When a woman gets pregnant she has a long list of things she isn’t allowed to do, take and eat. This often includes different medications, which you may be taking for legitimate reasons. Still, sometimes you can’t take certain drugs while you’re pregnant because of potential risks to the fetus. So, what about Adderall and pregnancy? Is there a risk for the baby?
What Is Adderall?
Adderall contains a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
Adderall is used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). At the same time, Adderall can also be used for other purposes.
Adderal works by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Adderall duplicates many of the chemical and pharmacological reactions of endogenous neurotransmitters, especially phenethylamine and methylphetylamine. The last one is isomer of amphetamine that is produced in the human body.
Adderall, as a rule, is well tolerated and effective in treating the symptoms of ADHD. The most common side effects are cardiovascular, such as, rapid heartbeat, and psychological, such as euphoria or anxiety. Large doses of the drug may worsen cognitive functions and cause rapid muscle destruction. Drug abuse is a serious risk of excessive use of Adderall, but it rarely occurs with therapeutic use. Very high doses can lead to a psychotic state (for example, delirium and paranoia). But it rarely happens with a therapeutic dosage even with prolonged use.
- Drug abuse
- Heart disease
- Neurotic diseases
- Glaucoma (increased intraocular pressure)
- Hyperthyroidism (excessive production of the thyroid hormone)
Adderall is prescribed with caution and under constant supervision to patients with bipolar disorder, depression, liver and kidney disease, psychosis, Raynaud’s syndrome and convulsions.
Physical: hypertension or hypotension, Raynaud’s syndrome (reduced blood flow to the extremities), tachycardia, erectile dysfunction, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, dry mouth, the grinding of teeth, difficulty urinating, reducing or accelerating the peristalsis of the digestive tract.
Psychological: Mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, obsessive conditions. Psychoses when using the drug according to the prescription are very rare.
Addiction is a serious risk of non-medical use of Adderall. But it is unlikely to occur as a result of medical use in the assigned amount. Tolerance is formed quickly with abuse of Adderall.
People receiving long-term treatment with Adderall report a limited withdrawal syndrome that occurs within 24 hours after the last dose.
Symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety, depressed mood, fatigue, increased appetite, lack of motivation, insomnia or drowsiness.
Adderall and Pregnancy
Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) and Adderall XR (amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release) are medications that stimulate the central nervous system. They affect brain chemicals and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. These drugs are usually prescribed to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim is to decrease impulsiveness and improve attention span.
If you know you are pregnant or think that you may be pregnant and are currently taking Adderall, immediately consult your doctor. In general, Adderall and pregnancy are not compatible. Early signs of pregnancy often resemble symptoms of impending menstruation. They include lower abdominal cramping, spotting, breast tenderness, mood swings, etc.
Possible Risks of Adderall and Pregnancy Combination
According to studies Adderall caused birth defects in mice. That’s why pregnant women are advised not to use it. If there is a need, you can find other safer alternatives. Consult a qualified physician to discuss your options.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Adderall in pregnancy is a class C drug. Category C includes drugs that haven’t been studied in pregnant women but prove to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. Thus, even though there are no studies in humans, Adderall showed its harmful effects in lab animals.
Adderall and pregnancy is a bad combination as it can cause birth defects. It increases the risk of miscarriage, as well as disordered brain chemical function. The latter may result in long-term memory problems. What’s more, Adderall and pregnancy can lead to premature birth, low birth weight and a chemical withdrawal syndrome in newborns whose mothers used the drug for a long time during pregnancy. Additionally, Adderall can cause long-term behavioral effects, including learning difficulties and memory problems.
There is also some evidence showing the use of Adderall during pregnancy can reduce blood flow to the fetus.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Adderall passes into breast milk and may have harmful effects on the baby. Therefore, breastfeeding is not a good option while using this drug. It is better to consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Some of the symptoms of a baby exposed to Adderall through breastmilk include appetite loss, insomnia, restlessness, and failure to thrive.