Adderall Side Effects: Short And Long-Term Effects

People addicted to Adderall may experience a range of long-term and short-term side effects. Treatment options for Adderall addiction may include detox, counseling, and dual diagnosis treatment.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on November 9, 2022

Adderall is the brand name for dextroamphetamine saccharate, a Schedule II controlled substance.

The use of Adderall is common for adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), people with narcolepsy, and people with severe tics from Tourette’s syndrome.

When used as directed, Adderall targets the central nervous system and increases focus, the ability to pay attention, and helps with behavior control.

Some people will abuse Adderall for its stimulant effects. Adderall abuse or addiction may lead to dangerous and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions or side effects.

Common Short-Term Side Effects Of Adderall Abuse

When a person takes more Adderall than they should to elicit a euphoric high, takes Adderall for longer than directed, or abuses Adderall another way, short-term side effects may arise.

Adderall Tongue

Adderall tongue refers to symptoms associated with Adderall abuse that affect the mouth. These symptoms may include a sore tongue, dry mouth, and swelling or ulcers on the tongue.

Learn more about Adderall tongue.

Weight Loss

One of the most common off-label uses for Adderall is to help people lose weight.

Doctors prescribing Adderall for weight loss is not unheard of, but it is highly dangerous when used without a legitimate prescription and can lead to serious health problems.

Read more about using Adderall for weight loss.

Adderall-Induced Headaches

Many people report experiencing moderate to severe headaches while taking Adderall. This may be attributed to the way Adderall affects blood pressure and hormone levels in the body.

While Adderall headaches are a relatively common side effect even among people taking the drug responsibly, long-term misuse of the medication can easily lead to addiction.

Learn about Adderall headaches.

Long-Term Side Effects Of Adderall Abuse

Long-term side effects of Adderall misuse may include both psychological and physical ailments.

These may be more likely to occur among people taking Adderall for extended periods of time and among people who abuse the drug or have an Adderall addiction.

Adderall-Induced Hair Loss

Some people report Adderall-induced hair loss and thinning after prolonged use or addiction to the drug.

This side effect is likely caused by nutritional deficiency due to lack of appetite, increased stress, and itchy skin.

Read more about Adderall-induced hair loss.


While depression from Adderall use is rare in people who take the drug as directed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has noted that Adderall-induced depression can occur.

Depression from Adderall abuse may stem from other side effects such as sleep problems, concentration or motivation difficulties, paranoia, and mood swings.

Learn about depression from Adderall abuse.

Adderall-Induced Psychosis

One of the rarest side effects of Adderall addiction is the onset of Adderall psychosis.

Symptoms of psychosis can be frightening and may include extreme paranoia, suspicion, anxiety, and nightmarish hallucinations.

Read more about Adderall psychosis.

Effects Of Adderall On The Heart

At high doses, Adderall may cause serious damage to the cardiovascular system. Adderall addiction increases the risks of chest pain, arrhythmia, tachycardia, stroke, and heart attack.

It’s important to tell your healthcare provider about any family history of heart disease or elevated heart rate before taking the medication.

Learn more about Adderall-related heart problems.

Effects Of Adderall On The Brain

Adderall works by increasing levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine neurotransmitters. People without an overstimulated brain may feel euphoric, energetic, and less stressed when they take the drug.

While these side effects seem benign, prolonged misuse may lead to physical and psychological dependence on Adderall.

When Adderall is mixed with other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or MAO inhibitor antidepressants, it may cause a severe drug interaction called serotonin syndrome.

Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include hyperthermia, nausea, and coma. Additionally, people with bipolar disorder who abuse Adderall are at high risk of a manic episode.

Read more about the effects of Adderall on the brain.

How Adderall Affects Men And Women Differently

Men and women addicted to Adderall can experience different side effects depending on the frequency of misuse and their overall health.

Adderall Side Effects In Men

Some of the most common Adderall side effects in men include changes in sex drive. This may result in longer-lasting or more frequent erections, or an inability to get an erection.

Other common side effects among men may include high blood pressure (hypertension), blurred vision, glaucoma, and suicidal thoughts.

Learn about the side effects of Adderall abuse in men.

Adderall Side Effects In Women

Currently, there is limited research on how Adderall affects women when it comes to sexual function.

The most common side effects for women abusing Adderall may include constipation, increased anxiety, dizziness, loss of appetite, and headaches.

Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding women may be at higher risk of serious side effects for themselves or their babies.

Risks of ADHD medication abuse may include low birth weight, pediatric withdrawal symptoms, and sudden death.

Read more about how Adderall affects women.

Treatment Options For Adderall Addiction

College students, teens, and other people addicted to prescription drugs such as Adderall should seek help at a rehab center immediately to avoid serious medical conditions that may arise.

The healthcare professionals at Bedrock Recovery Center can assist you or your loved one with an amphetamine addiction through evidence-based treatments.

Treatment services for Adderall drug abuse may include:

  • medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • medically monitored detox
  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • support groups
  • psychiatry services
  • dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders

The severity of Adderall side effects may be exacerbated by the dose of Adderall ingested, over-the-counter supplements taken with Adderall, and the level of physical dependence.

Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

Call Bedrock Recovery Center today for more information about addiction to stimulant medications such as Adderall.

Our team can answer your questions or provide you with a referral for medical advice.

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  2. National Health Service (NHS)
  3. National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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