Unraveling Side Effects: Why Adderall Can Make You Feel Tired

Have you asked, “Why does Adderall make me tired?” This article explores and examines the unintended side effects of Adderall, including fatigue.

Why Does Adderall Make Me Tired?: What is Adderall?

The estimated number of amphetamine consumers globally between 2010 to 2020 is 34.07 Million. Amphetamine is the active ingredient in Adderall that helps alleviate attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.1

Given that Adderall is used to increase focus and awareness, individuals who experience fatigue while using the medication may ask, “Why does Adderall make me tired?”

This article seeks to answer the question, “Why does Adderall make me tired?” To do this, we will explore the intended uses of Adderall and its unintended side effects.

why does adderall make me tired

Why Does Adderall Make Me Tired?: How Does Adderall Work?

Adderall is a prescription medication that acts as a stimulant. Stimulants are a class of drugs that speed up messages traveling between the brain and body. Stimulants are composed of two major ingredients: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.1

Because it facilitates faster communication between the brain and the body, Adderall is often used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. Adderall comes in two forms: an oral tablet IR (immediate release) and an oral capsule ER (extended release).

Why Does Adderall Make Me Tired?: How is Adderall Used?

Adderall is the most commonly used treatment for people suffering from ADHD and narcolepsy. This is because it enhances concentration and positively impacts the daytime wakefulness of a person.
In the other case, it might lower your energy levels and cause fatigue or tiredness. The number of Adderall users who experience tiredness or sleepiness after taking Adderall is low. But it happens. The figures might differ in different age groups, though.
Approximately 2% to 4% of children taking Adderall experience fatigue, but more adults- around 6%- experience this side effect.2

Why Does Adderall Make Me Tired?: Adderall’s Effect on the Brain

Understanding how Adderall affects the brain can help answer the question, “Why does Adderall make me tired?”

Why Does Adderall Make Me Tired?: How Adderall Affects Brain Function

Adderall stimulates the neurotransmitters, or chemicals, in the central nervous system (CNS). These chemicals are called dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for keeping you calm and relaxed so that you can have a better focus.

People who struggle with ADHD have lower levels of dopamine compared to individuals who do not experience trouble focusing. Because of this, these individuals are constantly in need of stimulation. Adderall helps release dopamine and other neurotransmitters to improve concentration.
The presence or absence of these neurotransmitters also affects the individual’s sleep patterns. Therefore, some users might experience dizziness or tiredness after taking Adderall.3
Taking a high dosage of Adderall and suddenly removing it from your routine can cause sleepiness and fatigue. Likewise, adjusting the dosage of Adderall can also have this effect.4
If you find yourself becoming addicted to Adderall,
call Choice House at (303) 578-4981 today!

Why Does Adderall Make Me Tired?: What Underlying Factors Can Cause Fatigue?

Numerous underlying medical conditions can contribute to feeling tired while taking Adderall. Identifying the underlying cause of fatigue can help determine how to address the issue.
These are some common factors that contribute to fatigue, and the corresponding interventions used:

Adderall Crash

An Adderall crash occurs when an individual abruptly eliminates Adderall from their routine. This can lead to Adderall withdrawal symptoms, including tiredness. This can be avoided by gradually lowering the dosage of Adderall under the care of a physician.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Earlier, we mentioned that Adderall has a calming effect and enhances focus. However, individuals with ADHD may have a different response. To address this issue, practicing good sleep hygiene can be beneficial.

Adrenal Fatigue

Feeling tired while using Adderall can be influenced by adrenal fatigue or chronic tiredness. To alleviate this, getting enough rest and reducing stress can be helpful.

High Dosage

Taking a higher-than-recommended dose of Adderall over an extended period can lead to severe tiredness. If this happens, it’s essential to work with your doctor to adjust your dosage accordingly.5

Why Does Adderall Make Me Tired?: Are There Alternative Treatments for ADHD and Narcolepsy?

To avoid Adderall-related tiredness during ADHD treatment, there are alternative options available. These options include stimulants, non-stimulants, and supplements.

Alternative Stimulants

Stimulants are the most commonly used intervention for ADHD and narcolepsy. Some stimulants, aside from Adderall, which can be used include:
  • Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)
  • Concerta (Methylphenidate)
  • Ritalin (Methylphenidate)
  • Provigil (Modafinil)
  • And Xyrem (Sodium Oxybate)

Non-Stimulant Medications

Non-stimulant medication options for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy include:
  • Strattera (Atomoxetine)
  • Tofranil (Imipramine)
  • Norpramin (Desipramine)
  • Intuniv (Guanfacine)
  • And Kapvay (Clonidine)

Natural Supplements

While research on the effectiveness of supplements or herbs in treating ADHD and narcolepsy is inconsistent, many people still choose to use them.
Here are some supplements commonly used as alternatives to Adderall:
  • Iron 
  • Zinc
  • Melatonin
  • Magnesium
  • Theanine
  • And omega 3 Fatty Acids (e.g., fish oil) 


Certain antidepressants, like Wellbutrin (bupropion), can also be used in place of Adderall.

Behavioral Therapy

In addition to medication, behavioral therapy is another strategy for treating ADHD. It can assist with the following:
  • Improving time-management and organizational skills
  • Reducing impulsive behavior 
  • And improving relationships

Consult a Physician Before Making Changes

While there are various alternatives to Adderall, it’s essential to consult your doctor before making a switch. This is because all medications have potential side effects and can interact with other drugs. Stopping or starting Adderall without consulting a physician can cause serious side effects.

Why Does Adderall Make Me Tired?: Side Effects of Taking Adderall

While Adderall provides benefits for individuals with ADHD and narcolepsy, it’s crucial to remember that the Drug Enforcement Administration of the US Department of Justice classifies it as a schedule II controlled substance.6
This classification indicates that Adderall is addictive, has a high potential for misuse, and can lead to severe psychological and physical dependence. Let’s look at some of the short and long-term side effects of taking Adderall.

Short-Term Side Effects of Adderall

Here are short-term Adderall side effects that typically fade within a few days or a week. These effects can be categorized into two subcategories: mild and serious symptoms.

Mild Symptoms

Some mild symptoms that can decrease over time with continuous Adderall usage include:
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety 
  • Headache 
  • Stomachache 
  • Insomnia 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Constipation 
  • And dry mouth 
While these symptoms can subside over time, it’s important to consult a physician if they last longer than a few days or a week.

Serious Symptoms

Now, let’s examine the serious symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored. If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to consult your doctor immediately.
These symptoms include:
  • Irritability 
  • Aggression
  • Depression 
  • Hallucinations
  • Blurred vision
  • Delusional thinking 
  • Allergic reaction
  • Rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) 
  • And heart problems (i.e., heart attack, rapid heartbeat, and stroke) 

Long-Term Side Effects of Adderall

When taken under a doctor’s recommendation, Adderall is considered safe for long-term use. Most users may experience side effects that diminish as their body becomes accustomed to the medication. However, for some individuals, these side effects might persist.
Long-term side effects of Adderall use can include:
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Moodiness/irritability 
  • Depression
  • Skin disorders
  • Psychosis (i.e., aggression and hallucinations)
  • Loss of appetite leading to notable weight loss
  • And heart problems
Misusing Adderall (taking high doses or not taking it consistently) can lead to serious long-term side effects. Extended use of stimulants like Adderall may cause changes in the central nervous system (CNS), such as a decrease in dopamine levels, which is a crucial messenger chemical in our CNS.

Why Does Adderall Make Me Tired?: A Detailed Overview of Side Effects

Now, we will delve into each side effect of Adderall’s long-term consumption in detail.


One of the most common side effects of Adderall usage is headaches. A study found that around 26% of adults using Adderall experienced headaches.7
However, with prolonged usage, this effect may decrease. If we were to name one of the most prevalent side effects of Adderall usage, it would be headache.7


Another common side effect experienced by many Adderall users is nausea. The percentage of individuals who felt nauseated after taking Adderall ranges between 5% and 8%. Like some other side effects, this symptom also tends to diminish with continuous use.8

Fatigue or Tiredness

Around 2% to 4% of prescribed Adderall users may experience fatigue or tiredness. However, using the medication for an extended period can help alleviate this symptom. Fatigue is more likely to occur when misusing Adderall.8


Approximately 2% to 4% of Adderall users also experience excessive sweating while taking the medication. This symptom may also be alleviated with continued use as your body adjusts to the medication.8


Individuals who take Adderall may experience constipation. Like other symptoms, constipation may dissipate with continued use.

Weight Loss

Certain individuals taking Adderall may experience weight loss due to a reduced appetite. Some people may misuse Adderall in an attempt to lose extra weight. This can cause or contribute to serious conditions such as bulimia and anorexia.


Around 27% of Adderall users may face trouble sleeping, also known as insomnia. However, as they become accustomed to the medication, their sleep routine may normalize.8

Adderall provides an instant energy boost, leading to a reduced need for sleep. Consequently, it’s a popular stimulant among college students who believe it enhances focus and performance. However, relying on stimulants like Adderall to stay awake can create a harmful cycle of drug dependence.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, a medical condition caused due to lack of saliva and dehydration, occurs in 35% of Adderall users. Dry mouth may subside with continued use.8


Psychosis is a medical condition where individuals lose touch with reality, experiencing disrupted thoughts and perceptions. Symptoms include hallucinations, agitation, and disordered thoughts.
Although Psychosis is a rare side effect of Adderall, it can occur in individuals with a history of the condition or those misusing the medication. If you encounter any symptoms of Psychosis, cease taking Adderall immediately and seek medical attention promptly.

Erectile Dysfunction

Some males who misuse Adderall may experience erectile dysfunction, although this is a rare occurrence.
Many men have reported reduced interest in sex due to Adderall use, while others have experienced increased sexual desire. If you encounter erectile dysfunction, it’s essential to consult your doctor promptly.

Hair Loss

Some individuals taking Adderall have reported experiencing hair loss while using the medication. However, the exact percentage of people affected and whether the symptoms subside with regular intake remains unclear.

Heart Conditions

Some Adderall users may experience chest pain while taking the medication. This can indicate potential issues with their heart health. The stimulation caused by Adderall affects the central nervous system, impacting various bodily functions, including heart rate and blood pressure.
Using the stimulant for an extended period and at high dosages can lead to irreversible damage, such as heart strokes or seizures.
If you feel chest pain after taking Adderall, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention from your doctor.
why does adderall make me tired

Why Does Adderall Make Me Tired?: Choice House Can Help

At Choice House, we understand the importance of addressing fatigue caused by Adderall use. Our approach includes not only medication management but also a range of therapeutic methods tailored to each individual’s needs.

We aim to find effective solutions that help individuals manage fatigue and optimize their well-being throughout their recovery journey. Our team of professionals works closely with clients to create personalized plans that promote sustainable energy levels and overall wellness.

What We Offer

We offer a variety of treatment programs all leading to a single mission: to assist men who place their trust in our services. Our goal is to provide you with a solid foundation for personal growth and long-lasting recovery.

Through our inpatient rehabilitation program, we offer comprehensive support, diligent monitoring, and expert medication management. We cater to individuals with or without co-occurring disorders, ensuring their well-being is at the forefront of our approach.

Start Your Journey Today

If you or someone you love could benefit from medication management or treatment for Adderall misuse, Choice House can help. To start your journey to recovery, contact us at 877-234-4779 or visit our website to learn more about our programs.

Participants leave their usual environments and enter nature. In these settings, they must learn to work as part of a team and develop survival skills.1

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Don’t let addiction or co-occurring mental health conditions keep you from leading the happy, healthy, and empowered life you deserve. Contact Choice House today and embrace recovery.

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