe Strattera to treat ADHD.

Strattera works by changing the way a person's brain uses norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter, or brain chemical. Norepinephrine affects a person's ability to pay attention. Strattera acts on this system to help improve a person's attention span.

Although nonstimulant medications, such as Strattera, are effective for treating ADHD, they do not work as well as stimulant drugs. They are, however, a better choice for people who do not tolerate stimulants well or have problems with anxiety, which stimulants can adversely affect.

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What is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse is a stimulant medication belonging to the amphetamine subgroup. Like Strattera, Vyvanse also affects how the brain uses neurotransmitters.

Stimulant medications are the first-line treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Common symptoms of ADHD include hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and difficulty paying attention.

Recently, researchers have been investigating several different supplements that may help alleviate ADHD symptoms.

In this article, we outline the research into some of the more promising hormone, dietary, and herbal supplements for ADHD.

Hormone, vitamin, and mineral supplements

a woman who takes Supplements for ADHD
Supplements may help counter mineral deficiencies that some ADHD medications cause.

Research shows that people with ADHD often have lower levels of certain vitamins and minerals. Despite this, there is currently no conclusive evidence that mineral deficiencies cause ADHD.

In some cases, vitamin and mineral deficiencies are a consequence of ADHD medication. For example, stimulant medications can suppress appetite, which can lead to a decrease in a person's nutrient intake.

Certain nutrient deficiencies may also worsen ADHD or cause symptoms that mimic the condition.

Researchers are investigating whether the following hormone, dietary, and herbal supplements are effective in treating ADHD:

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Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. It might be useful for the subset of children with ADHD who experts believe experience sleep disturbances.

In many cases, sleep disturbances are a side effect of stimulant medications that doctors prescribe to treat ADHD. Stimulants work by increasing activity in both the brain and central nervous system.

Although this often improves ADHD symptoms, it can lead to the following sleep problems:

  • difficulty getting to sleep and waking up
  • waking up throughout the night
  • daytime sleepiness

A 2019 study investigated the benefits of melatonin in children with ADHD who developed sleep problems as a result of taking the stimulant methylphenidate.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder. It often develops in early childhood and may continue into adulthood.

Research indicates that certain biological and environmental factors can trigger ADHD symptoms.

People with ADHD may experience a range of cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Common examples include hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention, and an inability to control impulsive behaviors.

In this article, we outline the various triggers and provide tips on how to manage or avoid them.

ADHD triggers

A range of lifestyle factors and situations can trigger ADHD symptoms, including:

Mineral deficiencies

A woman where Mineral deficiencies triggers her ADHD.
Mineral deficiencies may trigger inattentiveness and restlessness.

Appetite suppression is a common side effect of stimulant medications that doctors use to treat ADHD.

Appetite suppression can cause a person to consume less and possibly develop mineral deficiencies as a result, which may worsen ADHD symptoms.

Deficiencies in certain minerals, such as zinc, can also cause symptoms similar to those that occur in ADHD. Examples include inattentiveness, restlessness, and delayed cognitive development.

There is currently no conclusive evidence to suggest that mineral deficiencies cause ADHD. However, several studies have found that some children with ADHD have lower-than-normal zinc levels.

Some of these studies showed that zinc supplements could improve ADHD symptoms in children who were deficient in zinc.

Food additives

There is an ongoing debate as to whether certain food additives cause hyperactivity and other symptoms of ADHD.

According to a 2012 review, several studies have found a link between artificial food colors (AFCs) and ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.

The authors concluded that AFCs have a small but significant adverse effect on children's behavior, regardless of whether or not they have a diagnosis of ADHD.