Adderall side effects can be difficult at first but then taper slowly. Most side effects may go away within the first few weeks, but some may last long term.
What is Adderall
Adderall is a substance that acts on the central nervous system to treat many of the symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD. The most prominent symptoms are generally associated with inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity.
When used to treat the effects of ADHD, Adderall can be prescribed to children as young as 3. However, Adderall is also prescribed to patients 6 and older that need medication to alleviate daytime sleepiness that is associated with a diagnosis of narcolepsy. The reason it is able to function in this dual capacity is that the primary active ingredients in all formulations of Adderall are amphetamine salts.
How Does Adderall Work?
Since Adderall is based on a formulation of amphetamine salts, it is considered to be a stimulant of significant potency. Like many other stimulant medications, these stimulating effects can take their toll on the body and brain. While prescription use is often monitored and evaluated periodically, misuse can still happen, and Adderall is also bought and sold on the street just like any other drug.
Adderall can create drug dependence relatively simply, due to how the amphetamines affect the individual’s brain chemistry and central nervous system. When the drug is used in accordance with the orders of the doctor or healthcare professional, there is only a small risk of dependency. However, when misused and abused, the amphetamines can cause significant damage to the pleasure centers, reward pathways, and more.
Once this psychological and physical dependency has been established, it can be incredibly hard to break, and will often require professional treatment to achieve long-term recovery.
Side Effects of Adderall
Like most pharmaceuticals, Adderall comes with a significant range of side effects, both common, serious, and otherwise. This list of side effects cannot be exhaustive, but it will give you a clear image of what the potential is for side effects when taking Adderall.
Common Side Effects
The most common side-effects of taking Adderall, and while not all of them will be visible immediately, many will be obvious to people close to the individual struggling with addiction. The specific effects will differ from person to person, but the common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Sleep disruption or insomnia
- Nervousness, anxiety, or panic
- Emotional instability, frequent mood swings, or other emotional side-effects
- Irritation, agitation, or even anger
- Lack of energy or fatigue
Serious Side Effects
There are some relatively serious side effects that can occur if you’re taking Adderall. The first is the effect on the cardiovascular system, including high blood pressure and elevated heart rate. While in many people this may not be much of an issue, for those with preexisting conditions or other medical issues, it can be far riskier.
Other serious side effects that can be experienced during short and long-term use, even with prescribed dosages, include:
- The development or worsening of mental health issues, including symptoms of psychosis
- Damage to blood vessels
- Changes or deterioration of eyesight
- The rare but potentially-fatal condition of Serotonin Syndrome
- Inhibition of growth in both children and adolescents
- Allergic reactions that can be severe
Other Side Effects
Other side effects of Adderall can include a significant reduction in sex drive and libido. In some cases, the use of amphetamines can even contribute to erectile dysfunction. In up to 4% of patients, both symptoms may be experienced. Other medications can help treat ADHD or narcolepsy without the potential sexual side effects, but they may have other side effects that are significant enough to warrant avoidance.
How Long Do Adderall Side Effects Last?
Many people on Adderall wonder how long Adderall side effects last, and the answer is that they are generally temporary and will fade with more consistent and scheduled use. Some side effects will not go away even once the system has become acclimated to the effects of the drug, and will persist until the patient stops taking Adderall.
In younger patients, such as children and adolescents, some of the side effects that restrict growth may become permanent if the drug is not discontinued in time. While there has been some concern that Adderall use can lead to abuse of other drugs, there is little to support that concern, and usage aligned with the orders of a health professional generally won’t lead to any additional substance or drug use.
Tips to Reduce the Side Effects of Adderall
Here are some tips on how you can reduce the impact of the side effects caused by Adderall.
You can fight dry mouth by making sure you stay well-hydrated. If you want to keep a more convenient option handy, keep a package of throat lozenges
This is another one that can be fought by staying hydrated. It can also happen when you take Adderall on an empty stomach. The worst ones happen when the Adderall wears off, which can be avoided by changing the time you take your medication.
Loss Of Appetite
The best suggestion for dealing with the loss of appetite is to try and eat outside of the time that you take your medication. If you find you aren’t hungry for dinner, for example, wait until your Adderall wears off, and you may find yourself suddenly hungry.
Both of these are the likely result of your dosage being just slightly off. Discuss the symptoms with your doctor and they may adjust your dosage or schedule.
Getting Help for Adderall Misuse
If you or someone you know may be misusing an Adderall prescription, getting professional help is essential, because quitting cold turkey can be dangerous. Professional rehab and recovery facilities will help you build the toolkit you need to help maintain your sobriety for many years to come. Reach out today to discuss your treatment needs in a confidential setting.