ADHD Home > Adderall Warnings and Precautions
Some Adderall warnings and precautions include potential drug interactions, the risks of taking the medication while pregnant or breastfeeding, and the possibility of sudden death. Prior to taking Adderall, you should talk to your healthcare provider about any health conditions you may have, such as heart problems of any kind, high blood pressure, or any mental illness.
Adderall: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) if you have:
- Heart problems of any kind
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Mental illness, including bipolar disorder and psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder)
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Tourette syndrome
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
- Glaucoma (a condition of the eye)
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Some Adderall Warnings and PrecautionsSome Adderall warnings and precautions to be aware of include:
- Adderall can interact with certain medications (see Adderall Interactions).
- Adderall is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that Adderall may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Discuss the safety with your healthcare provider before using Adderall during pregnancy (see Adderall and Pregnancy for more information).
- Adderall passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider. He or she can decide whether you should or should not take Adderall while breastfeeding.
- Amphetamines (including Adderall) are often abused. Taking amphetamines for long periods of time can lead to a dependence on Adderall (see Adderall Abuse for more information). Because Adderall is commonly abused, there are special rules for prescribing Adderall (see Adderall: A Controlled Substance for more information).
- In people with psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder), Adderall can worsen psychotic symptoms, such as thought disorders and behavior problems.
- There have been reports of sudden death in children and adults with heart problems who were taking normal doses of Adderall. If you or your child has heart problems, discuss whether Adderall is appropriate in your situation. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you or your child develops any chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.
- Adderall can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. In most cases, the increase is small and does not cause problems. However, there is a higher risk for an increase in blood pressure and heart rate for people who already have high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, certain irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or who have recently had a heart attack.
- Adderall can also worsen tics that are caused by Tourette syndrome. Tell your healthcare provider if you (or your child) have Tourette syndrome before starting Adderall.
- There have been reports of priapism in people taking ADHD medications, including this one. This side effect is an abnormally long-lasting, painful erection and can cause serious, permanent damage to the penis. It can occur in males of any age. Young boys might not recognize this side effect, and males of any age might be hesitant to seek parental or medical attention, due to embarrassment. Prompt treatment is necessary to avoid damage.
- Adderall can cause a temporary slowing of growth and a decreased weight gain in children. This slowing of growth is usually small (less that an inch and less than two pounds), and children usually catch up to within normal limits in time. Your child's growth should be monitored while he or she is taking Adderall.
- Adderall may affect your ability to perform tasks that require complete concentration, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. It is recommended that you discuss this with your healthcare provider.