Adderall Side Effects – Not as Scary as They Sound

The drug Adderall functions as a concentration booster by enhancing the effects of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Adderall is consist of the component: amphetamine, which is the main element that stimulates the central nervous system. The drug is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It’s used to manage symptoms of hyperactivity and improve alertness and attentiveness. Adderall is primarily prescribed to treat the ‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder’ (ADHD) and ‘Narcolepsy’. The drug is very strong and is likely to cause side effects in patients. It also has a high potential of abuse. Patients’ dependence on the drug can cause addiction, and for this reason, Adderall is a controlled substance. The drug is not recommended for use without prescriptions or outside the span of doctors’ supervision.

unwanted effects

Adderall does not come free of side effects, and in any form of usage, there are side effects that persist regardless. These effects vary from short term and long term use, prescription-based use, and non-prescription based use. There are also withdrawal effects that carry unpleasant symptoms, as well as emergency symptoms which warrant contacting your doctor immediately.

Short-Term Side Effects

Using Adderall for short periods, as prescribed by your physician – positively counteracts ADHD and Narcolepsy symptoms. But even when taken according to the prescription doses, which are relatively low doses, the patient can still experience negative effects. These side effects include:

  • Troubled sleep
  • Suppression of appetite
  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Cardiac issues (potentially dangerous)

Long-Term Side Effects

Long-term effects occur when a person has been taking Adderall as part of a routine over an extended period of time. These effects result from having an increased level of neurotransmitters in the brain. A person, therefore, may exhibit the following physical effects:

  • Stress
  • Headaches and sweating
  • Depression
  • Hostility
  • Paranoia

It is important to know that in children, the long-term use of this drug can inhibit growth due to appetite suppression.

Withdrawal Side Effects

As you prepare to withdraw taking Adderall, you’ll likely face withdrawal effects, especially if you’ve been taking Adderall for a prolonged period of time. At present, there are no specifically designed methods to assist users with the withdrawal process, but some doctors do recommend antidepressants temporarily to manage some of the psychological effects included below:

  • Feeling low energy levels
  • Feeling disorientation
  • Feeling an increased appetite
  • Suffering from a loss of balance and motivation

In addition to these effects, many Adderall users have reported intense cravings. It should be noted that while in most cases these effects don’t signify a medical emergency, they can be difficult to ward off. Many rehab centers provide a duration of Adderall detox in order to minimize the discomfort felt from these symptoms.

Crash Side Effects

Abruptly disrupting the continual intake of Adderall results in a crash. If you have decided to stop taking Adderall, you must visit your doctor and talk to him first. Stopping suddenly causes a crash that has unpleasant symptoms. Adderall being a stimulant, wears off, leaving you feeling disconnected and disoriented at best. Some of the crash symptoms you can experience are included below:

  • An intense craving for the stimulant
  • Insomnia or a disturbed sleep pattern
  • Sluggish behavior
  • Intense hunger
  • Panic attacks
  • Fatigue
  • Either Anxiety or irritability or both
  • Unhappiness
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Nausea

High Doses Side Effects

Consuming high doses of Adderall is chronic intoxication. Although it can cause euphoria and excitement, it highly leads to addiction. Addictive use of Adderall leads to many different side effects as aforementioned, but even over a short-term use Adderall in high content causes a person to experience discomfort in the form of the following symptoms:

  • Insomnia/lack of sleep
  • Severe skin rash or dermatosis
  • Hyperactivity
  • Changes in disposition
  • Changes in personality
  • Irritability

The use of Adderall has been reported to cause psychosis and sudden cardiac arrest in extreme cases. These effects can also occur at normal doses, but the likelihood increases with the dosage.

Adverse effects of Adderall should not be dismissed as harmless but should be addressed seriously by drawing your care provider’s attention to them as soon as possible. However, despite this warning, Adderall abuse is common among many students and individuals without ADHD or related disorders that medically necessitate its use.

According to SAMHSA’s National Survey, it was found that a 6.4 percentage represented full-time college students who used Adderall without prescriptions and for nonmedical purposes. Other studies have reported the percentage to be closer to 30 percent of college students ingesting Adderall for other purposes. has more information if you’re interested.