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Phentermine vs Adderall: Top 7 Differences Unveiled in 2023


In this article, I will compare Phentermine and Adderall, two popular medications used for different purposes.

While Phentermine is primarily prescribed for weight loss, Adderall is commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Although they may seem similar, there are several key differences between these medications that are important to understand.

Let's dive into the top 7 differences between Phentermine and Adderall in 2023.

1. Purpose

Phentermine is primarily used as an appetite suppressant to aid in weight loss.

It works by stimulating the release of certain chemicals in the brain that help control appetite.

On the other hand, Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

It is commonly prescribed to manage symptoms of ADHD.

1.1 Phentermine for Weight Loss

Phentermine is often prescribed to individuals who are overweight or obese and have difficulty losing weight through diet and exercise alone.

It helps suppress appetite and can lead to weight loss when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

1.2 Adderall for ADHD

Adderall is primarily prescribed to individuals diagnosed with ADHD.

It helps improve focus, reduce impulsivity, and control hyperactivity.

It is commonly used in both children and adults to manage the symptoms of ADHD.

2. Chemical Composition

Phentermine and Adderall have different chemical compositions, which contribute to their varying effects on the body.

2.1 Phentermine

Phentermine is a sympathomimetic amine that stimulates the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that affects appetite control.

It is chemically similar to amphetamines but has a milder effect on the central nervous system.

2.2 Adderall

Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, both of which are central nervous system stimulants.

These substances increase the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which help improve focus and reduce hyperactivity.

3. Legal Status

The legal status of Phentermine and Adderall differs, which affects their availability and prescription requirements.

3.1 Phentermine

Phentermine is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

This means that it has a low potential for abuse and is available with a prescription from a healthcare professional.

3.2 Adderall

Adderall is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the DEA.

This classification indicates a higher potential for abuse compared to Phentermine.

It can only be obtained with a prescription and has stricter regulations surrounding its use and distribution.


4. Side Effects

Both Phentermine and Adderall can cause side effects, although the specific side effects may vary.

4.1 Phentermine

Common side effects of Phentermine include dry mouth, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, and restlessness.

It may also cause dizziness, headache, and gastrointestinal issues such as constipation or diarrhea.

4.2 Adderall

Adderall can cause side effects such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, and dry mouth.

It may also lead to nervousness, restlessness, and gastrointestinal issues.

In some cases, it can cause more severe side effects, including mood changes, hallucinations, and cardiovascular problems.

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5. Potential for Abuse

Both Phentermine and Adderall have the potential for abuse due to their stimulant properties.

5.1 Phentermine

While Phentermine is classified as a controlled substance, it has a lower potential for abuse compared to Adderall.

However, it can still be habit-forming if used improperly or for an extended period.

5.2 Adderall

Adderall has a higher potential for abuse due to its amphetamine content.

It is commonly misused as a study aid or for recreational purposes.

Prolonged and excessive use of Adderall can lead to dependence and addiction.

6. Prescription Requirements

The prescription requirements for Phentermine and Adderall differ based on their legal status.

6.1 Phentermine

Phentermine can be prescribed by a healthcare professional, typically a doctor or a licensed nurse practitioner.

The prescription is usually given to individuals who meet specific criteria, such as being overweight or obese and having difficulty losing weight through other methods.

6.2 Adderall

Adderall can only be prescribed by a healthcare professional who is authorized to prescribe controlled substances.

The prescription is typically given to individuals diagnosed with ADHD after a thorough evaluation and assessment.


7. Availability

The availability of Phentermine and Adderall may vary based on their legal status and prescription requirements.

7.1 Phentermine

Phentermine is available in various forms, including tablets and capsules, and can be obtained from pharmacies with a valid prescription.

It may also be available through online pharmacies, but caution should be exercised when purchasing medications online.

7.2 Adderall

Adderall is also available in tablet and capsule forms, but it is more tightly regulated due to its higher potential for abuse.

It can only be obtained from pharmacies with a valid prescription from an authorized healthcare professional.


In conclusion, Phentermine and Adderall are two medications with distinct differences.

Phentermine is primarily used for weight loss, while Adderall is prescribed for ADHD.

They have different chemical compositions, legal statuses, side effects, potential for abuse, prescription requirements, and availability.

It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine which medication is appropriate for your specific needs.

Remember to use medications as prescribed and follow the recommended guidelines to ensure safety and effectiveness.


Felix Skeen

Hi, I am Felix M. Skeen, a professional weight trainer and weight loss expert. I help people to stay fit and loose extra pounds through my vital tips and ideas shared on this blog. I have also reviewed various weight loss and fat burner supplements that you can check in my review section.

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