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What are Adderall withdrawal symptoms?

Are you planning to quit taking Adderall?

Adderall (amphetaminedextramphetime) is a medication prescribed to treat individuals whom exhibit symptoms of ADHD. Over time, as you use Adderall your body will become dependent on it to function normally. If you decide to stop taking Adderall you will go through a period of withdrawal.  Symptoms which manifest during detox are categorized as Adderall withdrawal syndrome.  During this time, be sure to prepare an Adderall withdrawal timeline.

Here, we describe the possible Adderall dependence symptoms that may occur during the period of detox from amphetamines and for how long. Plus, we invite any questions you may have about Adderall withdrawal symptoms at the end.

Why do Adderall withdrawal symptoms occur?

Adderall is a powerful amphetamine derivative that works on the brain and central nervous system. Adderall works by heightening concentration and focus for people with ADHD. For people without ADHD, it creates a hyper focus. People who use it recreationally do so not only for the mental clarity but for the euphoric high. So why and when does withdrawal from Adderall happen?

Adderall is designed for long term support of ADHD. Because you use Adderall for more than a few months at a time, you will more than likely develop a tolerance and dependence on Adderall. Dependence develops because your body incorporates Adderall into the overall functions of the body. It is no longer a foreign invader but more like the natural cells occurring in your body. So when you stop taking Adderall, a period of withdrawal occurs.

Withdrawal is a process of the body regaining balance and relearning neuropathways without the presence of Adderall in the body. So when you stop taking Adderall, you feel the opposite you did on the medication. Mental clarity becomes lethargy. Mental alertness becomes fatigue. For those who suddenly stop Adderall dosage or who have been abusing Adderall in higher doses will go through withdrawal that is more severe and painful on the body.

What are symptoms of Adderall withdrawal?

There are several symptoms you can expect to experience during the period of withdrawal. Many are uncomfortable but even out after time as your body regains normalcy. The following is a list of Adderall withdrawal symptoms you may experience:

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  • abdominal pain
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • drug craving
  • dysphoria (an intense dissatisfaction with life)
  • fatigue
  • increased heart rate
  • insomnia
  • mood swings
  • paranoia
  • panic
  • seizures

Adderall withdrawal symptoms: How long?

Onset of withdrawal symptoms will appear shortly after your last dose of Adderall has worn off. Adderall withdrawalsymptoms will peak in the first 48-72 hours after your last dose of amphetamines and will be and their worst. Because you run the risk of seizures, fatigue, depression, increased heart rate it is advised that you detox from Adderall under medical supervision to monitor the effect of withdrawal.

Adderall withdrawal periods effect each person differently but, in general, withdrawal symptoms from Adderall can last several weeks to several months depending on your level of dependence and how you choose to stop taking Adderall. Once you have taken care of the physical symptoms of withdrawal, you may still have to battle drug cravings and psychological need, especially if you think you may be addicted to Adderall.

Adderall withdrawal symptoms treatment

How do you treat Adderall withdrawal? Well, there are several options that can support Adderall withdrawal symptoms. Always do your research, look around. Talk to friends/family and, above all, YOUR DOCTORS. Physicians are there to help you figure out the treatment alternatives for Adderall withdrawal symptoms. Further, you can seek medical medications that can help in aid or treat symptoms of Adderall withdrawal. Below are three potential options. You are not limited to just these three.

1) Medical support from a medical doctor: Even if you are not abusing Adderall, it can become addictive and habit forming. This can make it hard to quit Adderall. Seeking medical help can help you figure out the best way to stop Adderall. It also lets you know you are not alone in the process.

2) Medications: You don’t have to be in agony in order to stop talking Adderall. There are medications you can take that may be helpful. Sometimes short term anti-depressants can help with mood as well as over the counter medications that can help with the general aches and pains you are experiencing.

3) Tapering: Slowly lowering your Adderall dosage before you completely stop taking Adderall is an effective treatment for withdrawal symptoms. Ideally, you taper Adderall dosage with the help of a doctor. As you are being monitored by a physician they can help reduce your does as to account for withdrawal. Tapering helps your body to slowly regulate as well and have a level of comfort as you continue to process Adderall and remove it from your system.

Adderall withdrawal symptoms questions

Are you planning to go through Adderall withdrawal? Concerned about a set of specific Adderall withdrawal symptoms or how long it will last? Please ask your Adderall questions below. We are happy to respond to you personally, and will try to answer your questions ASAP. And if we don’t know the answer, we will refer you to someone who does.

Reference Sources: FDA: Medication guide for Adderall
SAMHSA: Non-medical use of Adderall
SAMHSA: Prescription Medications: Misuse, Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction
CHCE: Treatment of Acute Intoxication and Withdrawal from Drugs of Abuse 

Photo credit: sugar.

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13 Responses to “What are Adderall withdrawal symptoms?
Tony M.
7:18 am February 13th, 2013

I was taking Adderol for about 10 years as prescribed by my doctor to help with my focus and initiative to get things done. It was life changing! I was able to finish books for the first time, accomplish goals and journal daily. Things were great, unless I ran out and could not get my prescription filled right away. I became a monster without it. Well, I quit my job to start my own business, and lost my insurance benefits. This made Adderol too expensive for me, even the generic version. My wife also expressed a growing concern of hers that I was dependent on a drug to feel “normal”. I had no choice but to quit taking Adderol. It has been about 7 months and I am still going through withdrawal. I am lethargic, lifeless and just want to sleep all the time. I am building my business , but feel like I’m doing the bare minimum to get by. I want to go back on Adderol so badly, and I HATE WANTING IT! I do take an anti depressant that was prescribed for me at the same time Adderol was. Please help me know what to do to get through this! Thanks, Tony M.

8:59 am February 14th, 2013

Hello Tony. It sounds like you are describing PAWS, or protracted withdrawal symptoms, for Adderall. 10 years of taking Adderall can certainly change your brain chemistry, and as researchers still don’t know the long term effects of long term Adderall use, it is likely that underlying symptoms of lethargy and depression are exacerbated after long time use of amphetamines.

I’d suggest a two tiered approach. First, seek help from a psychiatrist for possible chemical brain imbalances and underlying mental health disorders. Second, seek help from a life coach. Sometimes, it takes pharmacological help to get us going. Other times, cognitive changes can motivate us.

Rest assured that you are not alone in this problem, and that help is out there for you. Continue to reach out for help, and it will be there.

Christine
1:57 am May 13th, 2014

Hi, I’ve been taking 30mg(avg) for 21/2 years. I want to stop taking it because I feel like it amplifies my ADHD symptoms. I’m a little nervous that my dm is not being completely honest when she tells me I won’t have withdrawals if I stop taking it without tapering. Do you believe this to be accurate?
I would much rather just stop taking it and avoid the longevity of a taper. Thanks, in advance, for your input – Christine

10:48 am May 14th, 2014

Hello Christine. I’d suggest that you get a second opinion before attempting to go cold turkey off Adderall. From our understanding, daily dosing leads to dependence, which can lead to symptoms of extreme fatigue or even depression during withdrawal. Seek another MD’s opinion, or consult with a pharmacist, or two. But, in general, keep asking until you are satisfied – before you make a decision.

Roxy
9:45 pm May 28th, 2014

After 3 years I’m looking to stop. I’ve been taking 30xr and have been opening the capsule and taking half for about 2 weeks to help wean me off. I just get so tired mid day without it.

8:29 am May 29th, 2014

Hello Roxy. Fatigue is an expected sign of withdrawal when coming off Adderall dependence. Have you consulted with your prescribing physician and created an individualized tapering calendar together? Work together to plan, record, and address symptoms. This way, you’ll have suggestions, expectations, and medical advice throughout the process.

Olivia
1:35 pm August 21st, 2014

I have been taking Adderall for 16 years for ADD. I was told by one doctor that because I am over 40, I should stop taking it because it could be damaging to my health, but he was an infectious disease doctor, not a mental health care doctor. My regular doctor (a GP) doesn’t seem to feel like this is really a concern. Is there really a greater risk for a person over forty to continue taking it?

Also, I tapered down from 60 mg daily to 50, then to 40 mg before this doctor suggested that I stop taking it because I was having anxiety, and I didn’t experience any trouble with withdrawal, however, when just dropping the dose from 40 to 35 has suddenly become difficult for me. Mostly in the form of trying to stay awake, focus and having mood swings. I am on the regular release tablets, would taking the slow release form help deal with these symptoms?

One last question, though I think I already know the answer- I have had severe allergies most of my life but they have been mostly under control until recently. A few days after I started taking 35 mg of adderall, I began to experience itching skin and eyes, generalized swelling, and tightness of the throat/difficulty swallowing that has gradually become more pronounced and is responding less to antihistamines. I keep telling myself this is not likely to be a result of a reduced dosage of Adderall and just a coincidence, but it is the only thing that has changed in my life and it started within a few days of reducing my dose. Is it at all possible that this is a weird set of withdrawal symptoms?

Thanks in advance, Olivia

Olivia
1:37 pm August 21st, 2014

PS. I forgot to mention that I have seen many doctors for various health concerns, all of them have been aware of my Adderall prescription, and he is the only doctor who has ever expressed concern over my continued used of Adderall.

K Dunham
11:47 pm November 3rd, 2014

My family PAC recently decided I do NOT have ADD, but just DEPRESSION, and DISCONTINUED my prescription for over a year of Adderall 20 mg 2 x day. I was diagnosed by an outside source with ADD, not my PAC. I do still have ADD and am searching for a Psychiatrist I guess, but cannot get an appointment sooner than 3 months out. Shouldn’t my Dr. at least be tapering me off, or per my request continue my current treatment until I can get into a different Dr. for treatment? To me, this seems so unprofessional.

Crystal
6:27 am December 27th, 2015

I have been taking 20-30mgs of adderall everyday for the past 2 weeks. Do you think i will have any withdrawl symptoms? This is the first time of taking adderall. Thank you.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
10:38 pm December 29th, 2015

Hi, Crystal. Each body reacts differently on every drug. Some may experience severe withdrawal symptoms even after few weeks of use, some none. All depends of the human body, the drug dosage, frequency of use, etc. In order to ease withdrawal symptoms, I’d suggest you consult a doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering program just for you. Good luck!

Stephane
7:12 pm January 26th, 2016

You say above all talk to your doctors? This is a statement made by someone with no real world experience. But you could benefit from mine! As a patient, doctors do not have our best interests at heart at all, well maybe if they really like you and take a special interest. In my experience, they are playing the game, they do not work for the patient, they work for the drug and insurance industry now. But you don’t need to believe me now, time will prove my statement correct. For instance: take the extremely common ailment of: Gerd; heartburn; your doctor will most likely prescribe you the “little blue pill” you will get relief, they will tell you to just keep on taking it twice a day for the rest of you life. But while you take it it will cause intestinal polyps, benign toughmours that need to be removed by a gastroenterologist. So they are helping out they’re compatriots. As you continue ( in your busy ingnorance, taking this insidious drug) the cause of your Gerd is amplified, your body thinks it is becoming more and more alkaline, so it makes more and more acid. But that’s ok, as long as you continue taking that pill.its what THEY and your doctor who alighned his or herself with THEM want you to do. Now you will find that wene you do research, you will discover the right way to CURE Gerd is to simply take a cheap, still easily available cure with a meal once or twice a day and eat foods that compliment. It is called hydrochloride acid. So now the longer you do this, the more your body will see it has enough acid and reduce production of it and hopefully, ( praise God) you are cured) doctors know this, I offer it as proof of my statement, I questioned my doctor about this, her reply was chilling. ” of coarse, don’t you know that we play this game?” I am going through withdrawal from aderall because of reaction to a cheaper, generic. In trying to be upgraded back to the brand I took with no problems, I find myself without medication, without help. It is a idiotic, idiotcracy situation! Don’t say the doctor will help with this because that is just not true…….. Love, Namaste…..

Erica
9:21 pm February 28th, 2016

I have reached the halfway point of weaning myself off of my medication. This took about a year to accomplish. I didn’t want it to interfere with my career so I am taking it slow. Ever since I started this incremental decrease I have experienced irritability, mood swings, increased hunger, weight gain, anxiety, trouble sleeping, lack of drive, loss of focus, brain fog and depression. I tried my best to compose myself at work and crashed as soon as I got home. I was miserable and I was angry.

I had been told by a few people about a product line called Plexus. I was a little reserved about it but once I researched the product and found that the ingredients were not harmful and were all natural I decided to give it a try. I just wanted to feel alive again.

A week later I received my products in the mail. I followed the directions and Oh My Gosh, they worked! By the second day, I felt amazing! The brain fog was gone! My depression was gone! My anxiety and mood swings were gone! I feel more alive today than I have felt in over a year.

I am currently taking the TriPlex combo which is the most popular (Plexus Slim packet in the morning, BioCleanse capsules during the day, and my probiotic at bedtime). These products work together to regulate blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy gut which in turn maximizes quality of life. The slim was crucial in helping me control the overeating and cravings. If you would like to know more about these products I would be happy to share with you. They have helped me so much. I now have hope and I no longer dread what life will be like without Adderall!

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