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Most Common Side Effects of ADHD Medication

Mental Health ,ADHD ,ADHD Treatment

ADHD medication side effects

Millions of children and adults in the United States with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been helped by treatment with prescribed medications. ADHD medications can positively affect and benefit people in school, career, activities, and day-to-day life. ADHD symptoms can be significantly reduced by using medicine or therapy, or both.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurological illness. It can often be misunderstood; therefore, it is crucial to educate ourselves about the diagnosis and normalize the ADHD journey. It is frequently diagnosed in childhood. However, it can occur in adulthood as well.

Common ADHD Symptoms Include:

Hyperactive Type

  • Difficulty waiting their turn
  • Interrupts and/or intrudes in conversations
  • Excessive talking
  • Moves a lot during times when moving around is not appropriate
  • Ignores instructions to stay in one place
  • Squirms regularly
  • Can’t engage in activities quietly

Inattentive Type

  • Makes regular careless mistakes
  • Forgets things often
  • Distracted easily
  • Cannot pay attention to one activity
  • Does not follow through with instructions
  • Has problems organizing
  • Does not appear to listen when being talked to

ADHD treatment with medication is used to effectively address these symptoms. However, it can have negative effects. Further in this article, we’ll explore the many forms of ADHD medicine and how their side effects may affect you or your child.

ADHD Medications

Medication is frequently used in conjunction with behavioral therapy to assist alleviate symptoms. These drugs affect brain chemistry, allowing you to better manage your urges and behaviors.

ADHD Medication - Stimulants


Stimulants raise norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain, which improves focus.

  • Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)


Non Stimulants are less commonly prescribed for ADHD, but they may be used if stimulants cause adverse side effects or are ineffective. Certain non-stimulant medicines raise norepinephrine and other brain chemicals, which aid with focus and attention.

Non-Stimulant Medications Include:

  • Atomoxetine (Strattera)
  • Antidepressants like Nortriptyline (Pamelor) or Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Guanfacine (Intuniv)
  • Clonidine (Kapvay)
ADHD Medication - Non Stimulants My Psychiatrist

Common Side Effects of ADHD Medications

When first prescribed, ADHD medications may cause some early side effects. It might take several days or a week for body to adjust to medication. Some side effects fade, while others may persist. If ADHD medicine causes prolonged side effects that are concerning, please discuss with your doctor immediately. Your doctor may adjust the dose or prescribe different medication.

Side Effects:

  • Eating Issues

Stimulant medicines can cause eating problems. The stimulant medication may work as appetite suppressant and a person might experience little to no desire to eat. Consult your doctor, if the weight loss becomes concerning.

  • Aches

Loss of appetite might contribute to another side effect – headaches, stomach aches or nausea. This may be a result of taking medication on an empty stomach.

  • Sleep Problems

ADHD medication can disrupt sleep, especially if it is still active at bedtime. If you are using a short-acting medicine, the second or third dose may be given too late in the day and has not yet worn off. If you’re using a long-acting medicine, you might wish to try a shorter-acting prescription.

  • Blood Pressure

The majority of ADHD medications are stimulants. It can increase your blood pressure and heart rate. Inform your psychiatrist if you have any pre-existing blood pressure or heart-related conditions. Statistics show that older adults starting on a stimulant showed a 40% increase in their risk of heart attack, stroke or ventricular arrhythmia within 30 days.

Examples of Stimulant ADHD Medications:

  • Amphetamine (Evekeo)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Adderall, Adderall XR, Dexedrine, ProCentra, Zenzedi)
  • Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin, Focalin XR)
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
  • Methylphenidate (Concerta, Daytrana, Metadate, Methylin, Ritalin, Quillivant)

ADHD Medications and Addictions

ADHD Medication Misuse

Some research suggests that there is a connection between ADHD medication and addictions. Misuse and abuse of ADHD medications may occur as early as teen years or in adulthood. It is important to note that, when ADHD medication is used as prescribed by a doctor, people are in no danger of developing addiction to it. Amphetamine misuse by taking a higher than prescribed dose can lead to other addictions.

ADHD Medication Misuse Indicators May Include:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Physical dependence
  • Memory lapses
  • Heart problems
  • Unusual behaviors
  • Hyperactivity
  • Confusion and delusions
  • Irritability
  • Changes in attitude
Contact My Psychiatrist

The key to a successful ADHD treatment, is a continuous monitoring of your symptoms, your progress and how ADHD medication is affecting your mental and physical wellbeing. My Psychiatrist contributes to solving mental health crisis by providing services via Telemedicine and at our custom-built and inviting offices in Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
We serve patients from young adults to the senior population and assist them with variety of mental mental health issues, including ADHD.

At My Psychiatrist, our goal is to ensure you receive the best mental health care. Find a highly qualified psychiatrist or therapist in Miami, Hollywood, Oakland Park, or Boca Raton, Florida and get personalized mental health care designed to help you feel better faster and experience superior clinical results.

Our diverse team of board-certified psychiatrists and clinicians offer online and in-person therapy. Discover how licensed providers at My Psychiatrist can help you relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD and other mental health conditions. My Psychiatrist partnered with major insurers to make sure you have the treatment you need. Get matched with a provider that fits your needs and accepts your insurance. Get help now.