Does Adderall Cause Hair Loss?

Adderall, a popular stimulant medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, has a number of potential negative side effects. One such side effect, though rare, is hair loss in people who take Adderall for an extended period of time.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on November 10, 2022

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that has many potential health benefits. While the benefits generally outweigh the negatives, there are some potential risks to be aware of.

One of the lesser known potential risks a person faces on Adderall is damage to their hair health and hair growth cycle, resulting in hair loss.

Hair loss is a very rare side effect of Adderall use and abuse, but it has been reported by people who have taken it or other ADHD medications, such as Ritalin.

The longer and more heavily that a person abuses Adderall, the more likely they are to experience hair loss or other hair problems as a result.

How Adderall Use May Cause Hair Loss

Adderall use does not directly cause hair loss. Instead, the use of Adderall is an indirect cause of hair loss because of other potential physical and mental health conditions that can arise.

Nutritional Deficiencies

One of the possible side effects of taking Adderall is a loss of appetite, which can eventually lead to Adderall-induced weight loss and malnutrition after extended use.

A lack of nutrients in the body can lead to damaged hair follicles and stunted hair growth. Over time, a person may then notice thinning hair and even small patches of baldness.

Increased Stress Levels

Adderall is also known to increase a person’s stress levels, partly due to elevated levels of the hormone cortisol in the blood.

This increased stress can result in compulsive behaviors such as hair pulling, also known as trichotillomania. It can also cause other compulsions like skin picking and scratching.

Itchy Scalp

Another of the potential side effects of Adderall is itchy skin and skin rashes, which can sometimes appear on the scalp. In some people, this may be the result of an allergic reaction.

An itchy and irritated scalp can cause mild hair loss, but can also cause hair loss as a result of excessive scratching around the site of irritation.

How To Reverse Adderall-Related Hair Loss

In many cases, people who have reported hair loss while taking Adderall have also reported that their hair regrew once they went off the medication or switched to a different medication.

However, it is important that a person never stops taking Adderall suddenly or without medical advice from their healthcare provider. Tapering off slowly is generally recommended.

Some people may also find hair loss treatment or medications, specialized shampoos or conditioners, and diet modifications helpful.

Other Physical Side Effects Of Adderall Abuse

Hair loss is actually not a very common side effect of Adderall abuse.

The following physical side effects are common in someone who is abusing Adderall:

  • weight loss
  • headaches
  • lack of sleep
  • stomach pain
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • changes in sex drive
  • increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • cardiovascular problems

Side effects from Adderall use can range from mild to severe depending on the severity of a person’s Adderall abuse or addiction.

Treatment Options For Adderall Addiction

Because withdrawal can be one of the most challenging aspects of Adderall addiction, or any addiction for that matter, professional treatment almost always begins with detox.

Once a person has achieved sobriety, they can move on into an outpatient or inpatient program. These rehab programs can vary a lot in both their length and level of intensity.

One common Adderall addiction treatment is behavioral therapy. Examples of this include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Find Addiction Treatment Services At Bedrock Recovery Center

If you or one of your loved ones has developed a substance use disorder involving Adderall or any other drug or substance, it may be time to seek professional addiction treatment.

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we offer trauma-informed residential treatment and detox services to help you or your loved one get back on track again. Give us a call today.

  1. Medical News Today
  2. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus
  3. National Library of Medicine: PubMed
  4. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

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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