Adderall is a prescription medication that acts as a stimulant. Most commonly prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, the drug contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which act to stimulate the brain and central nervous system, as well as ramp up your energy and ability to focus.
You may have heard of some people using Adderall to try to lose weight. When it comes to weight loss, it’s easy to want to use an aid to help lose weight fast. Some people will use Adderall because they’ve learned that it suppresses the appetite. They hope that it will help them shed their weight in a hurry. However, it might not be the safe option that some people assume, and unless it is prescribed by a doctor, it’s illegal to use it.
How Does Adderall Help With Weight Loss?
While one of the side effects of Adderall is a decreased appetite, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the drug as an aid to lose weight. The only two things Adderall is approved to treat is ADHD and narcolepsy.
That being said, there are some doctors that will prescribe Adderall “off-label” as an aid to help you drop some pounds. In this sense, “off-label” means that you’re taking the drug knowing that the FDA has not approved it for weight loss. You take the prescribed drug that your doctor recommends and allow them to monitor you along your weight loss journey.
Adderall works in the brain by increasing the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that tends to make you feel good or euphoric. It also affects the body by increasing heart rate and blood glucose. This tends to cause you to feel less hungry, as it suppresses the appetite. When you don’t feel hungry, you don’t eat as much, helping you maintain or lose weight.
Adderall Side Effects
As with most prescription drugs, you run the risk of experiencing various side effects when you use Adderall. If you’re taking Adderall, there may be some side effects that you experience, including:
- Faster heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Becoming dependent upon the drug
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sexual dysfunction
- Stomach problems
Also, if you are taking Adderall, be sure that you’re getting adequate nutrients in your diet. Due to the fact that one of the side effects is decreased appetite, some people will forget to eat. They just won’t feel hungry. But this can lead to malnutrition deficiencies in nutrition, which can lead to serious problems. Therefore, be sure that you eat a balanced, healthy diet.
If you have a heart condition, you should not take Adderall. Please discuss this with your doctor, because there are serious risks for those who have been diagnosed with a heart problem.
Though Adderall can help those who struggle with ADHD or narcolepsy, the downside is that it can be addictive. It has a high risk of dependence, meaning you can mentally and physically become dependent on it. In fact, the level of addiction can be as high as other drugs like morphine, meth, or cocaine.
Those that misuse or abuse Adderall, taking more of it or more often than prescribed, are in danger of serious consequences. For one thing, taking Adderall without a prescription is illegal. You certainly don’t want to end up facing drug charges.
Most people abuse Adderall because it tends to make them feel euphoric or more confident. It also increases the ability to focus and stay awake, which is why some college students abuse it. But the risk of addiction is real, and once you’re addicted, it can be tough getting off the medicine. You may have to go through detox, suffering a variety of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- Feeling very tired
- Stomach ache
- Trouble concentrating
- Increase in appetite
- Memory issues
Because Adderall can help people focus and it gives them extra energy, some people are apt to try it without a prescription. They might buy it from someone on the street, on campus, or online. They may also use more of it than a doctor would prescribe, increasing their chances of becoming addicted. Note that this is quite dangerous, and you could suffer some serious consequences if you use Adderall without a prescription or abuse it.
Discuss With Your Doctor
Weight challenges can feel overwhelming. If you’re wondering if you should take Adderall to help you lose weight, understand that the medication is not approved by the FDA for weight loss. Taking it without a prescription is illegal and can cause serious harm. There are also potentially dangerous interactions between Adderall and other medications you may not be aware of.
If you want help with losing weight, have a discussion with your doctor about this, as they may be able to prescribe a different aid for weight loss. You don’t want to start taking Adderall and run the risk of becoming addicted to it.
Is Adderall a Safe Weight-Loss Solution?
The truth is that Adderall is sometimes prescribed by doctors for those who want to lose weight, but it’s not designed for this. It’s intended to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. Is it a safe weight-loss solution? Many professionals will argue that it is not. It can be addictive, especially if it’s misused or abused. There are other risks too, such as depression, paranoia, and gaining weight once you stop taking it. If you’re on Adderall under the care of a physician, be sure to be monitored along your weight loss journey by them.