Adderall is a brand name for the combination of the central nervous system stimulants amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It’s a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
Adderall can have side effects. They can become greater with prolonged use and addiction.
- Restlessness and difficulty falling or staying asleep. Lack of sleep can lead to hair loss.
- Loss of appetite and weight loss. If you lose your appetite, you might develop a nutritional deficiency. This can cause hair loss.
- Increased stress. Cortisol is a hormone involved in stress and the flight-or-fight response. Elevated cortisol levels in blood can damage hair follicles, which can cause hair loss.
- Itchy skin and rash. If your scalp is itchy, hair loss can result from excessive scratching. If you’re using Adderall and experience itching, rash, or hives, call your doctor immediately. It could be a sign of a serious allergic reaction.
Adderall may cause other side effects besides hair loss, including:
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- stomach pain
- changes in sex drive or ability
- painful menstrual cramps
- dry mouth
- weight loss
A 2013 case study also reported rare neuropsychiatric side effects of Adderall, such as:
In at least one case, trichotillomania was also reported as a side effect. Trichotillomania is a disorder that involves irresistible urges to pull your own hair out.
Severe side effects
Call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms while using Adderall:
- shortness of breath
- fast or pounding heartbeat
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- excessive tiredness
- difficulty swallowing
- slow or difficult speech
- motor or verbal tics
- limb weakness or numbness
- loss of coordination
- teeth grinding
- anxiety or agitation
- aggressive or hostile behavior
- changes in vision or blurred vision
- paleness or blue color of fingers or toes
- pain, numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
- unexplained wounds appearing on fingers or toes
- blistering or peeling skin
- swelling of the eyes, face, tongue, or throat
- voice hoarseness
Adderall is a powerful drug. While it can help treat ADHD or narcolepsy, you could experience some unpleasant side effects.
As with all drugs, your doctor will monitor your health and any reactions while you’re using the drug. Be candid with your doctor about how the drug is affecting you, and let them know about any side effects you’re experiencing.