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Trying to Conceive While Taking Adderall

Trying to Conceive While Taking Adderall


As much as pregnancy is a time of enthusiasm and anticipation, it often seems like there are plenty of do’s and don’ts: Don’t drink alcohol, don’t eat sushi, and don’t use the hot tub. When pregnant for the first time, you may worry whether “don’t take your medicine” is also on the list.

Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is typically not considered safe during pregnancy.

We will discuss the reasons why your doctor may advise you to discontinue using Adderall during pregnancy, the potential concerns it poses, and other treatments for ADHD.

How Adderall works

If you’re already on Adderall, you’re undoubtedly aware that it helps people with ADHD keep focus. (It is also used to treat narcolepsy.) But how exactly does it function?

Adderall consists of two distinct substances: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. The combination of these two medications stimulates the central nervous system and increases the availability of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain.

Although it may seem illogical to take a stimulant when ADHD already causes the mind to speed, activating these specific neurotransmitters helps regulate attention and enhance concentration.

Adderall may be quite efficient. One short trial conducted in 2001 revealed that those who took it reported an average 42% reduction in ADHD symptoms.

However, it does have certain disadvantages, whether or not you are pregnant. Possible side effects include:

Adderall’s Safety During Pregnancy


Adderall may be a blessing for alleviating the symptoms of ADHD, so feel free to cheer for modern medicine. But regardless of how effective Adderall may be while not pregnant, the general view among medical professionals is that the drug should not be used during pregnancy.

In addition to the unpleasant side effects stated above, Adderall significantly raises the chance of psychosis, heart attack, stroke, and death. These dangers are already grave, but they become considerably more so when the lives of both mother and child are at stake.

Despite this general recommendation, there may be instances in which taking Adderall while pregnant is the best option. According to Dr. Sherry A. Ross, an OB-GYN at Providence Saint John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica, California, “Given the adverse effects, a pregnant woman would only take Adderall if the advantages exceeded the dangers to the foetus.”

If a pregnant woman is unable to care for herself or her developing child due to severe and disruptive ADHD symptoms, she may be taken Adderall for her and, ultimately, her child’s benefit.

Exceptions during pregnancy notwithstanding, if you want to breastfeed, you must continue to abstain from Adderall; it is not suggested for nursing moms. Since the medicine may enter breast milk, it may produce undesired side effects in your infant, including:

  • Appetite loss
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of healthy weight

While Adderall is a standard medicine for a common disease, it’s crucial to realise that it is also a potent stimulant. As with other prohibited substances, it should be taken with great caution, whether during pregnancy or not.

Between 1998 and 2011, the usage of Adderall during pregnancy more than quadrupled, according to a 2018 study, indicating that many individuals may not be aware of its hazards during these nine months. Communicate with your doctor.

Risks to the Growing Foetus

Scientists do not know as much as you may think about Adderall’s precise effects on pregnant women and their developing children.

It is difficult to do studies on precisely how medicines influence unborn children. No one wants to do research that exposes pregnant women to potentially dangerous medications. Because of this, the majority of Adderall and pregnancy research has been conducted on animals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, animal research indicates that Adderall may raise the chance of congenital malformations affecting the limbs or digestive system. (However, according to the CDC, these risks are “extremely low.”)

Dr. Ross observes that there are more factors to consider. “Adderall use during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms including agitation, dysphoria, lethargy, and poor feeding and development in infants.”

A 2019 analysis of eight research on pregnant women taking Adderall concluded that the medicine did not seem to be connected with harmful effects on mothers or infants. Clearly, further study is required to determine definitely the effects of Adderall during pregnancy.

ADHD Therapy Options During Pregnancy

Undoubtedly, it might be really discouraging to discover that your go-to ADHD medication is off the table throughout pregnancy. (It doesn’t help that other medications, such as Ritalin and Vyvanse, are also deemed dangerous.) So, what alternatives exist when standard pharmacological therapy is unavailable?

Thankfully, you have options. Your doctor may recommend you to a counsellor or psychologist who may help you build strategies for controlling ADHD symptoms via talk therapy.

You might also try other relaxation methods such as yoga, massage, and meditation. The emotional control of individuals with ADHD who practised mindfulness meditation improved, according to a 2017 study.

Physical activity is another low-risk treatment option for pregnant women with ADHD. Physical exercise improved the response times and test performance of persons with ADHD, according to a study published in 2018 (Reliable Source).

Consult your doctor on the sorts of exercises that may be safe during pregnancy.

Antidepressants, notably the tricyclic kind, which are thought to boost norepinephrine in the brain, may potentially be beneficial for certain individuals with ADHD. As an alternate medication, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant that is safe during pregnancy.

Finally, it is conceivable that your doctor may determine that the advantages of continuing to take Adderall outweigh the dangers of discontinuing medication. If this is the case, you may wind up undergoing additional tests and scans during your pregnancy to ensure that your baby is healthy and developing normally.

Getting Pregnant on Adderall

Adderall is not suggested while you are pregnant, but what about when you are “on the nest”? Some women say that using Adderall helped them get pregnant, although there is no data to support this claim.

If anything, data suggests that Adderall reduces fertility. A 2017 review of 17 animal research indicated that ADHD medications inhibit reproduction. Due to the danger of possible injury, there is a lack of human studies on the topic.

In general, the same guidelines apply to Adderall and conception as they do throughout pregnancy. “I usually recommend that a patient with ADHD discontinue Adderall before attempting pregnancy,” adds Dr. Ross. Since Adderall is a category C drug, it may only be taken before conception if the advantages to the mother exceed the hazards to the unborn child.

Note: “Category C” refers to a pre-2015 FDA categorisation system in which C meant that the medicine had shown detrimental effects in animal tests and that no “adequate and well-controlled” research on people had been conducted. Some doctors continue to refer to this method.

A Summary of Adderall and Pregnancy

When you have ADHD, it may be difficult to decide what is best for you and your developing child. Maintaining your child’s safety while responding to your own mental health is a tricky balancing act.

While Adderall is definitely not the best option for the majority of pregnant women, there may be compelling reasons to continue taking it. If you have ADHD and are uncertain about taking your medications while pregnant, see your doctor.

And if you’re battling with Adderall addiction, know that you’re not alone and there’s no need to feel ashamed. Immediately take action. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s hotline is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, free, confidential resource.

For those seeking to understand and navigate the complexities of fertility, our blog offers expert insights and advice on various fertility-related topics. 

Trust Fertility2Family to guide you through every step of your pregnancy journey.

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Evan Kurzyp

Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified Registered Nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.

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