The most common Adderall side effects in patients with adult ADHD are decreased appetite, dry mouth, insomnia, headache, weight loss, anxiety, agitation, nausea, diarrhea, tiredness, dizziness, and racing heart. These side effects are common in all the stimulant medications which include dextroamphetamine, Vyvanse, Ritalin, and Concerta. These symptoms tend to improve over weeks and months and are usually not a problem when Adderall is used long-term. Reducing the dose of Adderall will probably reduce the symptoms. Some patients will still get significant benefit with Adderall at a lower dose.
The Adderall side effects of decreased appetite, weight loss, nausea, and diarrhea may be reduced by eating in the morning before taking Adderall and eating later in the evening after the Adderall has worn off some.
Headache and tiredness may be symptoms of “crashing”, i.e., Adderall side effects that occur when the brain levels of Adderall are falling 3 to 6 hours after the last dose of Adderall. These symptoms may be avoided by taking doses of Adderall closer together. If they occur after the last dose of the day, they may be avoided by taking an additional small fraction of a dose of Adderall in the evening.
Insomnia may be caused by taking the last dose of Adderall too close to bedtime. Improved concentration in the evening without insomnia may be achieved by taking a smaller dose of Adderall for the last dose of the day. The sleep inhibiting action of Adderall is the reason it is used in narcolepsy patients.
Anxiety, agitation, dizziness, and headache may be Adderall side effects caused by taking too high a dose of Adderall. Taking smaller doses of Adderall more frequently throughout the day may avoid these symptoms and still improve attention. Using cell phone alerts may assist regular, timely administration of frequent doses of Adderall.
Using Adderall Xr or Vyvanse are more convenient because one dose may last much longer, i.e. 7-9 hours for Adderall Xr or 12-16 hours for Vyvanse. However, patients with no insurance much prefer the cost of Adderall which can cost as low as $.35 per pill versus Adderall Xr or Vyvanse which may cost $5-$6 per pill.
The typical Adderall side effects may be avoided by using Strattera or Wellbutrin instead. Adderall side effects frequencies are rather similar in children and adults. An infrequent side effect of Adderall is acne, especially in the skin on the face. Because 30% of people who have ADHD also have bipolar disorder, medications such as Lamictal that are frequently prescribed along with Adderall usually are compatible.
Other adverse reactions may occur with Adderall if it is abused or mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Adderall may not be safe to prescribe to all patients.
If you have any questions about Adderall Side Effects, contact Dr Hege at 770-458-0007.