Laurence Lee

July 28, 2022 in Supplements

Adderall is a synthetic drug often prescribed by registered neurologists, psychiatrists, and physicians to manage symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy. However, the drug went mainstream as more and more evidence emerged supporting its brain-boosting effects. This is one of the main reasons behind the product's popularity with students. Its highly concentrated mixed-amphetamine formula pushes the brain into peak performance mode by speeding up messages sent between the brain and body. 

Adderall also accelerates the production of specific brain chemicals—norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Norepinephrine controls focus, alertness, attention, and stress responses, while dopamine and serotonin are in charge of complex thinking and pleasure responses. Adderall causes the gradual increase of these brain chemicals, leading to increased mental energy and cognitive function, allowing users to get more things done. It also supports better decision-making, information sharing, and communication. The drug also controls behavioral responses, reducing impulsivity while improving clarity allowing users to handle mental strain more efficiently.

Does Adderall Help with Forgetfulness?

Adderall is essentially a central nervous system stimulant, not a memory booster. Its stimulant-centric nature enhances portions of the brain that affect focus and control.

Although taking recommended Adderall doses can indirectly decrease forgetfulness, the potency of the effect is not supported by ingredients that strongly affect memory.  

This makes it an unreliable choice in this respect. The lack of memory-enhancing ingredients in Adderall means the product isn't strong enough to help those trying to retain large volumes of information.

For individuals looking for memory-boosting benefits, I suggest natural nootropic supplements like NooCube or  Mind Lab Pro, which contain a large amount/volume of ingredients that influence memory. I've done a side-by-side comparison of NooCube and Adderall before, which you can look at here, and a comparison of Mind Lab Pro and Adderall. which you can read here, to better understand the difference in ingredients.

Can Adderall Damage Your Brain?

Adderall is a safe and effective drug for the management of specific mental disorders; it can also be used as a brain enhancer. Its effects are quite direct, so adherence to dosage and usage instructions is very important.

If the suggested dosage, frequency, and duration of use are followed, the user’s brain is safe from damage. 

If use becomes excessive (higher than the recommended therapeutic dose), Adderall can have neurotoxic effects. Excessive intake alters normal nervous system activity and kills neurons (cells that transmit/process signals in the brain and nervous system). Users experience decreased mental, cognitive, and overall brain function. Adderall has the potential to cause brain damage

In addition to the possible decline of brain functionality, extended use can profoundly affect users' personalities, responses, and reactions. This is because the product interferes with brain chemicals that are responsible for primary mental/emotional functions. Most reviews state that prolonged use induces mood swings, psychosis and lethargy, as well as hinders concentration and motivation.

Can I Take Adderall Forever?

Unapproved long-term use of Adderall is discouraged, as the synthetic compounds in the product drastically affect several neurotransmitters in the brain. This means Adderall cannot be taken forever. The continued presence of Adderall in the bloodstream can permanently disrupt natural levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. This leads the brain to believe that it needs the drug to regulate the production, transmission, and reabsorption of these chemical messengers. In other words, addiction and dependence may result, damaging the brain through chronic relapses fueled by the inability to control intense cravings. 

This can also cause feelings of depression, anxiety, mood swings, and irritability, leaving users both mentally and physically compromised. Besides affecting mental and physical capabilities, long-term/excessive Adderall use may also have social and financial ramifications. I suggest that users adhere to recommended dosages and intake duration to eliminate the possibility of addiction. I also recommend that a weaning-off process be followed upon discontinuation to completely eliminate the possibility of withdrawal symptoms.

Side Effects of Adderall

Adderall produces potent effects that can be quite beneficial to those looking for a cognitive boost. However, its use comes with the possibility of side effects. According to reviews, the downsides to taking Adderall don't occur in all users and are most prominent when recommended dosage/usage is not followed. Side effects vary in intensity and duration depending on users' tolerance levels. Some possible short-term side effects of Adderall use include:

  • Hair loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Sleep problems
  • Muscle twitching
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Racing heart or high blood pressure
  • Unwarranted anger, restlessness, or irritability
  • Changes in libido levels or erectile dysfunction

More serious side effects include:

  • Seizures
  • Blurred vision
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Serious heart problems

Contact your prescribing healthcare provider as soon as you experience any of these side effects.


About the author 

Laurence Lee

Lee is a neuroscientist who has dedicated his career to understanding the inner workings of the brain. He has seen firsthand the power of these supplements in improving cognitive function and believes that more people should be aware of their benefits. In his articles, Lee shares his extensive knowledge on the subject and provides unbiased reviews of different products.

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