For people who have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Adderall can be an effective way to improve one's focus and concentration. However, it can also dampen the patient's sex drive.
If you take Adderall, whether for ADHD or other reasons, it is important to understand the medical info on the potential side effects of the drug.
While the side effects tend to be positive when taken as intended, there are some very serious negative side effects that also need to be taken into consideration.
In this article, we will go over how Adderall impacts your sex drive and what you can do to fix possible problems.
So keep on reading and we will walk you through everything you'll want to know.
Adderall is a brand name for the combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It's a prescription medication that is mainly used to treat ADHD or narcolepsy (sleepiness in the daytime).
The drug is able to alter certain chemicals in the brain. It does this by enhancing the effects of neurotransmitters, like norepinephrine and dopamine.
Adderall is meant to improve impulsive behavior, attention span, and hyperactivity in people with ADHD. The drug can come as a time-release capsule or in tablet form. It should be taken in the morning because it can interfere with sleep.
Your doctor will probably start you off with a low dose to make sure that your body can handle it. The dose will slowly be increased.
Before you take Adderall, you should tell your doctor if you have any preexisting mental or physical health problems.
Both men and women might experience a lower sex drive (libido). Men might also experience erectile dysfunction (ED).
This change in sex drive (libido) or sexual performance can lead to embarrassment and distress.
When the medication works as it is supposed to, it triggers neurotransmitters in the prefrontal cortex. This is the area that is in charge of executive functioning and thus improves your ability to focus and concentrate.
It also triggers dopamine in the basal ganglia. This can alleviate impulsivity and hyperactivity. If dopamine hits the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for hormone production, it can also alleviate depression.
While alleviating impulsivity, hyperactivity, and depression might sound good, these effects can also lead to a lack of sexual desire in women. In fact, women might even find it very difficult to achieve orgasm and they may also experience lubrication issues. However, there are also women experiencing increased sexual desire while on Adderall. Don't take that as advice to try it though, as there are many different ways proven to increase sexual desire without taking medication. For example, your first step in increasing your libido could be learning how libido works, and why it might be lower. Then, regardless of whether it's a medical or non-medical cause, it's almost always beneficial to seek help from a sex therapist. We know that can be scary, and that there might be many reasons popping up in your head as you're reading this as to why you wouldn't want to do that. That's why we wrote a complete guide to sex therapy., where we answer all the questions you might have about sex therapy. Once you've gotten used to the idea of sex therapy, have a look at Blueheart's app. Our therapy programme uses a technique called Sensate Focus, which has been used by sex therapists to treat sex issues for many years. It's been described as mindful touching, or non-orgasm/non-arousal focused touch. It's a way to learn how to get out of your head during sex, and be mindful in the moment, without worrying too much on what could or should happen. You'll also learn about setting boundaries during and before sex.
One effect that comes from Adderall is the constriction of certain blood cells in the body. These changes in the body can impact the blood flow to the penis.
It should also be noted amphetamines are known to suppress the production of testosterone and can also lead to sexual issues.
Usually, after the effects of the drug have gone away, sexual performance and desire will return to what is normal for the user.
Many men end up experiencing negative impacts on their sex lives after taking Adderall. However, some men will find that the opposite holds true.
Because Adderall is a stimulant, it is sometimes used to treat sexual side effects that might come with certain antidepressant drugs. Each person's body is different. So there is no guarantee for how your body will react.
Other side effects of Adderall can include:
Dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, and nervousness are also common side effects of Adderall.
While you might feel embarrassed or shy to talk to your doctor, it is important that you tell them about any erectile dysfunction symptoms that you might have. Your doctor is going to understand that erectile dysfunction is a possible side effect of Adderall and they will want to help you fix the issue.
Your doctor might suggest one of the following answers.
Ask your doctor if you can take a lower dose of Adderall if you know that you will be having sex. You can also wait until the medication is out of your system before you engage in sexual activity. Of course, taking a lower dose of Adderall might lead to a weaker response to your ADHD.
Like with all medications, you need to strike a balance between managing the side effects of a drug and treating your condition. There are two kinds of stimulant medications available to treat ADHD. There is methylphenidate (e.g. Ritalin) and the amphetamine family (Adderall).
If one stimulant family is causing side effects that you can't bear, your doctor may very well prescribe you the other kind of medication.
Each group of drugs will affect a person differently. The only way that you can know how you are going to respond to a medication is through trial and error.
Your doctor might also suggest non-stimulant medication options to treat your ADHD.
Some men and women experience libido problems when they first start to take Adderall. However, as their body gets used to the new substance over the course of many weeks, the problems go away.
Because each person's body responds to substances slightly differently, it isn't possible to know beforehand how the medication is going to affect you.
Taking a sildenafil (Viagra) tablet can help you counteract some of the side effects of Adderall and allow you to achieve and keep an erection.
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of underlying problems, including mental factors like anxiety and stress. If a person tried to have sex while Adderall was still present in their body and they experienced ED, then the memory of this can lead to performance anxiety the next time they have sex.
While you might have the impression that drugs like Viagra are meant for the middle-aged and the elderly, many younger people are also taking advantage of these medications.
Even when you don't have Adderall in your body, having a prescription for ED medication can provide you both a physical and psychological benefit.
When you know that you have Viagra in your medicine cabinet just in case, you'll get a psychological boost and some of the pressure will be off. As time goes on, you will start to feel more confident as you get to better know your body and how it reacts to Adderall.
However, it should be noted that drugs like Viagra are mainly focused on achieving erections. They are not effective at treating issues with the male sex drive. So even though you can now achieve an erection, you still might not have any desire to actually have sex. This can lead to major problems within your relationship and yourself.
If you're having these issues, take a look at our comprehensive guide on low libido causes, you'd be surprised how many things can lower your sex drive. You'd also be surprised how many libido problems can be overcome with sex therapy, so have a look at our guide on sex therapy as well!
There are some natural treatments that might be able to treat your sexual issues. While products like vitamins and supplements can sound like an easy solution, you should be careful.
Just because something is natural doesn't necessarily mean that it is safe. These substances can interact with the prescription medication that you are taking.
You should always check with your pharmacist or doctor before you take any vitamin or supplement.
A lot of people experience sexual problems and then have no one to share their concerns and insecurities with. By getting help through therapy, you can work to figure out what psychological stressors are leading to your sexual complications.
With (sex) therapy, you can get a better sense of what is normal, when you should be concerned, and what you can do to improve your situation.
While Adderall might very well be the cause of your sexual performance issues, it is important that you understand that other factors might also be contributing to the problem.
Sexual problems can sometimes indicate that there is an underlying health problem. This can include hormone problems, heart disease, and diabetes, to name just a few.
You also might be suffering from anxiety or depression.
Lifestyle factors can also lead to sex drive and performance issues. Consuming high levels of cocaine, nicotine, marijuana, and alcohol can all lead to erectile dysfunction.
Stress, as well as lack of sleep and exercise, can also contribute to ED and a lower libido. Thankfully, these are factors that you can take under your control. By adjusting your lifestyle and making healthy choices, you may be able to improve your sexual situation.
All of the above and more are mentioned in our complete guide on low libido causes, medically reviewed by Dr. Kat Hertlein.
Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better idea of what the medical info says when it comes to how Adderall impacts a person's sex drive.
As we can see, Adderall can definitely have negative effects. If this is the case for you, don't panic. Instead, you can seek professional help.