side effects

What are the long-term effects of Adderall?

  • Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts) is a medication that treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Adderall can cause short-term changes in blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Adderall can cause addiction, heart issues, slow growth in children, or mental health problems.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood medical conditions. It also affects 3 to 6 percent of adults. ADHD is treated with prescription stimulants like Adderall. In the United States, one study estimates that between 2015 and 2016, around sixteen million adults took prescription stimulants.

What do we know about Adderall’s long-term effects, given its widespread use? We’ll explain how Adderall is used, its side effects, and how you can talk to your doctor about any concerns.

Adderall: What is it, and how does It Work?

Adderall, a stimulant on prescription. Most commonly, it is prescribed to treat ADHD or Narcolepsy. Adderall increases the amount of certain chemicals within the brain. These chemicals, norepinephrine & dopamine, play a part in mood and attention. Norepinephrine affects attention and stress responses within the brain. Dopamine is responsible for complex thinking and our response to rewarding experiences. A higher level of these chemicals in the body may lead to increased alertness and energy.

What are the short-term side effects of Adderall?

Adderall may cause short-term side effects, including:

  • High blood pressure or racing heart
  • Anger, restlessness, or irritability
  • Dry Mouth
  • Sleep disorders
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle twitching
  • Changes in sexual drive or Erectile dysfunction

Includes more severe side effects in the short term.

  • Serious heart problems or sudden death
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Seizures
  • Blurred Vision

Do women and men experience different side effects?

In a survey of more than 2,700 young adults who take stimulant medication, men and women reported different side effects. Women reported more nausea, headaches, and loss of appetite. Men reported more sweating and a lower sexual drive.

Adderall and liver health

The liver and kidneys can break down Adderall. You may have higher levels of Adderall if you already have liver damage. Although some studies show that amphetamines can cause liver damage at high doses, prescription Adderall is unlikely to do so. Amphetamines used without a prescription are more likely to cause liver damage.

Adderall: Are there long-term side effects?

Adderall can have serious side effects if used for an extended period. These include dependence, heart problems, mental problems, and slow growth in children. Adderall is also thought to have less-studied effects, such as sexual side effects or dementia.

We’ll explore each of these possible long-term side effects of Adderall below.


Adderall is classified as a substance that must be controlled by medicine. Controlled substances have strict regulations because they can cause addiction or abuse.

Adderall tolerance can develop over time. The need to consume a substance at higher doses over some time to achieve desired effects is tolerance. Tolerance is not the same as addiction. Addiction can cause problems with your relationships, responsibilities, and health. Addiction is more likely to occur if you take Adderall other than because it was prescribed or if you take more than prescribed.

If you suddenly stop taking Adderall, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • The following are some of the ways to reduce your risk:
  • Changes in mood
  • More appetite than usual
  • You may feel more tired or sleepy than usual
  • Slow down your movements

Speak to your doctor before discontinuing Adderall.

Heart problems

Adderall can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Adderall can cause heart problems in healthy adults without cardiovascular disease ( heart disease). The chances of this happening are meager. If you already have a heart condition, it could be dangerous. Speak to your doctor before taking Adderall if you have high blood pressure or an abnormal heart rhythm. Call 911 if you experience chest pains after taking Adderall or a loss of consciousness.

Mental Health Problems

The FDA discovered in 2007 that some people reported mood or behavioral changes while taking prescription stimulants. The FDA looked at its database, the FDA adverse event reporting system, to determine how common it was. The FDA also asked prescription stimulant manufacturers to investigate this. In total, 49 studies have been analyzed. Eleven patients showed symptoms of (i.e., Delusions and hallucinations.

To avoid confusion, the labels of stimulant medications must warn that they may cause psychotic reactions. It can happen to people who have or do not have a mental health history. Adderall’s label warns of new mental problems such as mania or aggressive behavior. It is particularly concerning for children.

Slow growth

Adderall and other prescription stimulants can slow down growth in children. The results of different studies are mixed.

For example, a study examined the growth of 400 children and young adults taking prescription stimulants on average over six years. Researchers found that prescription stimulants slowed growth in those taking them. The dose of the medication was directly correlated with the amount of growth that occurred. Higher doses of stimulants slowed the growth rate.

Although this study showed a negligible effect on growth in childhood, the growth eventually normalized. Even if growth was slowed in childhood, the adults had average weight and height. If stimulants slowed growth, they returned to normal once stimulants were stopped.

Some specialists believe that it can detect any slowing in growth early, and changes can be made if needed. Talk to their pediatrician if you are concerned about your child’s growth.

Sexual side effects

In the prescribing information for Adderall, it is stated that Adderall can change sex desire. The drug can also lead to longer-lasting or more frequent erections and the inability to get an erection. Adderall can also increase blood pressure which may restrict blood flow. The restriction of blood flow in the penis can lead to erectile dysfunction.

Research on Adderall’s effect on sexual drive or function is minimal. The results of the few studies that we have are mixed. In the study, prescription stimulant users reported a loss of sexual drive. This side effect was more common in males than in females.


Adderall could lead to a decline in brain function in later life. Researchers have suggested that the brain’s wiring could change after taking stimulants for years. It could lead to a decline in the brain’s function with age (e.g., memory loss).

There is not enough research to determine if Adderall prescribed by a doctor, can cause dementia. It’s still important to keep in close contact with your doctor so that you can be closely monitored while on Adderall.

How can I tell if I need to stop taking Adderall, and how do I approach my doctor?

Contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing side effects. It is essential to contact your healthcare provider if you notice significant changes in blood pressure or heartbeat. Write down any changes you observe in your body following Adderall. You will be able to remember the side effects you want to talk about.

Speak to your doctor if you feel you are addicted to Adderall or if you take more than the prescribed dosage. You can get the help you need from your provider.


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