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Does Adderall Make You Lose Weight?

Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT

Are you contemplating the use of Adderall for weight loss? You’re not alone. Adderall, a prescription medication primarily designed for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has garnered attention as a potential solution for shedding pounds. However, before embarking on any weight loss journey, it’s crucial to equip yourself with facts and insights. In this blog post, we’ll explore the relationship between Adderall and weight loss, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the subject. As a reliable source for addiction treatment in Fountain Valley, CA, California Prime Recovery is dedicated to offering valuable insights and guidance on this matter. Whether you’re curious or concerned about the implications, we’re here to provide the information you need.

Understanding Adderall

Adderall is a prescription medication that contains a combination of two active ingredients: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These substances belong to a class of drugs known as central nervous system stimulants. Adderall is primarily prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

Key points about Adderall:

  1. Purpose: Adderall is used to manage symptoms associated with ADHD, such as difficulty focusing, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. It can also be prescribed for narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden episodes of sleep.

  2. Mechanism of Action: The amphetamine and dextroamphetamine in Adderall work by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine and norepinephrine, in the brain. This enhanced neurotransmitter activity helps regulate attention and impulse control.

Types and Duration

  1. Immediate-Release (IR) Adderall:

    • Dosage Forms: Tablets
    • Duration: Effects typically last about 4 to 6 hours.
    • Administration: Usually taken 2 to 3 times daily.
  2. Extended-Release (XR) Adderall:

    • Dosage Forms: Capsules
    • Duration: Extended-release formulation provides a longer duration of action, typically lasting up to 12 hours.
    • Administration: Taken once daily.


Here are some common imprints for Adderall tablets:

  1. Adderall 5 mg Tablet:

    • Oval, blue tablet with the imprint “A 5.”
  2. Adderall 7.5 mg Tablet:

    • Oval, blue tablet with the imprint “A 7.5.”
  3. Adderall 10 mg Tablet:

    • Oval, blue tablet with the imprint “A 10.”
  4. Adderall 12.5 mg Tablet:

    • Oval, orange tablet with the imprint “A 12.5.”
  5. Adderall 15 mg Tablet:

    • Oval, orange tablet with the imprint “A 15.”
  6. Adderall 20 mg Tablet:

    • Oval, orange tablet with the imprint “A 20.”
  7. Adderall 30 mg Tablet:

    • Oval, orange tablet with the imprint “A 30.”

Uses and More

The prescription of Adderall is generally based on individual medical assessments, and healthcare providers consider various factors before prescribing the medication. Here are some general considerations:

  1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):

    • Age Range: Adderall is commonly prescribed for the treatment of ADHD in both children and adults.
    • Children: Healthcare providers may prescribe Adderall for children aged 6 years and older, as it has been approved for pediatric use.
    • Adults: Adults with ADHD may also be prescribed Adderall, and treatment decisions are made based on the individual’s symptoms and medical history.
  2. Narcolepsy:

    • Age Range: Adderall is also used in the treatment of narcolepsy.
    • Adults and Adolescents: It may be prescribed for adolescents and adults diagnosed with narcolepsy.
  3. Medical Assessment:

    • Healthcare providers conduct a thorough medical assessment before prescribing Adderall.
    • Factors such as medical history, existing health conditions, potential drug interactions, and the severity of symptoms are considered.
  4. Dosage Adjustment:

    • Dosage recommendations may vary based on factors like age, weight, and individual response to the medication.
    • Pediatric dosages are often adjusted to the specific needs and tolerances of the child.
  5. Monitoring:

    • Patients, especially children, are typically monitored regularly by healthcare providers to assess the effectiveness of the medication and identify any side effects.

It’s important to note that the decision to prescribe Adderall is made on a case-by-case basis, and healthcare providers follow professional guidelines and ethical standards.

Controlled Substance Classification

Adderall is a prescription medication that contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which are stimulant medications. The controlled substance classification of Adderall is regulated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Adderall is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance.

Storage and Disposal

Proper storage and disposal of medications, including Adderall, are essential to ensure their effectiveness, safety, and to prevent misuse or accidental ingestion. Here are guidelines for the storage and disposal of Adderall:


  1. Keep in Original Container:

    • Store Adderall in its original prescription bottle or packaging. This provides important information about the medication and helps prevent confusion.
  2. Temperature and Humidity:

    • Store Adderall at room temperature, away from excessive heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. Avoid storing it in the bathroom, as the humidity can affect the medication.
  3. Out of Reach of Children:

    • Keep Adderall and all medications out of reach of children and pets. Child-resistant packaging is designed to provide an extra layer of safety.
  4. Secure Location:

    • Store Adderall in a secure location to prevent unauthorized access. This is particularly important due to its classification as a Schedule II controlled substance.


  1. Do Not Flush:

    • Do not flush Adderall down the toilet or drain. Flushing medications can contaminate water sources.
  2. Drug Take-Back Programs:

    • Utilize drug take-back programs in your community. Many pharmacies, law enforcement agencies, or community organizations organize events or provide drop-off locations for safe medication disposal.
  3. Authorized Collection Sites:

    • Check if there are authorized collection sites or drug disposal boxes in your community. These are locations where you can safely drop off unused or expired medications.
  4. FDA Guidelines:

    • Follow any specific disposal instructions provided by the FDA or your healthcare provider. Some medications come with specific disposal recommendations.
  5. Mix with Unappealing Substance:

    • If no take-back options are available, you can mix the Adderall with an undesirable substance (e.g., coffee grounds or kitty litter) in a sealed bag before throwing it in the trash. This helps make the medication less appealing and prevents accidental ingestion.
  6. Remove Personal Information:

    • Before disposing of the prescription bottle or packaging, remove or scratch out any personal information to protect your privacy.
  7. Do Not Share Medications:

    • Never share prescription medications, including Adderall, with others. Each individual should have their own prescription based on their specific medical needs.

If you have any questions or concerns about the storage or disposal of Adderall, it’s advisable to consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance. Additionally, local regulations and guidelines may vary, so checking with your community’s health department can provide specific information on safe disposal options in your area.

Does Adderall Make You Lose Weight?

One of the common side effects of stimulant medications like Adderall is a potential impact on appetite and weight.

While weight loss can be a side effect of Adderall for some individuals, it’s important to note that the medication is not intended or approved for weight loss purposes. Weight changes associated with Adderall use can vary among individuals, and not everyone will experience weight loss.

Here are some factors that contribute to the connection between Adderall and weight loss:

  1. Appetite Suppression:

    • Stimulant medications like Adderall can have appetite-suppressant effects. Individuals taking Adderall may experience a reduced desire to eat or may feel full more quickly, leading to a decrease in calorie intake.
  2. Increased Energy Expenditure:

    • Adderall stimulates the central nervous system, leading to increased energy levels and alertness. Some individuals may engage in increased physical activity, leading to a higher energy expenditure and potential weight loss.
  3. Metabolic Effects:

    • Stimulants like Adderall can influence metabolism, potentially increasing the body’s metabolic rate. This can contribute to weight loss in some individuals.
  4. Individual Variability:

    • Responses to Adderall vary among individuals. While some people may experience appetite suppression and weight loss, others may not have significant changes in their weight.
  5. Initial Side Effects:

    • Some individuals may experience nausea or other gastrointestinal side effects when first starting Adderall, which can contribute to a temporary decrease in appetite and weight loss.

It’s important to recognize that not everyone who takes Adderall will experience weight loss, and individual responses can differ. Additionally, the effects of Adderall on weight may not be sustainable in the long term, as tolerance to some of its side effects may develop over time.

While weight loss can be an unintended side effect of Adderall, it’s crucial for individuals prescribed this medication to be monitored by their healthcare provider. Healthcare professionals can assess the overall impact of the medication, address any potential side effects, and make adjustments to the treatment plan as needed.

Understanding these mechanisms sheds light on its potential influence on weight loss:

  • Appetite Suppression:
    • Adderall functions as an appetite suppressant, diminishing feelings of hunger and reducing overall food intake.
  • Increased Metabolism:
    • The medication can elevate metabolism, leading to heightened energy expenditure and an increased calorie burn.
  • Enhanced Focus and Concentration:
    • Adderall’s impact on focus and concentration may contribute to reduced emotional eating and the promotion of healthier eating habits.

Beyond Medical Applications

While Adderall is primarily prescribed for conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy, it has garnered attention for its potential role in weight loss. Some individuals have explored the off-label use of Adderall as a solution for shedding pounds. However, a cautious approach is crucial, considering potential side effects and implications.

Potential Side Effects and Risks

Despite potential benefits, it’s vital to recognize the potential side effects and risks associated with Adderall use for weight loss:

  • Common Side Effects:

    • Increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, dry mouth, and nervousness are common side effects of Adderall use.
  • Misuse and Abuse:

    • Misuse or abuse of Adderall can lead to serious health consequences, including the risk of addiction.

Long-Term Effects and Sustainability

Sustainable weight loss involves a holistic approach, encompassing factors beyond medication use. Relying solely on Adderall for weight loss is not a sustainable strategy. Additionally:

  • Comprehensive Approach:

    • Sustainable weight management requires a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Uncertainty of Long-Term Effects:

    • The long-term effects of using Adderall for weight reduction are not well-studied, and uncertainties exist regarding its safety and effectiveness beyond its prescribed use.

Consultation with a Healthcare Professional

Before considering Adderall or any medication for weight loss purposes, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. They can assess your specific situation, evaluate potential risks, and provide personalized advice and recommendations based on your individual needs and health history.

Alternative Approaches to Weight Loss

If you’re looking to lose weight, there are various alternative approaches that can be effective and safer than relying on medication alone. These include adopting a balanced and nutritious diet, engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress levels, getting enough sleep, and seeking support from professionals such as registered dietitians and fitness trainers.

While Adderall has been associated with weight loss, it’s essential to approach this topic with caution and consider the potential risks and side effects. Sustainable weight loss is best achieved through a holistic approach that includes lifestyle modifications, healthy eating habits, and regular exercise. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.

Seeking Treatment? We Can Help!

At California Prime Recovery, as an in-network provider we work with most insurance plans, such as:

If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health challenges or substance abuse, reach out to California Prime Recovery today. Our team of compassionate professionals is here to support your journey towards lasting well-being. Give us a call at 866-208-2390


No, Adderall is not a quick fix for weight loss. It should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional for its intended purposes.

There are no over-the-counter alternatives that replicate the effects of Adderall. It’s important to focus on healthy lifestyle choices and consult with professionals for personalized recommendations.

No, using Adderall without a prescription or medical supervision is unsafe and can lead to serious health risks.

Yes, Adderall has a potential for abuse and addiction. It should only be used as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

The timeline for weight loss effects can vary from person to person. It’s important to focus on sustainable approaches to weight loss rather than relying solely on medication.

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