While it’s still considered a rare side effect of the medication yes, Adderall can cause hair loss. However, this side effect is more prevalent in individuals who abuse this prescription medication and are not being monitored by a physician. In fact, there are several negative side effects for anyone that takes this medication without a prescription.
How Does Adderall Cause Hair Loss?
Adderall can cause hair loss because it is a stimulant. Stimulants increase the activity of the nervous system and can lead to a number of side effects, including hair loss. When hair follicles are stimulated, they go into a resting phase and stop growing new hair. This can lead to an overall thinning of the hair or patchy hair loss.
In addition to the first-hand effects of stimulants, there are other side effects that can ultimately lead someone to lose hair. These include the following:
Difficulty sleeping is common when someone is taking Adderall. If you are not sleeping properly, this can ultimately lead to hair loss. Sleep affects your body’s production of natural hormones like melatonin which prevent hair loss.
Higher levels of stress can cause hair loss as cortisol is the hormone that causes stress. Cortisol is damaging to our hair follicles, so when your body has high levels of it in your bloodstream this can have a negative impact on your hair.
Overall weight loss and lack of nutrition occur as people who take Adderall typically lose their appetite. Certain vitamins are important to help sustain hair growth and overall hair health. If you’re eating less, you could be missing out on vital sources necessary for your hair.
Excessive itching can be a more extreme side effect of Adderall. Scratching your scalp can cause hair loss and even the build-up of scar tissue that will cause your hair not to grow back in specific areas.
Long-term hormonal changes can occur as a result of taking Adderall and this can cause hair growth to slow. Adderall causes your brain to be flooded with epinephrine and dopamine causing you to feel good. However, this throws the normal functioning of hormones out of whack, and continued Adderall abuse can cause long-term damage.
Is Hair Loss From Adderall Reversible?
Hair loss from Adderall is typically reversible once the person stops taking the medication. In most cases, the hair will grow back within a few months. However, in rare cases, hair loss can be permanent. This is generally a result of long-term Adderall abuse, so if you are struggling with Adderall use disorder, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.
If you are taking Adderall as prescribed and notice any changes in your hair, such as thinning or excessive shedding, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if the medication is the cause of the hair loss and make sure you are not experiencing any other side effects. They may also be able to recommend vitamins and supplements to help offset hair loss. You can also get a recommendation for a dermatologist that specializes in hair loss issues.
How Long After Stopping Adderall Does Hair Grow Back?
Typically, hair will start to grow back within a few months after someone stops taking Adderall. However, it can take up to a year for hair to return to its pre-treatment thickness. Again, in rare cases, hair loss from Adderall can be permanent. Vitamins and supplements can help speed up this process.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a medication that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is a central nervous system stimulant that increases alertness, focus, and energy. Adderall is available in tablet and extended-release capsule form and is taken by mouth. While Adderall can be an effective treatment for ADHD, it has also been associated with a number of side effects, including hair loss.
Adderall is labeled as a controlled substance and has been recognized for its high potential for abuse. It’s listed as a Schedule II category by the U.S. DEA. Notably, Adderall is typically abused by younger populations who use it to help them improve study habits and pass college-level classes. It’s been estimated that roughly 20% of college students have taken this prescription medication without seeing a physician.
Someone who abuses Adderall may experience some of the following side effects:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Typically these side effects tend to go away over time for those that are prescribed Adderall. Doctors will monitor how individuals react to the medication and can adjust the dosage in order to minimize negative side effects. This is one of the many reasons that if you need Adderall you should speak to your doctor.
Hair loss is considered a rare side effect for people prescribed the medication. Its only been reported to occur in less than 1% of the population that takes the medication as prescribed.
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
- Chest pains
- Difficulty with breathing
- Aggressive or angry outbursts
More serious side effects related to taking Adderall are considered rare for those that are being prescribed the medication. However, these side effects are not uncommon for people who abuse them.
Adderall and Other Hair-Related Disorders
Adderall is a stimulant drug that affects a person’s behavior. For this reason, there have been case studies after a 12-year-old who was prescribed Adderall began to pull out her own hair. Trichotillomania (TTM) is a mental health disorder that is characterized by a person repeatedly pulling out his or her own hair. Most individuals that suffer from TTM also have a co-occurring mental health condition.
Stimulant medications have been shown to cause Trichotillomania, however, it typically affects less than 1% of people taking the medication. Prevalence may be higher for individuals who abuse Adderall however.
Treatment for Hair Loss
If you are experiencing hair loss related to taking Adderall, you should speak with your doctor immediately to adjust your dosage. If you are taking Adderall without a prescription, you should discontinue use immediately. Not only is your hair loss probably associated with taking Adderall but there are a multitude of other negative effects related to Adderall abuse.
There can be other causes of hair loss that are unrelated to Adderall including over-washing your hair, using certain hair products, not getting enough vitamins, and wearing your hair in particular hairstyles. Other medications like birth control can also affect your hair health. Be sure to discuss all the medications you are currently taking with a medical professional. They can help you determine how to reverse your hair loss.
Alternatives to Adderall
If you are concerned about the possibility of hair loss from Adderall, there are other options available to treat ADHD. Stimulant medications like Concerta and Ritalin are similar to Adderall but have a lower risk of hair loss. Non-stimulant medications like Strattera or Intuniv can also be effective in treating ADHD without the same risk of hair loss. If you are taking Adderall and experiencing hair loss, speak to your doctor about alternative treatment options.
If you are looking for an over-the-counter alternative to Adderall, there are several options available. These include caffeine, guarana, and synephrine. While these substances may not be as effective as Adderall in treating ADHD, they are much less likely to cause hair loss. Caffeine is also a stimulant, so it can help increase focus and energy levels. Guarana is a plant that contains high levels of caffeine, while synephrine is an extract from citrus fruits that has properties similar to adrenaline.
Treatment for Adderall Addiction
Adderall addiction is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you know is addicted to Adderall, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible.
There are many treatment options available for Adderall addiction, and the best course of action will vary depending on the individual’s situation. However, some common treatments for Adderall addiction include inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment programs.
Therapy is offered in both types of Adderall addiction treatment. Typical forms of therapy offered in these programs include:
This treatment approach uses positive reinforcement to encourage people to stay away from drugs. For example, people may receive vouchers or other rewards for abstaining from drug use.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an Adderall addiction, please seek help as soon as possible. There are many resources available to those who need assistance.
Are You Struggling with Adderall Addiction? Contact Westwind Recovery® Today!
Adderall addiction does not have to control your life. With the help of a treatment program like Westwind Recovery®, you can get on the road to recovery and start living the life you want to live.
At Westwind Recovery®, we offer a variety of treatment services that are designed to meet the unique needs of each individual. We provide both inpatient and outpatient treatment, as well as detoxification services. Our goal is to help you achieve long-term sobriety so that you can lead a happy and healthy life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with Adderall addiction, please contact us today. We are here to help you through every step of the recovery process.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.