Adderall Neurotoxicity From Misuse
Adderall can be a helpful medication for many people who use it as prescribed by their doctors. However, like other prescription drugs, Adderall is also associated with several adverse effects.
This page will explain what neurotoxicity is, address the question of whether Adderall can cause neurotoxicity, and cover adverse effects associated with Adderall misuse.
What Is Adderall?
Adderall is a mixture of the stimulant drugs amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is a prescription medication dispensed to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The FDA issues a black box warning on the drug’s labeling that tells consumers of its high potential for misuse and associated risks of drug dependence, cardiovascular complications, and even death from misuse.
As a stimulant drug, Adderall is effective in honing focus and attention levels in those suffering from ADHD. It also promotes wakefulness and decreases appetite.
What Is Neurotoxicity?
Neurotoxicity is when the normal activity of the nervous system gets altered as a result of exposure to natural or manmade toxic substances. Over time, exposure to neurotoxicants can negatively affect nerve cells involved in sending and processing brain signals and signals to other parts of a person’s nervous system.
Neurotoxicity symptoms can include:
- Memory loss.
- Vision loss.
- Loss of intellect.
- Weakness or numbness in limbs.
- Cognitive and behavioral issues.
- Sexual dysfunction.
Can Adderall Cause Neurotoxicity?
Adderall may have neurotoxic effects in doses higher than the recommended therapeutic dose; however, it may also potentially be neurotoxic in prolonged regular doses over a long period of time.
Currently, there is not enough scientific evidence to support Adderall’s neurotoxicity. Additional research on the effects of prolonged stimulant use is necessary.
If you take Adderall and think you may be suffering from neurotoxicity or are having troubling symptoms, it’s important to contact your physician.
Effects of Adderall Misuse
Adverse effects of Adderall misuse can include:
- Significant weight loss.
- Impulse control issues.
- Suicidal thoughts and actions.
- Difficulties thinking and learning.
- Hypertension (heightened blood pressure).
- Sleeping problems.
- Stunted growth in children.
- Peripheral vasculopathy (a disorder of blood vessels in the arms and legs).
- Cardiovascular complications.
- Reynaud’s syndrome (feelings of numbness or hot and cold in the fingers and toes).
- Raised risk for stroke and heart attack.
- Kidney failure and organ damage from elevated body temperature.
- Blurred vision.
- Dry mouth.
- Itching, rash, and skin sores.
- Teeth clenching.
- Breathing difficulties.
Dangers of Long-Term Adderall Misuse
Long-term Adderall misuse can lead a person to become dependent on it. Physical dependence occurs when the brain is used to the way the drug interacts with the central nervous system and the way it influences its chemical makeup. Natural levels of norepinephrine, a form of adrenaline, as well as mood-regulating neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine can be disrupted by the presence of Adderall.
Over time, the brain can come to expect the drug to regulate the levels of these chemical messengers and is no longer be able to keep up normal production, transmission, and reabsorption of them on its own. As a result, withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings can ensue, which may lead to addiction.
Addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by an inability to control drug use. A person battling addiction may no longer be able to stop using the drug on their own even if they want to. Social isolation, financial difficulties, mood swings, and troubles at work, school, and home are all possible ramifications of Adderall addiction.
Adderall is a drug that is not recommended to stop taking suddenly or “cold turkey,” as the withdrawal symptoms can be emotionally difficult. A supervised medical detox can offer a person safety, comfort, and support during the withdrawal process.
Recovery from Adderall Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with Adderall addiction, a comprehensive drug addiction treatment program can help. Oxford Treatment Center—an outpatient and inpatient drug and alcohol rehab in Mississippi—provides evidence-based behavioral therapies, relapse prevention programs, and recovery support.
To learn more about the levels of addiction treatment offered, the treatment admissions process, and rehab payment options, call . Caring admissions navigators are available 24/7 to answer your questions and verify your drug rehab insurance coverage.
You can also quickly and securely . Please don’t wait to get the help you deserve. Reach out today.
American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.