Adderall is a stimulant medication that is approved for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. It’s also a popular weight loss drug. The two active ingredients are amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which both affect the brain by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine.
Adderall is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. People without a prescription sometimes take it to stay awake, to stay focused while studying, or to lose weight. In some cases, Adderall can even be prescribed for weight loss, but it’s usually a dangerous weight loss method.
Effects of Adderall on Weight Loss
Weight loss is a common side effect of Adderall, even in people who take the drug for an unrelated reason. Stimulants can suppress appetite, so people who are on Adderall may forget to eat all day. Some people who want to lose weight abuse Adderall as a way of avoiding food and severely restricting their calorie intake.
Adderall also has a slight effect on your metabolism. It increases your heart rate and your blood pressure, which will make your body burn more calories. Because it’s a stimulant, it may make you feel more energetic, restless, or jittery, causing you to move around more and burn more calories throughout the day.
Adderall Side Effects
The weight loss effects of Adderall may seem desirable, but they come at a cost. Adderall causes a number of unpleasant side effects, some of which are especially dangerous for people who have heart problems. The drug can affect you physically and psychologically both in the short-term and long-term. The most common side effects of Adderall include the following:
High blood pressure
Rapid heart rate
Irritability and mood swings
Many of the psychological side effects, like anxiety and irritability, occur as the drug starts to wear off. Some people start taking Adderall more frequently than is safe as a way to avoid these side effects. This leads to a dependency or even a full-blown addiction. Even a stimulant as mild as caffeine is easy to get addicted to, so an Adderall addiction can be extremely difficult to overcome.
Why Adderall for Weight Loss Is Dangerous
There are plenty of health benefits to losing weight, but unless you’re severely obese, the risks of taking Adderall outweigh the benefits of weight loss. In the rare occasions that doctors do prescribe Adderall for weight loss, it’s almost always for patients who have tried everything else to stop overeating and have been unsuccessful.
Taking a medication without a prescription, especially when it has such a drastic effect on your body and mind, is too risky to justify. If you’re caught possessing Adderall without a prescription, you could end up with a misdemeanor on your record.
After you lose weight, you have to permanently change your diet and lifestyle to maintain your new weight. If you return to your old habits, the weight will come right back. Therefore, it’s important to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, so you can develop new eating habits that you’ll maintain for the rest of your life. When you rely on Adderall to lose weight, you’re not learning any healthy habits. Many people who take Adderall for a long time gain weight when they go off the drug because their suppressed appetite finally catches up to them.
If you’re trying to lose weight and are considering taking Adderall, you should speak to your doctor. The unpleasant side effects and potential dangers of Adderall addiction outweigh the benefits of the drug, and it’s easy to gain weight back after you stop taking it. It isn’t a sustainable, long-term weight loss plan. Your doctor can recommend better diet and exercise options to help you lose weight in a healthy way.