The Dangers of Adderall: Who’s at Risk and 2 Healthy Alternatives

Prescription drugs can sometimes adversely affect a person’s health, even if taken according to doctor’s orders. Every person is different, and no two people react the same to medications such as Adderall and Vyvanse. Individuals receive prescriptions for amphetamines to treat their ADHD, and though they are effective, they can sometimes negatively affect the general health of the person taking them.

Individuals taking Adderall may be concerned with its potential effects on pregnancy and heart health. Expectant mothers must be careful when choosing medicine to take during pregnancy. Individuals susceptible to cardiovascular problems must be aware of the potential side effects of whatever medicine they are taking.

GateHouse Treatment understands the dangers of Adderall. An addiction can still occur even if someone is taking medicine as prescribed. It is important to remain educated about the dangers and where to go when help is needed. Our facility provides treatment for prescription drug addiction that ends the physical addiction and supports the individual through the necessary steps to prepare for a sober life.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription drug containing amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. This medication is usually prescribed to treat symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder but can also be used to treat narcolepsy. Adderall helps patients increase their attention spans and focus on a particular activity.

Adderall and Heart Health

Like most stimulants, Adderall increases blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Abusing this drug can have a severely negative impact on heart health. Many individuals who repeatedly use Adderall without a prescription report health issues such as irregular heartbeat, heart palpations, and chest tightness. If taken at higher doses than recommended, the drug creates a risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack and cardiac arrest. Other symptoms of Adderall abuse include:

  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Paranoia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Tremors
  • Hyperactivity

Adderall may not be seen as a “hard drug,” but it is still a prescription amphetamine that requires extreme diligence. Many users are consuming this drug without consulting their physician and getting examined for any potential heart susceptibilities that may put them at greater risk of heart attack or cardiac arrest. By doing this, they are putting themselves in harm’s way and risking serious heart damage. Adderall-induced heart attacks are uncommon, but it is important to know the risks associated with abusing this amphetamine.

Is Adderall Safe During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can be difficult to navigate if a person takes a prescription drug. Many expectant mothers have relied on Adderall for years to treat their ADHD symptoms, but this medication can pose serious risks. Adderall use can be harmful to both the mother and the developing fetus. Studies show that Adderall use may increase the risk of congenital abnormalities involving the limbs or digestive tract. In addition, Adderall use can cause premature delivery, low birth weight, and even miscarriage. Expectant mothers who use Adderall may experience a lack of appetite, insomnia, or heightened anxiety, which all pose a risk to the child. While every situation differs, many experts believe Adderall and pregnancy make a dangerous combination.

Even after giving birth, mothers should still avoid taking Adderall if they are breastfeeding. Medicine can pass through breast milk and cause problems for the baby, such as restlessness, insomnia, and loss of appetite. Other research has shown that increased impulsiveness and learning disability are  potential risks of using Adderall while breastfeeding.

Adderall can be a lifesaver for individuals struggling with ADHD, but it is still a drug that users should handle with care. Some individuals may not be able to function without their daily dose, but experts encourage expectant mothers to find a healthy and effective alternative to Adderall.

Adderall Alternatives

Depending on the severity of their ADHD symptoms, individuals may be able to find alternatives to Adderall during their pregnancy. Quitting this medication after months (or years) of daily use can feel daunting, but expectant mothers may experience comparable benefits from alternative ADHD treatments.

Talk therapy is a healthy way to deal with ADHD symptoms. Restlessness, anxiety, and inability to focus are all common symptoms of ADHD, and these symptoms can be debilitating if left untreated. Psychotherapy allows individuals to discuss their worries and anxieties while learning new ways to cope with stress.

Select individuals may be able to treat their attention disorder using an antidepressant. Antidepressants raise the brain’s dopamine and norepinephrine levels which can help improve attention spans. They can also reduce feelings of restlessness and anxiety, which are two common symptoms of ADHD.

Every person responds to antidepressants differently. Some may not begin to feel the effects of the medication until four weeks after taking a daily dose, whereas others may experience a change within the first two weeks. Antidepressants are not suitable for individuals struggling with bipolar disorder because it has the potential to induce a manic episode. Individuals are encouraged to consult their physicians and let them know if they have a history of bipolar disorder, seizures, epilepsy, or manic behavior.

Antidepressants pose risk to an unborn fetus than amphetamines, but they can still have adverse effects if taken during the last trimester. Some babies may struggle with jitters, poor feeding habits, and respiratory distress during the first month after birth. According to a recent study, certain antidepressants, such as venlafaxine and amitriptyline, may increase the risk of gestational diabetes. It is important to consult a trusted physician before taking any medication. Your doctor may be able to minimize the fetus’s exposure to the medication by prescribing extremely low doses.

Modafinil, while a common alternative to Adderall, should not be taken during pregnancy. This medication treats narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and many other sleep disorders, and it is a much milder stimulant than its counterpart. It is generally safe and carries a low risk of physical dependence, but this medication can increase the risk of congenital malformations if used during pregnancy.

GateHouse Treatment Provides Help for Adderall Addiction

Prescription drug addiction is a problem that affects millions of families. Adderall and other prescription amphetamines are addictive and can cause severe health problems if abused for an extended period. Using this drug without a prescription increases the risk of heart attack or cardiac arrest, especially if the user has had previous heart problems or a history of seizures. We encourage individuals struggling with Adderall addiction to seek professional help immediately.

At GateHouse Treatment, we provide treatment for prescription drug addiction. Addiction is never easy; it can be even more difficult if you feel like you’re going through it alone. Our treatment center provides adventure therapyintensive outpatient programs, and other forms of treatment that help individuals end their drug use and begin working toward long-term sobriety. For more information on how we can help, contact us today at (855) 448-3707. to receive a free consultation.

Jim Fredrick

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