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.

While it’s normal to shed some hair every day, some Adderall side effects may lead to thinning hair and hair loss. These can include:

  • 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.

Here are 12 ways to counteract thinning hair.

Adderall may cause other side effects besides hair loss, including:

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:

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.