The Effects of Adderall on Your Body

Students may be tempted to take prescription drugs to help them study. However, taking stimulants without the supervision of a physician may be dangerous. Are the benefits of the medication worth the risk of side effects? This is a serious medication that has serious consequences. 

Adderall is a helpful therapy for people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy. Still, it also has an illegal use, without a prescription, as a study drug by students and, increasingly, young professionals looking for an edge that helps them stay awake longer and do more work. However, it is far from a benign medicine, and its impacts on the brain and the rest of the body can be profound. 

Adderall treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The effects of the drug may be favourable if you take it as intended. Still, they can be dangerous for people who use the drug without medical supervision.

What is Adderall?

Adderall combines two central nervous systems (CNS) stimulants, Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine. When these get to the brain, they behave like the naturally occurring neurotransmitters dopamine, and epinephrine, also known as adrenaline and norepinephrine. 

It’s a prescription stimulant for ADHD and narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness). The drug alters specific naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain by intensifying the effects of neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

Adderall is either an immediate-release tablet or a time-release capsule (Adderall XR). It may interfere with sleep, so take it in the morning. If you are recommended Adderall, a doctor will most likely begin you off with a low dosage to ensure you can tolerate it. Then, the dose can be slowly increased. 

Before taking Adderall, discuss any preexisting physical or mental health problems with a doctor. In addition, list all other prescription and over-the-counter medications you take.

How Does Adderall Work?

Adderall is a potent amphetamine, a type of stimulant that arouses the body’s central nervous system (CNS) into a more wakeful or active state. For those with ADHD, a condition with hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms, Adderall can have the opposite effects. Instead of increasingly stimulating patients, Adderall paradoxically allows people with ADHD to become more functional.

For people with ADHD, Adderall may improve their focus and attention while lessening hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. This is because it increases the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. 

Dopamine is the reward neurochemical and explains why Adderall may generate feelings of euphoria. It also helps the brain to get distracted by other little things. Simultaneously, epinephrine ramps the sympathetic nervous system, putting the body in fight-or-flight mode. This triggers alertness, clarity, and focus and decreases appetite. Norepinephrine affects the heart rate, blood vessels, blood pressure, and breathing. It may also affect blood sugar. It may also have similar effects on people who do not have ADHD.

Adderall is intended for specific conditions and can cause undesirable or dangerous effects when misused. In fact, due to its high potential for misuse, Adderall is a Schedule II drug. Nevertheless, students, athletes, and those who desire increased focus, endurance, or productivity misuse Adderall. Those who misuse Adderall and other amphetamines may develop tolerance and dependence and suffer from its many other short and long-lasting effects. 

Side Effects

Adderall poses mild side effects if consumed at prescribed therapeutic doses. The severity or intensity of the side effects depends on the amount of the substance intake. The Food and Drug Administration approves the long-term therapeutic use of Adderall. Recreational use of Adderall at larger dosages results in severe and adverse drug effects. It is best to consider all the possible side effects and safety warnings before taking Adderall.

Common Side Effects

Like every medicine, Adderall has some side effects. These are rare, temporary, and may last as your body gets used to the drug. The common side effects of Adderall are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach upset
  • Constipation
  • Dyspepsia
  • Trouble sleeping/insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Accidental injury
  • Dyspnea
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Bladder pain
  • Difficult/painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss
  • Stuttering
  • Excessive speech
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Fast heart rate
  • Palpitation
  • Unexplained wounds
  • Decreased libido
  • Dysmenorrhea

Severe Side Effects

Immediately get medical help if you have any serious side effects. The possible severe side effects of Adderall are: 

  • Severe headache
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness on one side of the body
  • Blurred vision
  • Fainting
  • Numbness
  • Skin colour change
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Tachycardia
  • Hypertension/hypotension
  • Swelling of the ankles/feet
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Delayed ejaculations
  • Impotence
  • Excessive grinding of teeth
  • Trouble speaking
  • Muscle twitches (tics)
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Serotonin syndrome/ toxicity
  • Seizures
  • Addiction/dependence

Misuse of Amphetamines and other central nervous system stimulants has become a cause of sudden death, heart attack, and stroke. Amphetamine may slow down a child’s growth and weight. Monitor chest pain, trouble sleeping, and weight loss in older adults.

Allergic Reactions

Adderall may cause some allergic reactions if you are allergic to Amphetamine. The inactive ingredients may also cause allergic reactions. The signs and symptoms of allergic reactions are:

  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Urticarial
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Angioedema
  • Severe dizziness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Blistered or peeling of the skin(Stevens-Johnson syndrome)
  • Swelling on the face, lips, tongue, and throat

Withdrawal Effects

Do not stop taking Adderall despite feeling better. Take the drug for as long as the doctor has prescribed. Sudden discontinuation may result in severe withdrawal symptoms. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Drug craving
  • Mood swings
  • Depressed mood
  • Fatigue
  • Severe tiredness
  • Sleep problems
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased/decreased movement
  • Lack of motivation
  • Sleeplessness/sleepiness
  • Lucid dreams


Adderall is a prescription amphetamine that can help stimulate improvements in cognition and psychological functioning. Adderall is extensively abused and has many adverse and potential long-term effects.

Even at average therapeutic doses, Adderall may exaggerate existing psychiatric conditions like anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia. These results can be unpredictable. Everybody’s psychiatric baseline is a bit different. 

Adderall is also responsible for effects outside the brain. These side effects are increased blood pressure, palpitations, and sudden cardiac death.