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Adderall Side Effects In Females, Addiction, Pregnancy, Weight Loss, Serious Side Effects & Treatment

Adderall Side Effects In Females: What Is Adderall?

Women and men share many side effects when it comes to Adderall use. However, some Adderall side effects in females are essential to know, especially when considering using the medication. Stimulants like Adderall can have short or long-term consequences on the body and brain structure. Women who abuse stimulants are in danger of several repercussions and should seek proper treatment immediately. 

Since Adderall functions by increasing neurotransmitters in the brain, users can experience a variety of side effects. This aspect of the substance may lead some to mood disturbances and panic attacks. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers the medication to be highly addictive and even classifies it as a Schedule II controlled substance. Same classification as cocaine and methamphetamine.

Adderall, a brand name for amphetamine-dextroamphetamine, is the most commonly prescribed drug to treat symptoms of ADHD. It’s also been used by people as weight-loss drugs and study aids. In 2013 there were 1.4 million nonmedical users who abused prescription stimulants before their national survey.

Adderall Side Effects In Females
Adderall Side Effects In Females: Women that abuse stimulants are in danger of several repercussions and should seek proper treatment immediately. 

Adderall Side Effects In Females: Addiction

Adderall is becoming increasingly popular on college campuses as students are drawn to the idea of using it for an extended period. The more that people use Adderall, the higher its risk will be in terms of diversion and nonmedical usage. Some might abuse this medication by thinking they’ll get better grades through increased concentration with prolonged study sessions. Others may take a less healthy route like snorting or injecting it, leading to addiction problems down the line if not addressed early enough.

Adderall addiction is more likely to develop in teens and young adults because of its effects of increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the central nervous system (CNS). Norepinephrine affects how the brain responds to events, particularly how it pays attention and the speed with which it reacts to outside stimuli. Dopamine, the body’s “feel-good” chemical, creates a rewarding effect. Although dopamine occurs naturally, drugs like Adderall produce unnaturally high levels of it. This can cause users to come back for more.

The prolonged use of Adderall can lead to addiction and its associated risks. Contrary to what many teens — and even some parents — believe about abusing Adderall, amphetamine is a highly addictive drug.

Adderall Side Effects In Females: Does Adderall Affect Women Differently?

The Food and Drug Administration’s information on Adderall notes that the dose administered to a woman can vary depending upon her body weight. When doses were not based on body mass, the FDA found a 20-30% increase of processed amphetamine in women. When adjusted for weight, this difference vanished across genders. However, the two other amphetamines present in Adderall are unaffected regardless of age or gender.

Estrogen plays a significant role in determining the efficacy of Adderall when it is taken by women. The effects may be more significant during periods where estrogen levels are elevated, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause or around ovulation. Women have reported feeling high after taking Adderall during these times. This may also trigger addictive behaviors like drug cravings as well as physical dependency on drugs like amphetamines. It is not uncommon for this to occur with prescription medications that produce synthetic forms of substances found naturally occurring within the body.

Adderall Side Effects In Females
Adderall Side Effects In Females: Estrogen plays a significant role in determining the efficacy of Adderall when it is taken by women.

What Are The Adderall Side Effects In Females?

There are unique side effects that are more common in women. This is mainly due to the different ways women process the substance. That being said, women may experience more serious side effects, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Increased anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping and trouble staying asleep
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Decreased libido

Adderall Side Effects In Females: Pregnancy

Pregnant women should avoid taking Adderall during pregnancy. While research is limited, studies in pregnant animals indicate that taking any type of amphetamines during pregnancy is unsafe. Illicit amphetamines such as methamphetamine can lead to premature birth, physical harm to fetuses and infants, withdrawal symptoms after birth, and low birth weight. These substances can all lead to an increased chance of infant mortality. 

For some women, Adderall has been found to be a successful treatment for the negative symptoms that often come with menopause. It is common for women to be prescribed hormone replacement medications during menopause. Some women may not be able to take certain supplements due to health conditions. Also, some women simply do not receive the benefit from these medications. 

In a small study, Adderall proved to help treat attention, memory, and concentration issues associated with hormonal imbalances. It is worth noting that Adderall is not approved for this type of off-label use, though. 

Adderall Side Effects In Females
Adderall Side Effects In Females: Pregnant women should avoid taking Adderall during pregnancy.

Adderall Side Effects In Females: Abusing Adderall for Weight Loss

Since Adderall suppresses the appetite, some men and women begin to abuse the medication to take advantage of the weight loss side effect. Adderall side effects in women, in terms of nonmedical doses, can cause various side effects, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Increased heart rate 
  • High blood pressure

Losing weight quickly can be dangerous. For example, a woman who regularly takes Adderall may work out more intensely as a result of her increased energy from the stimulant. More intense workouts, combined with eating less, can cause dramatic weight loss. Rapid weight loss can lead to liver damage, cardiovascular damage, and slow metabolism.

Serious Adderall Side Effects In Females

Stimulants raise heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Stimulants such as Adderall also keep users stimulated and awake while suppressing appetites. Even with regular use of the medication, it can change brain structure, affecting the way emotions are regulated. These types of medications can also cause harm to the vascular system, heart muscles, lungs, and other internal organs. Adderall can cause shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, and fainting. These are all serious side effects that may result in health consequences or even death. It is imperative to contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

Adderall Side Effects In Females: High Blood Pressure

Adderall is a stimulant with many effects. Before prescribing the drug, doctors will make sure that patients do not have heart abnormalities or other serious cardiac issues. Adderall may increase blood pressure and heart rate by an average of two to four millimeters of mercury and three to six beats per minute, respectively. However, some people can see more significant increases in their values for these markers when taking this medication. 

Those who already suffer from high blood pressure or fast hearts should exercise caution if considering using this prescription to treat ADHD symptoms because it might worsen pre-existing conditions instead of treating them like intended.

Adderall Side Effects In Females: Can Adderall Cause a Heart Attack?

Even a one-time use of Adderall can cause a cardiac arrest, which is different from a heart attack. Cardiac arrest often has little to no warning. It is essentially a condition where the victim’s heartbeat stops unexpectedly. Nonmedical use of Adderall dramatically increases the chances of a dangerous outcome. When not used as directed, Adderall may introduce side effects such as:

  • Stroke 
  • Hypertension
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Psychosis
  • Chest pain 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart attack 
  • Muscle weakness
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Blurred vision
  • Sexual dysfunction

Treatment For Adderall Side Effects In Females

There are no approved medications to help treat an Adderall addiction. Instead, treatment is focused on supervising a person as they go through a detoxification process. Withdrawal from stimulants like Adderall can be extremely uncomfortable and stressful for the body. The doctor will refer the person to an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation center or detox facility.

During rehab, doctors will help the person through the withdrawal process and make it easier to manage any withdrawal symptoms. It’s not recommended that someone quit Adderall cold turkey. Instead, the doctor will slowly lower the dosage under medical supervision. This is called tapering.

In general, the steps for treating an Adderall addiction include the following steps:

  • Enroll in a supervised detox or rehab program
  • Get a medical evaluation and assessment
  • Taper Adderall under medical supervision
  • Manage withdrawal symptoms
  • Undergo psychotherapy or behavioral therapy
  • Develop a plan for aftercare. This can include attending ongoing individual and group psychotherapy conducted by licensed therapists.

Doctors and therapists at We Level Up Treatment Center will help you understand how to live your life without the drug. They can help you find new, healthy coping skills to live your best life.

Reclaim Your Life From Adderall Side Effects In Females

Adderall addiction can become a chronic disease that may cause major health and social problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this with a professional and safe treatment that will help you ease the Adderall side effects in females. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.


[1] Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts – National Institute on Drug Abuse (

[2] U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Adderall XR label

[3] Bourgeois FT, Kim JM, Mandl KD. Premarket safety and efficacy studies for ADHD medications in children. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(7):e102249. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102249

[4] Joseph AA, Reddy A. Excessive masturbation association with mixed amphetamine salts. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2017;27(3):291-292. doi:10.1089/cap.2016.0130

[5] We Level Up California – Adderall Addiction 

[6] We Level Up Treatment Center – Adderall Addiction Treatment

[7] We Level Up Florida – Adderall Addiction 

[8] We Level Up New Jersey – Adderall Addiction Treatment