Woman with braid, presumably with ADHD or an Adderall Addiction is looking out over a wooden fence at a mountain range.
Renaissance Recovery logo

By: Renaissance Recovery

Clinically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated:


Authored By: Joe Gilmore

Table of Contents

Adderall is a drug widely prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy. While this drug can be incredibly helpful for those struggling with ADHD, Adderall side effects can become a concern for certain users.

In addition to Adderall being quite addictive, it also has serious side effects that can be both short and long term, and can affect both men and women equally.

Adderall is also used as an athletic performance enhancer, cognitive enhancer and appetite suppressant, and recreationally, it can be misused as a euphoriant. 

What Are Common Adderall Side Effects?

Adderall is responsible for cognitive, physical and emotional side effects. Some of the most common side effects of Adderall include: insomnia, dry mouth, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

As the dosage of Adderall increases, so do the severity and length of the side effects. Side effects such as cognitive control, muscle breakdown, panic attacks, and induced psychosis may occur.

Side effects range greatly person to person. One person may experience euphoria, a change in sex drive, increased energy, and improved cognitive control, while another may have completely adverse effects. Anyone taking Adderall has to be diligent about monitoring side effects and be sure to enlist outside help to monitor these symptoms. 

Since Adderall can affect someone on a mental, emotional and physical level, outside eyes can be crucial, as oftentimes others will notice a change when the person taking Adderall will not. Furthermore, as the medication builds in the patient’s system they will require a higher dose, this can complicate one’s mental, physical state as well. 

Male doctor in while coat is crossing his arms while holding a red stethoscope, presumably giving advice about the side effects of Adderall.

Do men and women experience similar side effects?

Adderall as a drug doesn’t discriminate upon sex. Men and women can have the same side effects. However, men generally tend to have higher blood pressure than women, and therefore can occasionally experience adverse effects if taking Adderall. 

This medication can raise your blood pressure, and hence may cause very detrimental health problems. Individuals with cardiovascular diseases are discouraged from taking Adderall by the FDA. Adderall can also be dangerous for anyone with an eating disorder. 

Adderall can affect appetite greatly, therefore anyone at risk for an eating disorder should not take this medication. Generally, women have a higher percentage of eating disorders and many are undiagnosed. Adderall can greatly suppress one’s appetite, so anyone suffering bulimia or anorexia could be putting themself at risk by taking this medication. 

Furthermore, amphetamines have been shown to pass through breast milk, and anyone nursing should not take Adderall. Previous use of amphetamine in small doses may not pass, but amphetamine abuse may affect a fetus’s growth.

How long do Adderall side effects last?

How long Adderall side effects last greatly is dependent upon how much and how long the person has been taking the drug. Adderall in small doses, therapeutically, doesn’t seem to have much evidence supporting long term side effects. However, since Adderall is a stimulant, as a person takes this medication, they will ultimately need a higher and higher dose.

As a person increases their dose, and uses Adderall in a prolonged fashion, they will likely have stronger and more long lasting side effects. Long term effects can include hypertension, tachycardia, erectile dysfunction, digestive issues, nosebleeds, teeth grinding, profuse sweating, and the list continues.

Respiratory issues are one of the top long term side effects incurred by those who take or have taken Adderall. Adderall affects the central nervous system and therefore has a large effect on the entire body. 

These respiratory issues can ultimately even affect urination, causing bed wetting and loss of bladder control. Furthermore, the respiratory system is responsible for proper oxygen production to all organs so the lack of oxygen potential can be detrimental on a systematic level.

Renaissance Recovery logo is centered on a photo of a California beach with a wave crashing on shore.

Get help for Adderall addiction at Renaissance Recovery.

According to the FDA, Adderall use is discouraged for anyone with a history of drug abuse, as adderall can become highly addictive. While it may help those who have ADHD, there are many other options for treatment, including both traditional and non-traditional methods.

For example, meditation has been shown to be a very helpful drug-free tool that increases focus. Having ADHD can be difficult to navigate, and often ADHD comes as a part of a dual diagnosis. 

Many of those who struggle with addiction also have ADHD, and it can be hard to go through life without alternative solutions and support. At Renaissance Recovery, we provide the help and support you need to live your life to the fullest, addiction free. Call us at 866.330.9449 to get your drug free journey started!

an image of adderall
Prescription Drugs

How Long Does Adderall Work?

Adderall is a stimulant medication commonly prescribed for the treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The prescription medication is also sometimes used to treat

Read More »
an image of a client

Pat C

“I owe my life and my happiness to these people. October 8th, 2019 marked two years of sobriety for me, and prior to finding Renaissance I hadn’t had 24 hours sober in nearly 20 years.”

an image of a client

Paige R

“They truly cared for me and the other people that I served with! From this group, I have made 8 new brothers and friends for life! We have continued on, after the program, to take care of each other”

an image of a client

Courtney S

“Great staff who took the time to get to know me. They have a lot of experience in this field and have first hand experience with what I was going through. IOP is outstanding and really built up a ton of great relationships and found this program to be a ‘breath of fresh air’.”

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.