About Adderall XR
Adderall is a brand-name medication containing the drugs dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It’s a nervous system stimulant that alters substances in your brain. It’s used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It can also be used to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder. It works by helping you stay focused and in control of your actions.
While these may all be helpful effects, Adderall XR can also cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in some men.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when you can’t get an erection or keep it long enough to have sexual intercourse. Getting and keeping an erection is a complex process. It involves your blood vessels, your brain, your nerves, and your hormones. Anything that shakes up that delicate balance, such as stimulant drugs, can lead to ED.
For example, Adderall XR affects the levels of natural chemicals in your brain. This can affect your mood. Adderall XR can cause mood swings, nervousness, and anxiety. Sometimes, ED can stem from psychological causes. So, all of these effects can contribute to ED. Some people who take it also feel less sexual desire, which would impair your sexual ability.
Adderall XR can also cause circulatory problems and increase your blood pressure and heart rate. These physical effects can affect your blood flow and contribute to ED, as well. For more information, read about high blood pressure and ED.
Change your habits
Certain behaviors, such as drinking, smoking, and not getting enough exercise, can contribute to sexual dysfunction. It’s worth tweaking your lifestyle choices to see if it helps relieve your ED.
Try improving your diet, finding some time to relax, and adding in some extra exercise. For more specific tips, check out lifestyle changes for treating ED.
Learn more: How does smoking cause ED? »
See your doctor
ED can be caused by many things, so your Adderall may not be the problem. Your doctor can help you evaluate the possibility of other factors, such as lifestyle habits or other medications, that could be causing your ED. Other health conditions can lead to ED, as well. These can include:
- hormone problems
- heart disease
- neurologic disease
- liver disease
- kidney disease
If you do have an underlying medical condition, treating that could solve your ED.
If your doctor thinks that Adderall XR might be the cause of your ED after all, they may suggest a shorter-acting version of Adderall or another drug completely. If you’ve been taking Adderall XR for a long time or are taking a high dosage, your doctor can help you stop taking it safely. That usually requires slowly lowering the dosage. Tapering off your dosage can help you avoid withdrawal. The lowered dosage may also improve your side effects, including ED.
All medications come with a list of potential side effects. For some people, Adderall XR can cause emotional and physical side effects that can lead to erectile dysfunction. These include mood swings, decreased sexual desire, and circulatory problems.
It’s not always possible to know how a particular medication will affect you. Sometimes, it takes a while to find the right dosage of the right drug. If you find that Adderall XR is causing sexual problems, work with your doctor. They may change your dosage or find a different treatment for your condition. Together, you can find a solution that works for you.