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The ultimate study drugs breakdown: What each one does and their side effects

So many pills

study drugs

Finals season tends to make everyone super on-edge. With so many tests and papers in such a short period of time, people start looking for help of the pharmaceutical kind. Study drugs look really appealing because students hope they’ll make it easier to cram harder and longer. We looked into a huge array of study drugs, their side effects, and how people tend to get them.

We looked at:

Adderall

Ritalin

Concerta

Focalin

Vyvanse

Armodafinil

Strattera

Bupropion

Daytrana

Noopept

Noofen

Limidax

Adderall

What it does: Treats people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What doctors look for: cannot notice small details, cannot focus on long tasks, easily distracted, impatience, fidgeting, extreme procrastination, and frequently interrupts people

What forms does it come in: Short-acting tablets (instants) and long lasting capsules (XR aka extended release)

How you can get it: Prescription, black market (buying from someone with a prescription), and online (these tend to be unreliable and shady at best)

You shouldn’t take it if you have: advanced arteriosclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, history of drug abuse, history of agitated states, glaucoma or are pregnant

Potential side effects: increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature and decreases sleep and appetite

Overdose symptoms: tremors, muscle twitches, rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and fainting

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Ritalin

What it does: treats ADHD and narcolepsy

What doctors look for: ADHD – cannot notice small details, cannot focus on long tasks, easily distracted, impatience, fidgeting, extreme procrastination, and frequently interrupts people

Narcolepsy – disconnected mentally, extreme lack of energy, depressed mood, cataplexy (loss of voluntary muscle control), sleep paralysis, and hallucinations

What forms does it come in: short-acting tablets and long lasting capsules, works faster than Adderall, but for a shorter period of time

How you can get it: prescription, black market, and online

You shouldn’t take it if you have: agitation, anxiety or tension, glaucoma, motor tics, Tourette’s syndrome, depression, bipolar disorder, circulation problems, will be drinking, or are pregnant

Side effects: trouble sleeping, lack of appetite, anxiety, headache, increased heart rate, signs of heart problems, signs of psychosis, signs of circulation problems, seizure, tics, changes in vision, long lasting erection, problems with the esophagus, stomach, or intestines

Overdose symptoms: confusion, hallucinations, and panic

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Concerta

What it does: treats ADHD and narcolepsy

What doctors look for: ADHD – cannot notice small details, cannot focus on long tasks, easily distracted, impatience, fidgeting, extreme procrastination, and frequently interrupts people

Narcolepsy – disconnected mentally, extreme lack of energy, depressed mood, cataplexy (loss of voluntary muscle control), sleep paralysis, and hallucinations

What forms does it come in: tablet

How people get it: prescription, black market, and online

You shouldn’t take it if you’ve got: glaucoma, tics, Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety, tension, agitation, seizures, epilepsy, depression and problems with the esophagus, stomach, or intestines

Side effects: irritability, hyperactivity, tiredness, increased anxiety, decreased heart rate, decreased appetite, weight loss, headache, trouble sleeping, and dizziness

Overdose symptoms: dry mouth, nausea, pounding heart, psychosis, sweating, hallucinations, delusions, mania and circulation problems

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Focalin

What it does: treats ADHD

What doctors look for: ADHD – cannot notice small details, cannot focus on long tasks, easily distracted, impatience, fidgeting, extreme procrastination, and frequently interrupts people

What forms does it come in: tablets

How people get it: prescription, black market, and online

You shouldn’t take it if you’ve got: glaucoma, tics, Tourette’s syndrome, severe anxiety, tension, agitation, psychosis, depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, circulation problems, seizures, epilepsy

Side effects: loss of appetite, stomach pain, headache, nausea, dizziness, and fever

Overdose symptoms: passing out, trouble breathing, light-headedness, and seizures

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Vyvanse

What it does: treats ADHD and binge-eating disorder

What doctors look for: ADHD – cannot notice small details, cannot focus on long tasks, easily distracted, impatience, fidgeting, extreme procrastination, and frequently interrupts people

Binge-eating disorder – eating large amounts of food in a set period of time, eating secretly, eating until you’re uncomfortably full, feeling guilty or depressed about eating habits, dieting without effect

What forms does it come in: capsules and tablets

How people get it: prescription, black market, and online

You shouldn’t take it if you’ve got: psychosis, depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, blood circulation, heart problems, or Parkinson’s disease

Side effects: dry mouth, loss of appetite, weight loss, sleep problems, fast heart rate, jittery, dizziness, anxious/irritable, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation

Overdose symptoms: restlessness, tremor, muscle twitches, rapid breath, hostility, violence, panic, muscle pain/weakness, dark urine, seizure, and coma

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Modafinil

What it does: treats sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and shift work sleep disorder

What doctors look for: Sleep apnea – waking up with a sore/dry throat, loud snoring, insomnia, lack of energy while awake, waking up choking or gasping for air

Narcolepsy – disconnected mentally, extreme lack of energy, depressed mood, cataplexy (loss of voluntary muscle control), sleep paralysis, and hallucinations

Shift work sleep disorder – feeling sleepy when you need to be awake/alert, lack of energy, lack of concentration, unfulfilling sleep, and insomnia

What forms does it come in: tablets

How people get it: prescriptions, black market, and online

You shouldn’t take it if you’ve got: depression, kidney disease, liver disease, pregnant, breast-feeding, or will be/have been drinking alcohol,

Side effects: headache, dizziness, back pain, upset stomach, sleep trouble, stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, chills, hallucinations

Overdose symptoms: agitation, nausea, diarrhea, fast heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and trouble sleeping

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Armodafinil

What it does: treats sleep apnea, night shift sleep disorder, and narcolepsy

What doctors look for: Sleep apnea – waking up with a sore/dry throat, loud snoring, insomnia, lack of energy while awake, waking up choking or gasping for air

Nigh shift sleep disorder – feeling sleepy when you need to be awake/alert, lack of energy, lack of concentration, unfulfilling sleep, and insomnia

Narcolepsy – disconnected mentally, extreme lack of energy, depressed mood, cataplexy (loss of voluntary muscle control), sleep paralysis, and hallucinations

What forms does it come in: tablets

How people get it: prescription, black market, and online

You shouldn’t take it if you’ve got: high blood pressure, heart/blood vessel disease, depression, are on birth control, blood thinners, or are/have been drinking

Side effects: nervousness, headache, and nausea

Overdose symptoms: anxiety, blurred vision, diarrhea, fainting, irritability, and fainting

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Strattera

What it does: treats ADHD

What doctors look for: ADHD – cannot notice small details, cannot focus on long tasks, easily distracted, impatience, fidgeting, extreme procrastination, and frequently interrupts people

What forms does it come in: capsules

How people get it: prescription, black market, and online

You shouldn’t take it if you’ve got: narrow-angle glaucoma, adrenal glad tumor, heart disease, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, depression, or liver problems

Side effects: cough, trouble sleeping, vomiting, nausea, fever, headache, or irritability

Overdose symptoms: rapid heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, itching, dark urine, swelling on hands or face, hallucination or seizures

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Bupropion

What it does: treats depression, help people quit smoking, and prevents seasonal affective disorder

What doctors look for: Depression – feelings of sadness, emptiness, guilt, hopelessness, lack of energy, lack of concentration, aches, and loss of interest in activities

Seasonal affective disorder – feeling depressed nearly everyday, low energy, trouble sleeping, feeling sluggish, changes in weight and appetite

What forms does it come in: tablets

How people get it: prescription, black market, and online

You shouldn’t take it if you’ve got: an eating disorder, take seizure medication or sedative, have seizures, and have suddenly stopped drinking alcohol

Side effects: dry mouth, stuffy nose, nausea, constipation, dizziness, and sleep trouble

Overdose symptoms: seizures, blurred vision, manic episode, “severe skin reaction,” shallow breathing, and fainting

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Daytrana

What it does: treats ADHD and narcolepsy

What doctors look for: ADHD – cannot notice small details, cannot focus on long tasks, easily distracted, impatience, fidgeting, extreme procrastination, and frequently interrupts people

Narcolepsy – disconnected mentally, extreme lack of energy, depressed mood, cataplexy (loss of voluntary muscle control), sleep paralysis, and hallucinations

What forms does it come in: skin patch

How people get it: prescription, black market, and online

You shouldn’t take it if you’ve got: glaucoma, tics, Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety, tension, agitation, skin disorder, depression, blood circulation problems, seizures, or epilepsy

Side effects: fast heartbeat, chest pain, fever, rash, hives, or joint pain

Overdose symptoms: anxiety, enlarged pupils, dark urine, diarrhea, sweating, pounding in the ear, tremors, or restlessness

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Noopept – Nootropic supplement

What it does:enhances memory and the learning process

What doctors look for: N/A

What forms does it come in: capsules

How people get it: online, in stores

You shouldn’t take it if you’ve got: N/A

Side effects: headaches, restlessness, dizziness, and irritability

Overdose symptoms: N/A

via GIPHY

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Noofen – Nootropic supplement

What it does: improves focus and productivity and decreases anxiety

What doctors look for: N/A

What forms does it come in: tablets

How people get it: online (not approved by the Food and Drug Administration)

You shouldn’t take it if you’ve got: N/A

Side effects: headaches, restlessness, dizziness, and irritability

Overdose symptoms: N/A

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Limidax – Nootropic supplement

What it does:support healthy, improved brain function

What doctors look for: N/A

What forms does it come in: pills

How people get it: online, in stores like Walmart

You shouldn’t take if you’ve got: N/A

Side effects: headaches, jitters, nausea, and lack of appetite

Overdose symptoms: N/A

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