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Using Adderall For Weight Loss: An Insidious Strategy

Adderall is arguably the single most popular psychostimulant medication on the market. In addition to being a highly effective treatment option for ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), it is also sometimes used to treat narcolepsy, and as an antidepressant augmentation strategy. Many doctors don’t mind prescribing this drug to patients with non-addictive personalities because it has been on the market for a long time, is well-researched, and has a safe track record.

Despite the fact that Adderall is used responsibly to treat conditions like ADHD for which the drug was medically intended, there are others that get away with using it for off-label purposes.  For example, the drug is appealing to frequent partiers and ravers because it elicits feelings of pleasure, confidence, and talkativeness as dopamine is released in the brain.  Therefore, certain individuals seek out the drug for uses other than to treat ADHD.

Even among people with ADHD, there are often times ulterior motives for getting (or attempting to get) an Adderall prescription.  Some people sell the pills (which is illegal), some want to experience a nootropic effect from the drug, and others may be more interested in losing weight from the drug than treating their ADHD. To most people it is clear that there are physical benefits to be obtained (by overweight individuals) from taking this drug.

Using Adderall for Weight Loss

The fact that Adderall promotes weight loss has lead many overweight individuals to use it as a “quick fix” solution to lose weight and achieve the “figure” they’ve always desired.  The reality is that nearly any psychostimulant drug like Adderall will speed up the metabolism and help a person lose weight over the short-term.  Sometimes the weight loss is so significant that an individual may feel like they’ve become an entirely new person.  However, despite the societal appeal of short-term “quick and easy” weight loss from Adderall, it should never be endorsed as a beneficial long-term weight loss strategy.

How Adderall Causes Weight Loss

Many people that take Adderall may notice that the drug causes them to lose weight as well as a lower BMI (body mass index). This is due to the fact that Adderall increases the level of the stimulatory neurotransmitter “dopamine” in the brain. This is a neurotransmitter that is involved in motivation, movement, and satisfaction.

When taking this drug, it sends a signal that you are satisfied – leading to decreased appetite. On the contrary, studies have discovered that those with low levels of dopamine may be more likely to have obesity due to lack of satisfaction.

  • Appetite suppression: Most people that take a moderate amount of Adderall notice initially that they aren’t as hungry as usual. When you aren’t as hungry as you were, you’re going to eat less and think less about food. This often leads to under-eating and overall less total calories consumed. Some people experience nearly a total elimination of feeling “hungry” when they first start taking this drug.
  • Cognitive improvement: As a result of dopamine increases, your ability to think critically improves. This may lead you to be more conscious of the foods that you choose to ingest. If you were previously eating candies and pounding sodas like nobody’s business, and now you are more aware (as a result of improved cognition) that these foods are problematic, you’ll lose weight.
  • Dopamine increase: The increase in dopamine as a result of taking Adderall is largely responsible for the weight loss a person experiences. Increasing dopamine can give the user more motivation to work out, it speeds up the nervous system (and metabolism), and suppresses the appetite. Greater levels of dopamine are the driving-force behind weight loss on this drug.
  • Energy increase: Most people notice that their energy increases as a result of taking the drug. This is because more dopamine stores in your brain are being used up to give you an energetic boost. Increased energy often leads to getting more done, more physical activity, and more calories burned.
  • Fight-or-flight: When your sympathetic nervous system becomes activated as a result of the drug, it stimulates your “fight-or-flight” response. This involves the body using up excess energy stores and decreases the need for food. This is a survival response generated from the body that allows people to survive for periods of time without food.
  • Increased metabolism: It’s no secret that even if you are able to force yourself to eat the same amount of food while taking Adderall as you did prior to taking the drug, you’re probably still going to lose some weight. This is due to the fact that your metabolism will have increased from the drug. Many people enjoy the increase in metabolism because they can keep the same diet, and lose weight by taking a pill.
  • Motivation: Dopamine release also increases your overall motivation to accomplish tasks. If you experience a surge in motivation, you may direct this motivation towards making progress at the gym, with your diet, and/or other aspects of workouts. People that are relentlessly motivated to improve their physical fitness are going to lose weight.
  • Physical activity: The boost in energy often leads a person to get more exercise than usual. This may mean going on more walks, going to the gym, and/or moving around more. Even simple activities such as cleaning the house or pacing more frequently can lead to more calories burned and a higher metabolism as a result of physical activity.
  • Self-control: It is important to highlight the fact that when dopamine levels increase, your ability to exercise self-control improves. Drug-induced improvement in self-control gives you more power to turn down unhealthy foods and choose healthier ones. Prior to taking Adderall, you may have caved into having unhealthy snacks throughout the day.
  • Side effects: Some people may experience side effects from the drug such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Although these are not common side effects to experience over the long-term, they can all lead to weight loss. If you aren’t retaining food and/or feel nauseous, it’s unlikely that you’re going to eat as much as you typically would.

Factors that influence weight loss on Adderall

There are several factors that will determine how much weight you lose while taking Adderall. These include the dosage that you take, how long you’ve been on the drug, whether you’ve become tolerant to its effects, your current lifestyle, genetic variations, as well as other drugs that you’re ingesting. These factors help explain why some people may lose more weight than others while taking this drug.

1. Dosage

The amount of Adderall that you take will have a significant influence in determining how much weight loss you experience. If you take a relatively small dose, you may not lose much weight because you aren’t getting as much of the drug. In other words, at smaller doses, less dopamine is released and there is less stimulation of the central nervous system.

At high doses, there is a greater release of dopamine and the effects of the drug become amplified. Someone who has never taken Adderall and jumps on a moderate to high dose may experience significant energy, euphoria, and weight loss during the initial stages of treatment. Assuming you haven’t developed tolerance, the greater the dose, the greater the weight loss.

2. Frequency of Usage & Subtype

Those that take the drug more frequently tend to lose more weight than those who use it on an “as needed” basis. Additionally those staying medicated for a longer duration throughout the day should experience more initial weight loss.

  • Frequency: How frequently do you take Adderall? If you take it on an infrequent or “as-needed” basis, you’re probably not going to lose much weight. This is because your body will attempt to reestablish homeostasis during periods for which you abstain from the drug. If you are taking the drug a couple times a week or the immediate-release version once daily, you may not lose much weight.
  • Subtype: There are two main types of Adderall… the “IR” (immediate-release) version and the “XR” (extended release) version. Those that take the IR version once a day or as needed may not lose as much weight as people taking the XR version. Obviously if the “IR” version is taken at several intervals throughout the day, this achieves the same effect as taking the “XR” once a day.

3. Duration of Treatment & Tolerance

Those that have been taking the drug over a short-term are more likely to experience change in weight than those who have been taking it for a long-term. Over the short-term, the effects of the drug are heightened due to the fact that tolerance has not yet been established. As a person establishes tolerance over the long-term, they experiencing diminishing returns in regards to weight loss from the same dosage.

Obviously if you are constantly increasing the dosage each time you become tolerant, this should lead to increased weight loss. However, eventually you will hit a peak dosage and your body will adapt to the metabolic and stimulatory effects of that dose. Once you become tolerant to a high dose, you may end up gaining some weight back that you initially lost.

4. Lifestyle / Personal habits

The amount of weight you lose on Adderall is also partially influenced by your lifestyle and habits. Those that eat a healthy, clean diet, and incorporate plenty of physical activity in their daily routines are more likely to lose weight than those who don’t. Healthy habits while taking this drug will likely lead to more weight loss than someone who isn’t making effort to get any exercise and/or eat a healthy diet. If you aren’t losing as much weight while taking this drug as you’d hoped, your unhealthy habits may be overriding the effects of the drug.

5. Genetics

Although most people will lose weight on this drug, the amount of weight loss experienced may be influenced by genetics. Those with certain genetic variations may lose more weight than those with other genes. New technology like “GeneSight” is being refined to help people get a better understanding of how their genetics will influence side effects (e.g. weight changes) as a result of a particular medication.

6. Other drugs

If you are taking other medications, this may amplify or offset the weight loss experienced on Adderall. Certain medications such as atypical antipsychotics and SSRI antidepressants are associated with weight gain. These drugs slow the metabolism, alter hormones, and increase appetite – ultimately causing weight gain. If you take Adderall with drug known to cause weight gain, they may cancel each other out, leading to you remaining “weight neutral.”

In other cases, you may be taking such a low dose of Adderall, that the other medication overpowers its effects, leading to slight weight gain. Another scenario could be that you are taking a stimulatory drug like Wellbutrin in tandem with Adderall, which may amplify the propensity of weight loss. If you have questions as to how certain drugs may be interacting with Adderall, be sure to speak with a medical professional.

Why you should think twice about using Adderall for weight loss…

Using Adderall for weight loss has lucrative short-term appeal, but will ultimately lead to an array of long-term problems. Once you become tolerant to the effects of the drug, you may gain back some weight that you initially lost. Furthermore, if you ever want to discontinue Adderall, you’ll experience weight gain, sometimes gaining significantly more weight than you lost as a result of low dopamine and metabolic slowing. For these reasons, the practice of using Adderall to lose weight isn’t medically supported.

  • Abuse: Some people figure out that taking a drug like Adderall can lead to weight loss. Instead of using the drug responsibly, they take a little bit, then a little more, and eventually end up abusing it. This may involve taking significantly more of the drug than is medically recommended (or safe). In the event that they aren’t able to lose as much weight as they’d like, they may continuously increase their dose.
  • Addiction: Those that take Adderall specifically to lose weight often become addicted to the drug. They become addicted to the weight loss that they experience, but they also become addicted to the pleasurable mental effects and cognitive improvement derived from the drug.  Amphetamines like Adderall are considered to be among the world’s most addictive drugs.
  • Dependence: You may never think that you’ll become reliant upon a medication, but Adderall is some powerful stuff. A day may come when you stop taking it and realize that you can’t function without it. Many people become reliant on the drug to maintain an ideal weight, perform well at their job, etc.
  • Diminishing returns: The longer the duration over which you take Adderall, the less likely you will experience weight loss from the same dosage. Of course increasing the dose will help, but you can only do that for so long until you hit a maximum dose. Returns will continue to diminish and you may gain back some weight that you originally lost.
  • Dopamine burnout: After awhile of taking this drug, your dopamine stores will get used up. This leads to a person requiring more of the drug to feel the same degree of concentration, focus, and/or maintain weight loss. Once most of your dopamine stores are used up, it will take an extended sober period before they are replenished. When your dopamine stores are depleted, you’re going to eat more and potentially gain weight.
  • Illegal: It is illegal to use Adderall to lose weight unless prescribed by a doctor for this specific purpose. This is a “controlled-substance” in the United States due to the fact that it has high potential for abuse.
  • Long-term effects: While this drug is considered relatively safe when used responsibly (for medically approved conditions), it is not void of long-term effects. Each person has different reactions as a result of long-term treatment. Although Adderall may be relatively safe over the long-term, it is unknown as to whether it may pose detriment to your health.
  • Muscle loss: If you end up losing weight, some of the weight that you lose may be muscle. If you are a guy, you may not like the fact that you are actually burning some muscle from taking this drug. While not everyone will lose a significant amount of muscle, it is important to highlight the fact that this is a possibility – especially at higher doses.
  • Side effects: Even though many people like the side effects of this drug, some people don’t. You may get headaches, mood swings, experience poor sleep quality, and may notice an increase in blood pressure as a result of this medication. For some individuals, the side effects of the drug are difficult to cope with.
  • Tolerance: When taking any drug for an extended period, you’re going to become tolerant to its effects. This leads to less therapeutic effect from the same dose that you had been taking. As you develop tolerance, you’ll need an increase in dose to achieve the same weight loss that you may have been experiencing. The problem is that you’ll eventually hit a wall when you become tolerant to the maximum recommended dose.
  • Unrealistic image: Taking Adderall to lose weight may help you achieve a desired figure, but it may be unrealistic. Even though hard work at the gym and formatting your dietary intake may help you achieve a great look, the way you look on a drug may be unrealistic. Drugs can help you exceed your natural limitations. Unfortunately, when the effects wear off, you may always compare yourself to the unrealistic figure you attained while on Adderall, which can be highly depressing.
  • Withdrawal: Many people experience a great deal of psychological distress when they pursue Adderall withdrawal. If the drug isn’t providing benefit and/or you aren’t able to continue getting pills to keep off your weight, you will end up first experiencing an “Adderall crash,” characterized by low dopamine. This can lead to depression, anxiety, and difficulty with cognitive functions – often for an extended period of time.
    • Rebound effect: Assuming you quit taking Adderall, it can take many months (in some cases longer) to correct the changes that the drug had made to your nervous system and physiology.  If you were dependent on the drug for functioning and had to discontinue, you are going to experience the opposite of what you experienced on the drug.  The old saying “what goes up, must come down” applies here.  If you lost a bunch of weight while taking the drug, you will probably gain all of that weight back.  In some cases, the rebound effect is so strong, that you’ll actually end up gaining significantly more weight than you lost.  This is in part due to abnormally low dopamine stores, as well as fatigue, and slowed metabolism for an extended period of time.

Safe, effective weight loss strategies

Fortunately there are safe, effective weight loss strategies that you can use as an alternative to taking a drug. Sure taking a drug like Adderall to lose weight is effective over the short-term, but is ultimately unsustainable. In order to keep your metabolism up and lose weight, you’ll want to alter your dietary intake as well as physical activity. Although these weight loss methods require some effort, they get easier with continued practice.

  • Daily walking: Something as simple as going for a walk each day can speed up your metabolism and help you burn calories. Although most people like the idea of heavy cardio, a simple activity like consistent daily walking will lead to some weight loss for previously sedentary individuals.
  • Dietary changes: You may not want to give up the chips, fast food, sodas, or refined carbs that you are shoveling down the hatch each day, but making dietary changes may be necessary in order to lose weight. Analyze your diet and customize a diet based on what works for your genetic code to help you lose weight.
  • High-intensity interval training: This is a form of exercise in which you perform a high-intensity exercise to get your heart rate up, followed by a short rest period. It alternates between an elongated intense period of working out and rest. Even short high-intensity interval training (e.g. 15 minutes a day) is enough to promote weight loss.
  • Hypertrophy training: This is a style of training that involves building muscle size in order to look more aesthetic. This type of training generally involves lifting weights at higher repetitions in order to burn fat and build up the muscle. Although this style of training may not make you incredibly strong, it will help you lose unwanted weight (assuming you are overweight).
  • Strength training: This involves progressively lifting heavier weights. As your body builds strength, your metabolism increases, you lose fat and build muscle. There are many free strength training programs available online.

Note: With all these methods, you cannot expect immediate results like you’d get with Adderall. These take consistent effort, but in many cases they are not that difficult to start. Unfortunately they do require “effort” – something not many people are willing to put forth in order to get results.

How much weight will you lose from Adderall?

There’s no telling exactly how much weight you’re going to lose from Adderall. Some people lose a significant amount, while others lose a very miniscule amount. Yet others may experience no weight change as a result of taking other medications and/or having built up a tolerance to the effects of stimulants. Assuming you have no tolerance, you may lose weight in the first few years of treatment.

Some people have claimed net weight losses of up to 30 lbs. after a year of treatment as a result of this drug. There aren’t many specific reports regarding weight loss from this drug, but it is a noted effect in a large percentage of people. Keep in mind that when you lose weight in early years of treatment, you’ll eventually gain it back with continued usage and/or discontinuation.

Have you used Adderall for weight loss?

If you’ve used Adderall to lose weight, be sure to share your experience in the comments section below. Mention whether you are currently taking it, your dosage, how long you’ve been medicated, as well as other factors that may have contributed to your weight loss. Also mention the primary condition for which you were prescribed Adderall (e.g. ADHD) to help us get a better idea of why you started using the drug.

For those that had taken the drug to lose weight, discuss at what point you noticed diminishing returns on weight loss. If you have been a long-term user and/or discontinued, be sure to mention the degree to which the weight returned. The reality is that while many people successfully use this drug to achieve a desired weight loss goal, its effects are ultimately unsustainable over the long-term.

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{ 52 comments… add one }
  • Mary April 25, 2018, 11:51 pm

    In 2008 my boyfriend introduced me to adderall. He insisted it would help me with school. I began taking his 30mg XR once a day for 3 months. At the time I weighed around 180 (5’11”) and after 3 months I was down to 130. I ended up finding a doctor who prescribed me 10mg IR 3 times a day.

    I took this for 3 years and never needed to increase my dose. My weight stayed around 130 for three years. After 3 years, I needed more adderall to maintain my focus. I increased to 20XR once a day and 20IR once a day. This worked for me for two years.

    After that point I was taking pretty much my month supply within 8 days. It was horrible. I couldn’t sleep at night and was taking sleeping aids to help. Once the sleeping aids quit working I turned to Xanax. My adderall prescription and Xanax combination went on daily for 3 years. I ended up quitting Xanax cold turkey without medical help. I don’t advise that.

    Around 2014 my weight reached 148. It stayed there until 2016 when I reached my absolute peak of adderall. I had consumed over 100mg in one day while at work and I pretty much had a seizure and god knows what else happened to my body and brain. I almost died.

    I never took adderall again even though it crossed my mind. I gained so much weight back, quit my job, became depressed. From 2016-2017 I weighed 200 pounds. I never weighed that much during my pregnancy (2004). I developed hypothyroidism and high cholesterol. I’ve worked hard in the gym and the weight is slowly coming off.

    Bottom line: Adderall is completely dangerous. It should not be used for weight loss. It will help with work performance but it will ALWAYS have consequences. Children should never be prescribed this drug in my opinion and my advice is to use complete caution. It is addictive.

    Tolerance will go up. Weight will be lost and then gained back. I almost died from this drug and I lost a lot of my life that I can’t get back. To just think I could’ve eaten healthy and worked out every day and been a healthy person all those years without adderall… I chose what I thought was the easy option.

    God bless anyone reading this and any potential problems or concerns you may have with this drug.

  • Lori April 18, 2018, 7:15 pm

    I am 61, and was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 25. I took various medications, but Adderall XR was the one I took for the longest time. When I first started taking it, it worked very well for my ADHD symptoms, and the best part was that I quickly lost 10 pounds, and my appetite was suppressed so that I kept at a steady 140 for the entire 15+ years that I was taking it.

    After Adderall stopped helping the ADHD, my doctor weaned me off of it, and started me on Strattera, and eventually added Buspar. The strange thing was that I immediately gained back the 10 pounds, which wasn’t so bad. But since then, I have gained another 10 pounds, and it seems like I have a voracious appetite now. Very frustrating – not sure what to do.

  • Rose January 16, 2018, 12:05 am

    I have been prescribed for almost ten years. When taking it continuously for 6 months I lost 40 lbs. After I became pregnant I stopped taking it and gained 80.

  • Michelle March 21, 2017, 8:05 pm

    I have started taking adderall again the last month. I do have ADHD, but a very mild form of it. Taking adderall mostly for the energy and weight loss. I was 135 last month, and I’ve gotten down to 130 so far on the 10mg XR. Goal is to get back down to 120/125 range so I might up the dosage. I am 5’6″ and have put on weight joining the military.

    Was 116 before I signed up and it killed me to see myself gain weight. Overall, weight loss from it is quick and it has turned me away from eating fast food (literally makes eating anything unhealthy seem disgusting). It has also helped with depression. It’s a nice little boost to give me energy to do things and be more outgoing again.

  • Donald November 25, 2016, 2:25 pm

    I’m a 47 years old man. Under medication for bipolar disorder. I’m taking Seroquel for this condition since 4 years. Prior to Seroquel I was under Lithium for 12 years. As for my bipolar disorder, I’m really stable since the last 4 years. Before taken these treatments I was lightly overweighted. But I gained about 120 lbs since then (since 16 years).

    I’ve tried to lose weight by myself but obviously it did not work, I’m now at 335lbs (5″11). But I’m not suffering so much of it. I’m still very active. But I know I need to loose weight. My psychiatrist is really concerned about my weight since many years… so am I. At my last visit, he told me about Adderall and it’s weight loss properties.

    I was not really enthusiastic about adding a new pill to my treatment, knowing that I’m not ADHD at all. I was wondering what kind of effect it could have on me…on my bipolar condition. According to him there is no risk for me to take Adderall. I’m still concerned since I’m reading lots of thing saying that Adderall should not being use mainly for losing weight.

    I accepted to try Adderall. I took my first pill this morning, as a beginning dose I’m on 10 mg. I’m a bit anxious to see what will happen. P.S. Excuse my English writing, I’m a French Canadian, and English is not my first language. Thanks.

  • M November 22, 2016, 9:48 pm

    I am a male in my late twenties, diagnosed with ADHD as an adult after being tested by a neuropsychologist and a neurologist. At 5’10” and 165 Lbs, I was already a healthy weight for my height and age (female friends always commented that I was too thin). I actually lost weight unintentionally while on Adderall IR (30mg per day in two 15mg doses) and ended up around 155 Lbs.

    Due to a change in insurance, I stopped taking Adderall for 3-4 months and I steadily gained weight until I was about 185-190 LBs. I also immediately lost the focus and attentiveness that the medication gave me, with my mental clarity eventually reverting to where I was before taking the drug. Today I am back on Adderall for its intended therapeutic purpose.

    While I won’t mind if I lose the extra weight that I gained while off the drug, I would never recommend taking it for that purpose. Clearly I would have been a healthier weight if I had never taken Adderall to begin with so in a way you could say that Adderall caused me to gain weight! I also would not describe the physical side affects as particularly pleasant, if I take it before breakfast I am nauseous for the first few hours of the day and often find it difficult to make myself eat.

  • Jenny November 16, 2016, 5:11 pm

    I am 33 years old. I was prescribed and began taking Adderall in Oct 2012. My beginning weight was 190 lbs. I am 5’7”. In the first 3 months I did not notice any significant weight loss. I think I lost maybe 10 lbs. But I was only on 10mg IR once a day to start. By Jan 2013, I was upped to 20mg IR’s once a day. This is when I began noticing weight loss. From Jan to March, I lost 20 lbs. I was down to 170.

    In March my doctor switched me to the 20mg XR’s which I took once a day. From March to June I lost 22 more lbs. bringing my weight to 148. I was down 42 lbs. total and it only took 8 months to achieve! I never looked better in my life! I had dropped from a size 12 to a size 8. I lost 4.5 inches on my waist. I had to buy a completely new wardrobe since nothing fit me anymore. There’s no better feeling than shopping for clothes when you lose weight.

    I found myself being able to wear crop tops and daisy duke shorts and not look ridiculous. I had a flat stomach and slim thighs. My more back flab, chub rub or muffin top. My bra size also changed. I went from a 38D to a 34C. My face was slim. The double chin was gone! I could not believe all this was achieved by taking medication. I had not worked out at all during this weight loss. I was so happy. But it was short lived. The unexpected happened.

    By August 2013, I had gone back to the IR’s for financial reasons. I was now taking 2 20mg IR’s a day. By Dec 2013, I had gained 12 lbs. I was now 160 lbs. I figured the weight gain was from the holidays. I ate much more than I had been eating. Due to further financial issues, I decided to wean myself off of the Adderall to help save some money. My insurance was not the greatest at the time. I officially stopped taking it in January 2014. From Jan to June, I gained 10 lbs. back.

    Not too bad. I was dieting and doing light work outs to help maintain. In July 2013, I exploded. I gained 5 lbs. that month alone. I was no longer working out or dieting. By Dec 2014 I was back to 175 lbs. In Jan 2015, I started taking Adderall again. Due to the cost of the XR’s and my crappy insurance, I decided to go back to the IR’s. My doctor put me on 1 30mg IR a day. Half way through the year, I was put on 2 30mg IR’s a day. From June 2015 to present, I gained 5 more lbs.

    I currently weigh 180. I have been taking the 60mgs of IR daily all while dieting and exercising 5 days a week (mostly cardio). I have only been able to maintain 180 lbs. The weight refuses to budge. I am no longer able to fit in any of the clothes I bought in 2013. I am back to a size 10 and am a 36C and gained 3 inches back on my waist. My BMI is considered overweight. I am miserable and depressed. I eat healthy and the Adderall does work to help me stay focused and alert at work but by dinner time, I no longer feel the effects and my dinners all get stored as fat in my body.

    I have lost my sex drive completely. I feel ugly and discouraged. I long for the days that I was happy and fit and able to wear anything I wanted and feel confident. I’ve been asked if I am pregnant since the weight has piled on me so quickly. My face has filled out again. I look completely different than I did not too long ago. Recently I started a new job which has great health insurance.

    I went back to my doctor yesterday and he put me on 2 30mg XR’s a day. I will begin these next week. I am praying that this works to help me lose the weight again. I really do believe that the XR’s help you lose weight. The IR’s only work for a few hours. I would literally need to take 4 a day to achieve what 2 XR’s will do.

    I will update again in a few months after I start my XR journey. I hope my story helps others better understand that the weight will come back full force when you stop taking it or become too tolerant. So do yourselves a favor if you lose lots of weight, and get into the habit of a healthy diet and regular exercise or you will lose all of your progress and be sad like me.

    • Nancy March 9, 2017, 4:03 pm

      I agree that it is great at first but you crash later. I have been taking Adderall for 7 years. I questioned my Psychiatrist that I didn’t think I was ADD. She finally admitted that she was giving them for my major depression. They were great at first and I lost 75 pounds in a few months. I have been overweight most of my adult life.

      I had anorexia when I was 19 in 1977. I was put on drugs that caused rapid weight gain and have been fighting the weight ever since. I have tried every weight loss plan over the years. I’m sure the fact that the major depression has never improved affects my lack of success. After a couple of years the Adderall didn’t help me lose weight anymore.

      I still don’t have an appetite until late at night but don’t lose weight. I have suffered side effects such as headaches, stomach problems and anger issues while on the drug. Every time I attempt to stop taking it I gain tons of weight! I feel trapped on it now. Do not take this just to lose weight!

      My insurance company will not pay for a higher dose than 30mg XR. I know that taking more pills is not the answer. I stay in my room now and will not leave the house.

  • Liz November 7, 2016, 9:00 pm

    I am 20 years old and I was recently diagnosed with ADHD about 3-4 months ago. My psychiatrist had originally set me up on 20mg IR twice a day to assess my tolerance with just IR, then she moved me over to 20mg XR once daily. I wasn’t able to go in to see her for two months and within those two months I lost around 10-12 lbs.

    My appetite was significantly decreased, I ate maybe 20% a day in comparison to what I was eating before. I went in weighing 159 lbs and now way 148 lbs. I have a curvy figure, thanks to genetics, so those 10-12 lbs were lost in all the “right places”! I didn’t initially take Adderall to lose weight, but it has been a much appreciated benefit.

    The one downside I faced initially was I had a 2-3 weeks time where I was unable to see my psychiatrist, and she did not want to provide a prescription until she saw me. So for 2-3 weeks I had no adderall and went threw adderall withdrawal. The first 3-5 days were horrible. I was groggy, had a headache practically all day, I was extremely sleepy and coffee was no help!

    Thanks to ADHD, coffee either puts me to sleep or makes no difference in my energy level. After the initial 3-5 days my withdrawal symptoms were surprisingly all gone. The one thing I did realize was how bad my ADHD really was, so I am ultimately glad I chose to take adderall and it has worked well with me.

    I went in to see my psychiatrist 5 days ago. Now my doctor has me on 20mg XR once a day, and 20mg IR later in the afternoon for a booster. I usually split the pill in half and only take 10 mg IR due to 20mg IR being too much for my tolerance at the moment. I am looking forward to what my next weigh-in will look like with this new set-up.

  • Sarah November 5, 2016, 1:57 am

    I was diagnosed with what was then called ADD when I was in 3rd grade. (I’m 23, currently 130lb and 5’6). In high school I took adderall and was very active in marching band. I’ve always been thin. I never struggled with my weight. After I graduated and just worked I stopped the medication. The older I got the more my metabolism slowed down.

    I now work in a “big girl job” where I handle money and important documents so decided to try adderall again since it helped me so much in high school. Honestly it helped me pass and graduate from high school. I started on a 5mg and over the month started taking 10mg (taking 2 of my 5mg) my doctor prescribed me a full 10mg and if it wasn’t enough then take the 10 with the 5. I’m day 2 and had to move up to 15mg.

    The 10 wasn’t enough. I know feel it! I love the focus, and actually doing good at work. But I’m so scared to hit a wall. I didn’t hit a wall in high school but that was 5 years ago so your body changes. I want to be safe with this. I am going to start being active like I was in high school so if I hit a wall I don’t “blow up like a balloon”. I need to be active anyways.

    So it’s a good thing to motivate me. I think over all NEVER use this for weight loss. Your body will go into survival mode. Force yourself to eat protein and greens. I’ve been shoving pb&j sandwiches in my mouth that way my body doesn’t go into “starvation mode” I don’t mind to go back to my active high school weight (115lb) but I hope not to lose more than that.

    I’d rather lose the weight healthy with exercise with the little help of adderall for energy and high metabolism! Look at it that way. Use that energy for being more active :) set an alarm to eat. Be safe and smart with this drug. It can be a blessing and it can be a nightmare.

  • Rebecca October 30, 2016, 9:33 am

    I’m proof that Adderall withdrawal can ruin your life. I was on Adderall 45mg a day every day for 4 years. In that time I went from weighing 180 lbs. to 125 lbs. I took my dose for 6 months and then took a break for a month or two because my tolerance was so high. I was at my lowest weight, when I hit a wall and was not able to feel the same “high” or “drive” from the medication.

    I had to go thru benzodiazepine withdrawal, which made me very ill physically, so I decided to detox from Adderall as well (feeling nauseous on Adderall is miserable). Within SIX months of stopping my Adderall, I gained over 85 lbs!! I went from a size 2 to a size 20!! I’m currently at 210 lbs. and I feel lethargic, fatigued, depressed, anxious. I feel basically the opposite of how I felt on Adderall. I can’t even get out of bed most days, and am not currently working because of how crippled I feel mentally.

    I can barely function day-to-day and I wished I had never stopped taking it. I lack motivation and drive to do anything. My life has been turned upside down. Please be careful not to fall into the illusion this drug makes you think your body is capable of. Be careful when detoxing to stick to a very strict diet and exercise regime. It will feel impossible, but the further away from your ideal weight you get, the more hopeless you feel.

  • Alana October 10, 2016, 8:39 pm

    Since taking the only real effect I’ve notice is the weight loss. I’ve only been on it a little more than a month. I don’t have a lot of energy, it makes me tired, not sleepy just tired. So far I lost 17 pounds on it though starting at 187 now at 170. I used to eat super healthy (veggies and chicken) but now notice my body only wants sugar when I can will myself to eat. I am at 20 mg a day. I wish I had more of the energy it is supposed to give you. My anxiety is almost nonexistent now but I notice I get annoyed quicker. I was prescribed this for ADHD and depression.

  • Rose October 10, 2016, 1:53 pm

    I’m 18 and was first prescribed 15mg XR and given a prescription for 5mg XR when and if needed if 15mg wasn’t strong enough for me. It wasn’t so we upped it to 20mg by taking one 15mg and one 5mg a day. I noticed an extreme weight loss, lost 14 pounds in 3 weeks, weighing 104lbs. Some days I wouldn’t be hungry at all, which has led me to weighing only 99 pounds.

    I’ve recently gained back 3 pounds (currently 107.8) just from binge eating in ice cream. I’m increasing dose to 30mg this week because I crash too early in the day now. I love how I look when I lose all my weight and can see the bones, I haven’t abused this drug but I do like what I look like because of it.

  • Renee September 11, 2016, 5:36 am

    I was prescribed adderall for concentration reasons and it has significantly helped me with concentrating at school and work. I am 19 and was prescribed 20mg twice a day. I typically take it every day, sometimes only once and sometimes the full 40mg. I’ve noticed a pretty significant change in my weight since I started taking it.

    When I started taking adderall I weighed 200lbs. Now, a month later, I weigh 184lbs. This past week I have definitely noticed my weight loss. I have started to have to wear a belt with most of my pants, including brand new jeans I just bought in July. Also, my rings have gotten extremely loose to the point where I’m afraid they might fall off when I wear them.

    Although losing weight is a definite perk, taking adderall to lose weight was definitely not my intention. It kind of just happened. I definitely eat less than I did before, and I don’t have much of an appetite at all. I plan to be on this medication at least through the rest of my college career, and I hope that when the time comes to get off of adderall, I don’t put on a bunch of weight!

  • Jill September 1, 2016, 7:07 am

    I was given adderall for adhd but have had visits with 3 different psychiatrist in the last year due to relocating. I took it from April 2015 to January 2016 I lost 30 pounds. I was on both IR and ER. I stopped taking it in January. I have since gained back the 30 pounds plus gained an additional 20. I again have been given a script for ONLY ER. I hope to at least lose 20 of what I gained.

    I am having social anxiety now due to my weight. Im 200 pounds and only 5’4. I hope and pray with the new rx I see results. The last time I was on it and lost 30 pounds were the happiest months of my life. I had self esteem again. I started to love myself again. Now with the significant weight gain I dont want to leave my house. Be careful with Adderall you can gain the weight back if you stop taking it.

  • Todd Rickman July 18, 2016, 4:24 pm

    The article states adderall promotes weight loss via better diet and exercise. The article also states the natural way to lose weight is better diet and exercise. The writer’s conclusion would seem to contradict itself based on their own evidence.

    The better question is whether a heart is subjected to more stress in a healthier body but on a stimulant compared to a less healthy body without a stimulant through the course of a life-time.

    Hypothesis welcomed…

  • Jinesa July 10, 2016, 4:43 pm

    I started my adderall binge about a year ago and it lasted all of three months. I started off with one 10mg pill and within a week started taking 50mg a day. Soon after I started crushing the beads and snorting them so it didn’t hurt my stomach and also for the faster feeling of euphoria. Within the 3 months I went from 158 to 125 and was loosing weight everyday.

    The habit became VERY expensive and I felt deathly sick all the time. However by the end of it I was taking 100+mg a day and not sleeping or eating much for weeks at a time. Although I took things to the extreme last time I am excited to get my own prescription and lose some of the weight I have gained during my pregnancy.

    Although this drug is great to take if you have self control, I would note that it is not something to mess around with and if you don’t carefully monitor yourself you may end up with some really severe consequences.

  • Andy74 July 9, 2016, 12:26 am

    I’ve been on Adderral for Adult ADHD for two years, and though I have never abused it nor taken it for weight-loss, I’ve lost 90lbs. Keep in mind that I had been on Lyrica for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy for seven years and on that medication, gained 75lbs. The Adderall increased my cognitive function and energy levels, and helped me get down to a healthy weight.

    I’m now on Lamictal for my epilepsy, which causes a decrease in appetite, while continuing the Adderall. I have to remind myself to eat several small meals a day as I can completely forget to eat (and I love food!). I will be increasing my caloric intake as, while I enjoy being thin, if I don’t course-correct, I’ll be skin & bones. I want to be at a healthy weight, about 125-130 (I’m below 120 now) and get my curves back!

  • Tanya July 5, 2016, 11:32 pm

    I actually found this website while searching for reasons of weight gain, possibly a medication causing it. I was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as well as OCD approximately five years ago. I’ve been taking Adderall XR for 3 years and Wellbutrin was recently added for my OCD. I actually gained weight for the first time in my life (other than pregnancy).

    Hence, the sudden weight gain led to my internet search! I actually lost about 10 pounds when I started the Adderall 3 years ago but was trying to find out if the addition of Wellbutrin was causing me to gain weight! I see that not everyone has had a similar experience taking the two prescriptions together. I wasn’t aware that there were people taking this medication specifically for weight loss.

    I went ahead and made an appointment after reading all of this information. After an extensive lab work up my doctor was able to help me! I guess I still don’t understand why people would want to take Adderall because of the side effects… it doesn’t seem worth it… working out and watching what you eat seems to be safer in the long run.

  • ivy May 4, 2016, 7:38 am

    Im an 18 year old girl. I am not prescribed adderall (although I have tried). I usually get it from my friends. Before two days ago, I hadn’t taken adderall for about 4 months. But when I first tried it I continued taking 20 mgs…the to 40s and stuck with those for a bit.

    4 months ago I weighed 185lbs. I only took adderall for 2 weeks. Well, I lost 15 pounds in about two weeks and I was so happy. I kept my weight around the same since then. And 2 days ago I weighed in at 175. I weighed in today and I weigh 173.6. I only have about a week and a half worth of adderall right now… but I’m hoping to lose at least 10 more pounds.

    I’m having strange side effects as well. I don’t think it happens to everyone, but I’ve heard some people having the same thing happen to them. I was painting a picture for my friend. And I got so into it that I couldn’t really see anything around me but the painting. And sometimes just like through out the day I would see things moving from the corner msg of my eyes.

    Like I’ll see a human or an animal that isn’t really there. Its kind of scary TBH. Haha. I also lose track of time. Today I was playing the same song on the piano over and over again for 3 hours. I think adderall is fine to use for weight loss as long as you’re good with changing your diet when you are off the drug and make healthy choices.

  • Jameson May 3, 2016, 4:57 am

    I am a drug addict, and stimulants were my first substance I became addicted to and am still struggling to admit my huge problem with adderall. I have a lot trauma and as a result I’m suffering the struggle those events have created. The biggest problem is self confidence and self worth – always seeking something to fill the void.

    I have OCD habits that started when I was 4 – I had to eat a certain portion of the food in a certain amount of time or else something horrible would happen to my mother. Anyways, this is where my eating disorder started and I’ve been struggling ever since. It’s been 10 years of adderall abuse. At first I was hooked by the effects. I became confident, I was social, it made me want to clean and gave me this huge jolt of energy.

    At the time, adderall gave me “wings” and the biggest effect that I was hooked by was the appetite suppression. I was not prescribed them I would get them on the street. I started dropping weight like crazy and I slowly was depleting without knowing it until it got bad. I went from 185 pounds to 147 pounds at my worst. My adderall abuse was at that time around 100 mgs a day.

    I developed habits of not eating before taking it because it doesn’t work as good and avoided all Vitamin C as I heard it lessons the effects. I started using heroine at 22 and by 23 I was in rehab. I was taken off adderall as well (which I then got prescribed to me by doctor shopping). I gained 40 pounds over the course of 31 days and was back to life.

    I remained sober for 3 months but I started gaining more weight so I immediately started doing adderall again. I have been sober from everything besides adderall for ten months now and am really scared because of the amount of adderall I take and how long I’ve been abusing it. A few months ago I hit my peak and consumed all 30 20 mg IR in the matter of a day and a half. The way adderall makes me now is horrible.

    Intense fear, paranoia, dehydration, doesn’t give me energy and it now doesn’t suppress my appetite. I go through a 2 week period every month of no stimulants cold turkey and at this point I’m almost used to it. I get a fever as well if I take more than 60 mgs in a day… I want to stop so bad because this is keeping me sick and I’m afraid my body is going to give up eventually from the abuse.

    But I’m addicted to the habit of using it as a weight loss pill even though I know it doesn’t work like that anymore. Once I take one of them I keep taking them all day even if I start to get really wired and shaky. This is my first time opening up about this so any feedback would be great. I want to get off this for good but I can’t bring myself to do it. Thanks.

    • K June 9, 2016, 6:04 pm

      I wish I had some helpful feedback to offer as far as helping you break free from your addiction. I do hope that you will seek out a good, loving, and validating therapist (one with some psychodynamic/humanistic leanings and not just CBT-oriented) if you haven’t done so already. But apart from that, I just wanted to commend you and thank you for your bravery in sharing.

      Opening up about these issues is HARD, and the fact that this is your first time is courageous and admirable. I hope that this is just the beginning of your practice in opening up, especially as it relates to sharing with a therapist. Not because you’re so damaged, but because I think every single person on earth could benefit from talking to someone who is not only completely separate from their everyday life, but is also completely invested in and rooting for them as their client.

      It can be difficult finding the right “fit” with a counselor, so I urge people not to get discouraged if the first few don’t work out, even though that can be very trying. Thank you again for your bravery and openness. In the most genuine, non-glib way I can say this, best of luck in everything. I hope you will find freedom; you’re worth fighting for.

    • Ronnie July 3, 2016, 2:58 am

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I’m sure this is coming way too late but I just want you to know that you’re not alone and that you WILL get through this. I have no personal experience with rehab or drug addiction but I’ve had close friends go through it and I can really sympathize with your fear of having to quit addy (I often think I would kill myself without it).

      I was terrified when I decided to quit smoking. Like for YEARS I wanted to quit so bad but I just couldn’t imagine ever being without it (I didn’t want to gain weight and I didn’t want to lose the energy it gave me). I know that sounds stupid but trust me it was the hardest thing I’ve ever forced myself to do and no joke, I became suicidal every time I tried to do it. So I feel like I know at least a little of what you’re going through.

      Have you seen a psychiatrist or doctor about any of this yet? If not, it might be time to see a doctor and get a referral to a psychiatrist. You don’t have to tell your doctor ANYTHING about your addiction if you don’t want to (in fact, I’d caution against it). Just say you’ve been really depressed for a long time and want a referral to a psychiatrist OR you can ask to try an antidepressant and request Wellbutrin (lots of people request wellbutrin because it’s the only antidepressant that doesn’t cause sexual side effects).

      Wellbutrin might be able to help you quit addy cause it helps with dopamine. But I’m not a psychiatrist so I don’t know the exact mechanism (there might even be something better); I’m just telling you what I would do personally (wellbutrin is the closest substitute I can think of short of smoking–which is another thing I’d suggest if it wasn’t so politically incorrect because that’ll help with dopamine even more). Seeing a psychiatrist and opening up about everything would help you a lot cause they can treat your addiction chemically (they’ll force you to get some other treatment too) but I won’t lie: it’s a risk.

      Feel them out before you open up. It seems like some doctors are pretty open when it comes to listening to their patients and trying out meds but some are against stimulants of any kind so you might end up never being prescribed a stimulant again if you get one of them. Maybe that’s a good thing if you don’t have add and don’t actually need them but if you do actually need a stimulant (like for reasons other than weight loss) it would suck. Sorry, I’m not trying to scare you, just telling you to use your own intuition.

      Either way, I would suggest NOT opening up to your general practitioner because a GP usually doesn’t usually have the knowledge to successfully treat a patient for psychiatric issues (sadly this doesn’t stop some of them from trying). One last thing is a big reason you’re probably getting so ill from addy is (well, aside from probably taking way too much) you’re taking IR. The IR version is the version that seems to be preferred by drug abusers but I’ve always thought it was really awful!

      Get the XR version if you don’t want to feel all shaky and sick. Oh, it also sounds like you’re having blood sugar problems. Try to lay off the white stuff (sugar and carbs) cause they’ll make it so much worse (like if you have low blood sugar and reach for candy or cookies you’ll be feeling like sh*t an hour later and the cycle will start all over again).

    • C August 6, 2016, 5:00 pm

      Hi, I am wondering how you are doing since you posted this. I am suffering from the same thing And have been on it for over a decade. I did the whole doctor shopping and increases and decreases in strength to get more each month and I am now 28 and overweight (IMO). Is it possible to wean off of it without the weight gain? How do I restore endorphins naturally without having to be completely depleted.

      I am at a point where I don’t know if I want to continue living if I have to suffer from the endorphin depletion and I know I don’t want to be on the meds forever. I can go through a month supply in a week and I know it’s bad but I can’t stop. When I do stop, everything goes bad, I even become narcoleptic and it’s very dangerous. I’ve also lost jobs from not having the meds BC I would have to call out from the extreme exhaustion.

      I’ve never ever ever opened up about this but it plagues my thoughts every single day since 2004. I’m ashamed about it to the point that I can’t even bring myself to write about it in my diary. Not even once. Can anyone please help? There must be a solution or a treatment program for people going through what I’m going through.

    • Nick December 1, 2016, 8:39 am

      Hi Jameson my name is Nick. I’m 18 and I’m almost positive I have ADD as I have nearly every single symptom to a pretty big extent. But I was just wondering how you are doing these days and your progress on your recovery. If it is doing good then congratulations to you, I’d like to hear an update. If you’re not doing so well then I will do my best to help you. -Best Regards, Nick

  • Krystal April 22, 2016, 3:06 pm

    I was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD in December 2015. This was after trying out an SSRI for anxiety which did nothing but make my life hell. Adderall has changed my life!! My focus is amazing and my patience is much better! And the five kids at home LOVE THAT! As for weight loss – when I started the adderall I fluctuated regularly between 150lbs and 160lbs.

    As of this day- (4/22/16) I weigh 150lbs so I haven’t been losing weight HOWEVER… a lot of people are telling me I look great! I look like I’m losing weight. My boss even told me it looks like I’ve lost AT LEAST 30lbs. It’s amazing! And the best part – I’m not even trying. I take the adderall for what it’s prescribed – ADD. But I’m obviously losing inches!

    I’ve had to tighten my belt. I’ve had to buy new bras and shirts and pants! But I still weigh the same as when I started. I do eat less which is fine with me, but I still eat regularly. I’ve birthed 3 healthy children in the last 8 years and had a lot of excess weight/inches and while I’ve always wanted to lose about 30 lbs to get back to pre baby weight. I can’t complain! Although my lbs are a lot, I am by no means fat or huge or any of that.

    I look good. I feel good. It’s awesome!!

  • Anonymous April 18, 2016, 12:51 am

    I was prescribed 30mg XR and lost 30 (I weighed 160, and ended at 130) pounds within 3-4 short months. After I realized I had lost so much weight I stopped receiving my medication. Also I had found out I was pregnant, which I didn’t even know until I went to ER for abdominal pain and found out days later it was a miscarriage because my HCG was so low, because of how much weight I was losing.

    So always keep track of your weight because I never noticed until my clothes became baggy BUT everyone else around me would tell me everyday how skinny I was and I hated it.

  • Ronnie April 3, 2016, 2:57 am

    I’m a 30 yr old female and I guess I’ve been on amphetamines forever (since 2nd grade). I guess it’s just normal for me. I have never had a *real* weight problem, that’s for sure (unless you count anorexia–which you probably should as it’s a crappy problem to have). I think I’ve been on adderall for at least the last decade (and before that all the other ones except for vyvanse on account of I haven’t tried that one yet).

    Does this mean I don’t have trouble losing weight? Hell no. I always used to be thin but now in my 30s I’d consider myself normal and merely “in shape” at 5’5 120ish lbs. Anyways, Adderall and all the other stimulants (even wellbutrin) will help you lose weight INITIALLY, but after that it’s up to you to maintain it. And if you stop taking the stimulants?

    Unless you lost like SIGNIFICANT amounts of weight on it (I’m talking like 50+ lbs) you better believe that you will gain it back and then some if you quit taking it. There’s no stopping it. This is why I think taking Addy and other stimulants like it for weight loss is a lose-lose situation. Unless you plan on taking it for the rest of your life, prepare to be disappointed.

    Don’t kid yourself, Addy speeds up your metabolism; this is the main reason it makes you lose weight and once you stop taking it: BAM the lbs will pile right back on. You won’t have all that energy to work out anymore and you’ll be so busy wanting to shovel everything edible into your mouth you won’t have the time or inclination to diet. Because of the stimulants, I never had trouble losing or maintaining a low weight (as in a BMI less than 18) until I quit smoking (which is another stimulant).

    I worked out and ate healthy even as a smoker and I work out obsessively and eat excessively clean as a nonsmoker but I still gained like 15lbs. I imagine I’d gain so much more if I quit taking the Addy. Also just an FYI, they put me on wellbutrin in addition to the Addy when I quit smoking and while it did help me maintain my “smoking weight,” it only did so initially (also totally destroyed my skin and teeth, just an FYI if you don’t want to get meth mouth maybe avoid this combo).

    After like 4 months I just slowly gained weight till I was around 12o and no matter how much I diet or exercise (and I diet and exercise ALL THE FREAKING TIME) I can only occasionally shed those 5 “vanity” lbs (which is okay, as I’ve made peace with the fact that I’m just “normal” weight and not the skinniest person in the room anymore; I just wish my ass was smaller is all). Still, sometimes it feels like it takes all I have to maintain my weight but I guess this is just life, right? Or maybe a thyroid problem?

    Anyways, I will tell you people what I try to tell myself all the time: if you devote all your focus and energy into losing weight you won’t have the time to have a freaking LIFE (and you certainly won’t enjoy it). There’s more to life than weight. I don’t even pay much attention to anyone’s weight other than my own except for those times when I find myself envying people who are confident and comfortable with who and what they are (sometimes I notice these people are fat and I wish I could be them). So now that we all know that Addy has turned me into a neurotic head case…

  • Kittie March 9, 2016, 11:53 am

    I am 27 years old, 5′ 3″, and currently weigh about 135 lbs. At my highest weight I was about 150 lbs. I began taking Adderall about six years ago after being diagnosed as having ADD. I don’t believe this was a correct diagnosis and I do have suspicions about my doctor’s ability to correctly diagnose this condition in anyone, because the symptoms are so broad and many people experience them as a part of their daily lives regardless of whether or not have actually have an attention deficit disorder.

    However, I must mention that all stimulants are extremely addictive substances. Over the years, I have taken nearly every SSRI out there for depression, and hated them all because they made me gain weight and lose my ability to really feel emotion. I finally ended up taking Wellbutrin along with the Adderall to treat my depression and anxiety issues, along with Valium. I know that this is counterproductive in a way as I need the Valium to balance out the stimulating effects of the Adderall.

    I have also recently been diagnosed as bipolar type II. I believe it is in part due to the high and low swings produced by my medications. I was at one point seeing a different doctor than my first psychiatrist and he took me off of the drugs and put me on simply a bipolar medication and an atypical antipsychotic. While I know this was the best and most stable way for me to live mentally, the discontinuation of stimulant medication was excruciatingly difficult to deal with, especially in tandem with discontinuing the Valium – about five years spent on medication like that is a long, long time.

    I managed to go about six months and STILL was having withdrawal symptoms, so please know that if you do go on Adderall and plan to just stop taking it your life will be painfully difficult for a while, depending on your dosage. I ended up crawling back to my old psychiatrist, partially due to the fact that his office call fees were cheaper and partially because I wanted to be prescribed Adderall and Valium again. As far as weight loss goes, I lost quite a bit when I started the Adderall years ago.

    I was on IR, 30mg three times a day which is a LOT. For several years my weight was around 125 and I barely needed or wanted to eat. When I met my fiancee and settled down a bit, I had concurrently built up a strong tolerance to the drug and gained weight slowly – when I discontinued it I gained even more, swinging back up to 146 lbs. When I began the drug again, I managed to lose about 15 lbs initially but I have body image issues and yo-yo up and down by 10 lbs.

    Very recently, three days ago, I began to take Adderall XR 30mg twice a day and it has restored my lack of appetite. I still feel hungry, but not as often and I don’t eat quite as much just to eat it for pleasure. I do not recommend beginning this drug for most reasons except for those who truly need it. This is because it is addictive, even if you don’t know or think that you are addicted to it. You will know that you are if and when you have to discontinue it.

    That said, I won’t lie – the reason that Adderall is so effective is similar to what made ephedrine so popular in the 90s – it takes away your appetite and speeds up your metabolism. It can also completely deplete your dopamine levels and cause extreme highs and then consequent lows. But it does help you lose weight, especially when you first begin. Just be careful with it and stick with the lowest dose you feel you can manage.

  • Stacey February 12, 2016, 6:28 am

    I took Adderall XR 30mg for about 4 months several years back. I went from 244 to 163. However, there was a lot of emotional stress too, which further killed my appetite. I lost my insurance and had to go cold turkey off of it, felt like crap for about a week and then was ok. I have since gained back to about 190, although I did get to 200 again at one point (it seems 200 is my “you better get your act together” limit).

    I just started back on it, 20mg XR to start. My appetite is crap again, which in my case I feel is a good thing – I want to eat all the time. However, I am forcing myself to eat some, as I really don’t want to lose my muscle mass (I’m very active despite my weight).

  • Sydney February 3, 2016, 5:58 am

    I am a 16 year old 5’1″ female. My whole life I have been very muscular, I was always self conscious about my body I thought that I looked like I had a man body. I started taking adderall for ADD about 4 months ago. I weighed 120 to begin with and I lost 10 pounds immediently, within a week of taking it. I know have smaller legs and defined hips, I have the body of exactly how I wanted it to look!

    My weight now fluctuates between 109-111 because I don’t take it on the weekends and I eat normally. I started off with a 20 mg once daily, but I requested to come down to a 15mg because I was experiencing a racing heart, shakiness, and light headedness. I’m not sure if it was normal for that to happen but my doctor didn’t seem too concerned about it. My grades, thinking ability, and concentration also have been improve significantly.

    Also, when I don’t take it, I am frazzled all day and usually in a bad mood. I can also feel anxious if I don’t take it. Caffeine gave me a headache, but before I took adderall I would have to drink some every morning to stay awake. Now I don’t have too drink caffeine anymore! I love adderall… it has seemed to have fixed most of my everyday “problems” that I used to have.

  • Mary Klett January 31, 2016, 8:36 pm

    I’ve always been exhausted, truly exhausted, ever since I was a child. A sleep study showed that I have sleep apnea, so now I use a Bipap machine to regulate my sleep and the periods when I stop breathing – which were considerable. The sleep studies show now I sleep deep and long. The last study showed I dreamed for two hours solid.

    Incredible sleep. But when I wake up I still don’t feel rested and I don’t have energy, barely enough to get myself out of bed. The other problem is that I can’t fully wake up , either before the sleep studies and Bipap or after. My sleep disorder has caused me to gain weight over the years, my cholesterol is high for the same reason.

    Weight gain not caused by eating problems but by a very slow metabolism. So the neurologist prescribed Adderall for me last week to help me get some energy and to wake up. I’ve just started taking it. It’s a very small dose, which I have started divided. We’ll see what happens.

    I need to be awake and with some energy to function, if I can achieve that, the weight will come off slowly and naturally, and that will be a blessing. I am 30 lbs overweight and only 5 feet tall. I don’t have an addictive personality, so that is a blessing. I wish I didn’t have to take something to stay awake, but I do.

  • Stephanie January 4, 2016, 8:57 pm

    I’m a 35 year old female. I was diagnosed with ADD in the 8th grade towards the end of the year. At the time I was overweight and struggling in school which of course gave me low self-esteem and I was bullied by some kids. I was in the popular group of kids which made things even harder because they all were fit and made great grades. Once I started Ritalin (same exact feeling and response to the Adderall I take now) my grades improved and I lost so much weight.

    I didn’t even notice the weight loss. I had made the cheerleading squad for high school and was at practice a lot during the summer and my best friend had a swimming pool so I swam a lot. When I walked into the gym on the first day of school I got so many compliments. I didn’t notice the weight loss really and in my head I was and always will be fat. I stayed on Ritalin all throughout high school and did well in school and my weight loss did stop and I gradually gained a few pounds by the time I graduated but was never “fat” again.

    I joined the Air Force at 19 and stopped taking the meds so I could join and I struggled with life in general for the years I was off the meds and became fat again. Once I left the AF and started college I knew I needed the meds again. Just as when I started taking them in HS, I lost a bunch of weight but I was also very active going to the gym because I wanted to lose weight. I have been on Adderall for over 10 years now with the exception of both of my pregnancies.

    I did not suffer from any withdrawal either time I stopped taking Adderall cold turkey with each pregnancy. My husband and I planned both babies so I knew I would have to stop as soon as I found out and it wasn’t a problem for me. I was taking 40mil XR. I tried not taking Adderall after I had my youngest baby but needed it more than ever with work, kids, house, and everything else. My new dr prescribed me 40mil in the IR. I have packed on the pounds over the past five years and my activity level has dropped.

    I still feel the Adderall working for the right reasons (not weight loss) without increasing the Rx for years now. I’m going to try to use it for weight loss as long as I’m on it and spacing out my dosage to 20mil in the morning and the other 20 in the afternoon along with exercise and eating better. We’ll see how it goes. Good luck to everyone one Adderall or thinking about using it.

  • Nikki December 24, 2015, 7:01 am

    I just started taking Adderall 30mg extended release. It makes me feel a bit high the first 30 minutes then boom the energy kicks in. I don’t like that high feeling at all. I don’t drink smoke and never did a drug. So it scares me a bit. But I’m not eating so much at all. I had the weight loss surgery five years ago lost 130 pounds after two births gained back 50 pounds my heart broke.

    Back wearing plus sizes again. I have not weighed myself since I started taking it a week ago but I’m sure it’s been some difference. All of your comments are very helpful. I’m glad I found this site. If I feel myself needing this drug instead of wanting to take it with out the need. I’m flushing I can’t afford addiction I have a great husband and kids I don’t want to cause them stress because I’m trying to do things the easy way.

    I’m a nursing student and this Adderall gives me better focus and will to study; I’m not forcing myself anymore. Good Luck to you guys. Thank you for your stories.

    • Stephanie January 5, 2016, 1:57 pm

      Don’t be so hard on yourself. Some people NEED Adderall. That’s why they make it and prescribe it. I need it. I’m not sure I would be any good at my job without it. I juggle a lot of things at work and with Adderall I keep up. I stopped taking it during my 5 years in the AF and I wasn’t my best even though I struggled to be great.

      I tried so hard to do a good job while in the AF, but I would always forget something or mess something up and I was trying so hard not to. It’s not that I didn’t care. I’m just someone who needs it. I’m in the Army National Guard now and they allow me to take Adderall and I’m a much better solider than I ever was an Airman and I know without a doubt it because of Adderall.

      (Read my comment below that I posted to see my history with the meds) I stopped taking Adderall cold turkey with each pregnancy and I didn’t have a problem with it. I’m sure I was more tired than usual but nothing so bad that I remember. I take it just about everyday with the exception of when I’m sick or some days on the weekend. I totally understand what you mean about that “feeling of being high” after about 30 minutes.

      I used to be a fun time party girl in my 20’s and I used to smoke. Using Adderall gives me a strong urge to smoke about 30 minutes after I take it but I can’t stand smoke when I’m not on it. It’s weird. Sometimes I go outside with co-workers and have a smoke because of the Adderall but never when I’m not on it. The pros of Adderall have greatly out weighted the cons for me. But I don’t think I have an addictive personality and have self control.

  • Jason December 18, 2015, 11:29 pm

    24. Started 219lbs. Been using 10mg IR from Nov-End of Dec. Now I am 211LB. My meals include Breakfast at 11am (waking up at 10am) . Omelet(egg whites or non depends how much work I want to do) and coffee or OJ (and depends how much work I want to do). Lunch @ 6 PM consists of some protein with veggies, and maybe rice if I need the extra starch. Dinner @10pm Some sort of protein(steak,chicken,fish) and maybe some fruits.

    Pre-adderall I was working out 5x a week 2x a day. And Same kind of diet, except with earlier times. I haven’t been able to maintain this schedule due to my heavy school work load. Pre-adderall I also lost 20lb in 1.5 years Most of body was already mainly muscle. I have noticed some muscle loss but that could be also from not working out. When I first started for my 1st month 10mgs, would last me about 8-10hours. Now It only last me 5-6 hours. This is during a 8 week period.

    I am almost done with school and plan to quit this drug. I can definitely see it may be addicting. I get more work done while I am on it, it pushes me farther then I ever could do on my own. Pre-history I have a very low-tolerance for any medications since I almost never take any medications even for small colds or flu. I would not say I have an addictive history. I used to smoke cigarettes and drink, and was able to cut both off cold turkey.

    I would not suggest this drug to anyone who does not have a high sense of self-control. This can definitely become a addictive substance. Someone I know takes 30 XR for about 8 months and lost 45 lbs from 198-162. He is now going through withdrawal, lost muscle definition, and can no longer have more than 1-2 alcoholic beverages before becoming drunk. If he has more than 4, he is usually blacking out. He probably wont admit it, but I often see him go through mood swings. I have experienced mood swings sometimes also.

  • Nicole December 14, 2015, 4:14 pm

    I’m 5’2 and 29 years old I weighed 120lbs 3 months into the med I weighed 105. I’m currently still 105 and cannot stand how sick I look. I lost my “perfect butt” and my face sunk in. The drug is great minus the extreme weight loss for me. Even if I eat on it I still don’t gain.

    I’m going to have to stop and just go back to my lazy unmotivated self for a while and than maybe take it once in a while. I wish I could just weigh 115 and stay active and get all my daily things done. Thanks for your info. I needed it.

  • BARRY December 2, 2015, 8:28 am

    I took adderall… about 5 a day for a week and lost 25 pounds and kept it off. I’m about to do it again, I love it.

    • Nikki December 24, 2015, 6:52 am

      Wow. Barry how many Mg is that in five pills total?

  • J December 1, 2015, 7:51 am

    I’ve been prescribed Adderall for about 1 full year now, I started on 10mg XR per day for increased energy due to chronic fatigue. I suffer from severe depression and PTSD due to military service overseas. The drug greatly reduces my appetite and I have to force myself to eat. I have noticed on days that I don’t take the drug, all I can do is lay around waste the day. I feel food, I receive a dopamine high ever hour it seems and last up to 8 to 10 hours.

    I was also prescribed the drug because I have trouble sleeping, so by taking the Adderall in the morning with breakfast, I have more energy expenditure throughout the day thus making me tired for night time sleep. All in all I would have to say the benefits outweigh the costs. Thank you for your info.

  • Linds November 24, 2015, 6:40 pm

    I started taking adderall 25 mg. XR for ADHD. I am 5’3″ and weighed 155 pounds. I have been on it for 8 months and weigh 133. Some months I can lose between 5-8 pounds. Other months I maintain no weight loss. I am not trying to lose weight. But when work is extremely hectic and busy I forget to eat and after getting home and dealing with kids and homework, dinner, bath and bed I realize it’s 10 pm and I haven’t eaten.

    I hate this. I try to eat a little every couple of hours. Even if its just a couple bites of protein bars. Which I always keep close by. I have also given up soda and drink a crazy amount of water. On weekends I don’t take the Adderall and still don’t eat much. I think just because we are so busy.

  • Evelyn October 24, 2015, 6:06 pm

    I’ve always been “overweight” but never to the extent as now. I was always thick, 140lbs but looked good so weight never bothered me. Until I quit smoking and changed jobs from a fast retail position to a sit down tax preparation position, my weight went to 175lbs. Two pregnancies later, I got back down to 175 but began gaining weight as I started taking meds for PMS, anxiety, etc. I am taking Wellbutrin, Effexor, and Abilify, in addition to blood pressure meds. While also taking IR and ER Adderall, I have gained and am currently at 208. (Weight increase over a few months). I am close to stopping my meds except Adderall and BP meds to see if I can get rid of some of my recent weight gain.

  • FatMomma October 12, 2015, 12:40 am

    I began taking my son’s Adderall when he decided he no longer wanted to be on it for ADD because he didn’t like the side effects. I wanted to see if it would help me lose weight. This was the thing I needed. I lost 35 pounds in 7 months and feel great. I only take it about 4 times a week right now to keep my self controlled. I won’t be able to stay on it past another 5 months or so because the prescription will run out.

    But it was what I needed to jumpstart myself. I am 5’4″ and was 180 pounds but have stayed at 145 since cutting down the days I take the Adderall. I went from a size 14 to 8. It has reminded me that food is fuel, not for fun always. I hope I can keep this focus as I go off it over the next year.

  • Cc September 21, 2015, 3:38 am

    I have been on Adderall for 6 years now for my inattentive ADD. In the first few months on 20-30mg XR I dropped down from 112 pounds to 98 pounds. I am a petite woman but it was definitely a noticable and somewhat alarming change in just a very short time. I had absolutely no interest in food. Not only was I not interested but I actually felt turned off and disgusted by the thought of food.

    Imagine someone offering you a meal after a big thanksgiving dinner and that’s how I felt at every meal, just completely uninterested. My weight slowly stabilized and as of now I am 109 pounds and have been for a few years now. Most days I have normal feelings of hunger and at appropriate times but if I get busy I will completely be uninterested and not even think of food. The lack of appetite was definitely more noticeable when I was on XR but because I was uninsured and paying out of pocket I started taking IR (it’s cheaper).

    The IR doesn’t seem to affect my appetite as much, not sure why but one thing is for sure and that’s that its hard to remember to take mid day. Most days I skip it because by the time I remember or feel I need it it’s later in the afternoon and I don’t want to be up all night (the insomnia still plagues me).

  • Alexandra September 11, 2015, 5:30 am

    Four years ago, I started taking a combination of 200mg Welbutrin SR & 20mg Adderall IR per day. During the first year, I steadily increased from 20mg to 60mg of Adderall per day & dropped from approximately 155lbs to 132lbs. (I began taking it as a 23 year old 5’7″ female.) I then gained about 5lbs over the course of a couple months & remained at a weight of 137lbs for about a year. I then began slowly gaining weight until I was close to my original weight of 155lbs.

    This is where I remained until I became pregnant with my third child in Oct. 2014. I immediately stopped taking both medications cold turkey & gained 62lbs over the course of my pregnancy (about 30lbs more than I gained with my previous 2 pregnancies- although this may have also been due to the progesterone shots I was receiving with this pregnancy). After giving birth, I did not initially restart my Adderall (due to breastfeeding) & dropped from 217lbs to 190lbs in the first month.

    I then quit breastfeeding, so I started taking Adderall again about 4 weeks ago (but not the Welbutrin) at a dosage of 20mg/day. I have currently only lost about 7lbs since restarting the Adderall. I have very mixed feelings about the drug. I have never had a problem with addiction, abuse, or dependency on it. I always take less than prescribed & frequently decide not to take it for varying periods of time.

    The “wonderful” effects people describe are nice I suppose, but they are only temporary. Eventually, the negative side effects become a lot more pronounced & the positive side effects wear off. It is great at helping people who truly have ADD to focus on the task at hand, but believe me, it is not worth taking it to lose weight.

    I’ve seen many people abuse this drug for various reasons (weight loss, more energy, etc…) & ultimately had disastrous consequences (severe anxiety, agression, personality changes, dizziness, malnourishment, shaking hands, headaches, addiction & abuse). I’ve never experienced many of the negative effects I’ve seen in friends/family members who take it, but I also actually have ADD &amp. I never let myself forget that this is a powerful stimulant that is highly addictive & not some magical pill that’s going to fix my problems & make my life all better.

    Look, I have three small children. I get it. People get exhausted. Sometimes you get no sleep & then you’re supposed to watch your children all day or go work for 8-12 hours? Those are the days when I understand someone taking an Adderall even if they don’t really have ADD. But if you don’t really need this medication, then don’t fudge having ADD in order to get on it because you want to have more energy or lose some weight.

    Eventually, the extra energy you feel will not be worth the extreme exhaustion you start to feel after it wears off. And all that weight you lost? You will wind up right back where you started a couple years down the road. Needing or wanting to take a drug of any kind is never a blessing. Don’t let this one fool you. It’s not a miracle pill. It’s a drug.

  • Kristina September 7, 2015, 11:34 pm

    I started taking Wellbutrin and eventually short acting adderall initially for postpartum depression then ADHD. In the two years I’ve taken this combination I have lost about 25-30 pounds on my pre-pregnancy weight and probably 45 total pounds lost post-pregnancy. I have been always slightly overweight my entire life even when exercising like mad. To now be a size 4/6 in my mid-40s is amazing. I’ve noticed that my diet has changed significantly since losing weight as well as my attitude towards my body and myself.

    I know that my tolerance for adderall has gone way up since starting it, and I don’t feel the effects as I used to. I sometimes go long holiday weekends or vacations without taking it and I’ve not put any weight back on. My will power has become rock solid as there is no way that I am going back to a size 10. My stomach has shrunk as well. Is it possible that the mental effects of satisfaction and increased confidence to manage ones weight can be sustained after one stops taking adderall?

  • Darla August 27, 2015, 3:56 am

    I have been on 30 mg a day for about 3 months. I’ve been prescribed Adderall for a serious sleep disorder. Within the first two months I lost 25lbs; I don’t own a scale so I don’t know how much I have lost since I was last weighed a month ago. I started out bordering a BMI of 39. I’d say I’m losing about 1″ off my waist per month. The benefits of Adderall far outweigh the side effects for me, and the weight loss helps avoid any weight related sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

  • Farna August 7, 2015, 5:56 am

    I’ve struggled with being overweight all my life. I was diagnosed with ADHD in March and started taking Adderall at 20mg/day and am now at 30mg/day IR, in two doses of 15mg. I have lost 32 lbs in 4 months, although I have been consciously dieting along with enjoying the increased energy and decreased appetite that Adderall provides. I started at 212lbs, and am now 180; I’ve been steadily losing weight for years, however, and my high was close to 300lbs 9 years ago.

  • Rosemary August 3, 2015, 11:59 am

    I was prescribed Adderall XR 10mg, once daily to help with symptons related to my Multiple Sclerosis. I have taken it just three days at this point. I have already lost three pounds.

  • Jessica July 12, 2015, 3:58 pm

    I’m on the 20mg dosage twice a day. Started 3 months ago at 227 now I’m down to 213. Also helps out with school and work. I love it!

  • MiMiSkAlA June 8, 2015, 6:13 pm

    I have been prescribed IR Adderall for about two years, from my doctor (not a psychiatrist) with the intended use of treating ADHD. I am twenty two years old, I currently weigh 200 lbs. I am prescribed 30mg, twice a day. I started off with 30mg once a day, but after 3 months, we doubled that. (Between 4 and 6 hours in, I would only feel the negative side effects, and in my case, that was only half of my day a majority of the time.)

    During the two years I have been prescribed, I have gone through my first pregnancy. It was not planned, so I was unaware until about week 6/7, so I had been taking it as prescribed, except I was trying out the XR version in the same dose for a month. (I requested both xr and ir together because of the extended half life of the xr might interfere with my sleep, but he didn’t want me to be on two different prescriptions? I know, stupid.) I had a terrible experience of extreme, delusional mania during this time, I think it was triggered from both the medication and my hormonal state.

    After finding out I was pregnant, I still felt this mania until I became extremely ill with “morning” sickness. From this point on, I was in the worst depression I have ever experienced and I was bed ridden with extreme nausea and vertigo/dizziness for about a month. When I became ill, I tapered down my stimulant because I was worried to just suddenly stop, and then stopped taking it completely, until I was so miserable and depressed with no energy that I began taking 1/4 of my daily dose to help me get through the last 2 months of pregnancy.

    Anyways, I mentioned all of that as an explanation of why I weigh 200lbs; when I stopped taking it, I returned viciously back to my habit of binge eating as a way to cope and weighed 250lbs by then end of my pregnancy. Before I became pregnant, I had been taking adderall for about 6 months I think, and I weighed 160lbs at the beginning of my pregnancy. I weighed about 175-180lbs before I started taking it. So, in conclusion, I am probably bipolar considering my delusional mania I experienced (amphetamines can trigger mania in those with bipolar) as well attention deficit, lol. But as far as weight loss goes, I will mention the following:

    It is good for a kick-start to losing weight, and I maintain very well while taking it, although I would have my off days from it for a whole list of reasons. I usually take 2 or 3 days off a week, and it is best if you can get to three sequential days without it and just really force yourself to get some exercise or stay busy because you WILL FEEL AN EVEN GREATER URGE to eat a lot of food. If you eat healthy foods like I do though (i.e. a lot of fruits and veggies) it will help replenish all the vitamins adderall sucks up to make you run so smoothly.

    So, its not a bad thing necessarily because it just helps it to work like it did when you first started taking it. a daily multivitamin is a must, it really saps you at the dose I am on. Also, depending on what I have on my plate, I only take half my daily dose. I would say that happens about 5-7 days out of the month. There is a lot that goes into the way medications affect you, so this is just my experience.

    I never officially mentioned, but ever since I can remember, I have been a binge eater. I was morbidly obese by the time I was 11, my maximum weight achieved was 320lbs at 12/13 years of age. On my own, mostly due to my natural love of salad, with diet and exercise (I literally received ZERO help as far as what to do about my weight from my parents and doctor as far as tailoring a meal/workout plan) I got down to 180lbs and stayed between there and 170lbs until my doctor suggested I have ADHD and I began taking adderall at 21. That pushed me down to my next weight plateau of 160.

    I do not think that adderall should be used to lose weight without some sort of mental health issue (binge eating, depression, social anxiety, adhd) adjoining the issue of being overweight. That is just my opinion, of course. I think in extreme cases where a morbidly obese person needs immediate help for heath reasons it would be very beneficial, as long as it is closely monitored by a good doctor or psychiatrist. Good luck on your weight loss journey if you are reading this!

    • Ms Sassy September 2, 2015, 3:42 am

      As a 32 year old female and mom if two, taking Adderall has helped me so much. I’m a young, obese individual and the level of motivation and focused I get to use my new-found energy to exercise with my kids is amazing. Nothing has helped me this far but this medication and I’m not dependent by any means! Was 434lbs 4 months ago to 407lbs now. I’m looking forward to dropping more to be healthier for myself and my children.

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