Adderall and Weight Loss: Does It Make You Lose Weight?

woman checks her weight.

Adderall is a prescription medication that comprises of two drugs – amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These are stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and are commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Does Adderall Cause Weight Loss?

Adderall has many side effects, including decreased appetite and weight loss. It is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for being prescribed for weight loss. However, doctors are prescribing it “off-label” to help people lose weight. Therefore, only use Adderall as a weight-loss tool if your doctor has prescribed it because he/she must monitor you medically to ascertain Adderall weight loss dosage and the drug’s effectiveness and safety.

Why Does Adderall Make You Lose Weight?

It is often asked, ‘does Adderall speed up metabolism.’ For the most part, Adderall is used exactly the way it is prescribed i.e. to increase concentration in patients with ADHD. However, the chemicals in this drug, namely Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine, stimulate the dopamine or pleasure centre of the brain, which causes a feeling of ecstasy, loss of appetite and makes your body burn calories faster than usual. So it is one of the drugs that cause weight loss.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has many functions in the brain, including sending signals to let you know you’re satisfied. When dopamine is high, your brain thinks it is already satisfied, thus reducing hunger. If you have a dopamine deficiency, it may have some link to obesity, while taking Adderall or amphetamine diet pills gives you higher dopamine levels, so you tend to have a reduced appetite.

 What Are The Side Effects Of Adderall That Are Used For Weight Loss?

Irrespective of the benefits you’ve heard about Adderall for weight loss, there are severe probable side effects of using this drug for off-label purposes. It can cause mood swings to psychosis in some cases, as well as physical symptoms like a racing heartbeat. Other symptoms include insomnia, irritability, anxiety, headaches, nausea, spikes in blood pressure, anorexia, constricting blood vessels, opening breathing passages, and increasing blood glucose (which in some cases may cause Adderall weight gain). Some users have to end up taking sleeping pills to cope with the trouble of sleeping at night.

One of the most serious side effects is a physiological and physical addiction to the drug itself. As the body gets used to the drug, the typical dose of Adderall doesn’t reduce weight effectively anymore, and more pills need to be taken. This can cause addiction, and in some severe reported cases, death by overdose. In 2005 Health Canada (the equivalent of Food and Drug Administration) sale of Adderall XR was put on hold after a manufacturer’s review submitted to the agency found 20 sudden and heart-related deaths and strokes in adults and children taking prescribed doses since the introduction of Adderall in 1994. Lastly, comes the rebound effect. If you don’t keep taking it, your Adderall appetite increases again, your motivation is gone, and you feel exhausted.

How Fast Do You Lose Weight On Adderall?

A normal adult Adderall XR weight loss dosage is between 5mg to 60mg, and weight loss occurs within this dosage range. However, the problem is that many people start consuming the drug at much higher doses than this. There are a number of factors that the speed of weight loss will depend on, like the dosage, frequency of intake, and genetics. Generally, for both men and women, weight loss on Adderall can be, on average, 10 kg within six months.

This drug is available in two forms, and the form of the medicine also used influences how fast one loses the excess fats. The two forms are immediate-release and extended-release forms, also known as Adderall IR vs. XR respectively. While on Adderall XR users are more likely to lose weight than with the IR form, except if the latter version is consumed several times in a day. However, using either IR or XR at certain doses can cause significant weight loss over the course of just a week. This may encourage people to lose weight on Adderall XR because it is expected to yield faster results.