Can Adderall cause muscle weakness? (+5 tips)

In this article, we will explore whether Adderall can cause muscle weakness or not, what is the link between Adderal and muscle weakness, what other factors can potentially cause muscle weakness while taking Adderall and how to treat muscle weakness while taking Adderall.  

Can Adderall cause muscle weakness?

Adderall (dextroamphetamine+amphetamine) does not directly cause muscle weakness. However, there are several indirect effects of Adderall that may cause muscle weakness in some individuals. Adderall can lead a patient towards muscle weakness due to muscle tension that it may cause in some and the dehydrating effect it has on the few individuals that are susceptible to it.

Adderall is a stimulant medication that causes stimulation of the central nervous system by affecting the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. This combination of amphetamines is usually prescribed to treat conditions like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) along with narcolepsy (1).

If you have been prescribed Adderall and you are experiencing some of the effects of muscle weakness then it is mandatory to have open communication with your prescriber in order to get a safe and effective treatment strategy. 

What is the link between Adderall and muscle weakness?

Adderall is not directly involved in causing muscle weakness but some of its effects can contribute to the condition. Adderall is a stimulant medication that causes muscle tension and fatigue and if used for a longer period of time. This muscle tension and fatigue can cause weakness in the muscles (2). 

The effect may be more intense if you are involved in strenuous exercises and activities despite the muscle tension and fatigue caused by Adderall. 

Adderall also has a diuretic effect that causes increased urine production and this can cause dehydration in the individuals taking Adderall (3). This dehydration can deplete the electrolytes including magnesium and potassium which can lead a parent towards muscle weakness. 

What are the potential side effects of Adderall?

Adderall, like all other medications, has its own significant list of side effects. Some of the effects might be common, some might even be rare. However, not every person will experience the same intensity and frequency of these effects. Some might not even experience them at all.

The list of side effects includes (4):

Common Uncommon Rare
Insomnia Palpitation Hallucinations
Dry mouth Blurred vision Chest pain
Dizziness Diarrhea Difficulty breathing
Weight loss Constipation Seizures
Increased heart rate Sweating Mania
Headache Mood swings Skin rash
Anxiety Decreased libido Tics

What other factors may cause muscle weakness while taking Adderall?

Several other factors can contribute to muscle weakness which may or may not relate to Adderall while you are taking Adderall. 

Underlying medical conditions

If you have any of these underlying medical health conditions then you are more susceptible to getting muscle weakness and Adderall might not be the reason (5).

  • Any condition that may induce a deficiency of some particular ions or electrolytes can be the reason for muscle weakness. The electrolytes include potassium magnesium and calcium as they can affect muscle function.


  • Thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism can also be the cause of muscle weakness (6).


  • Autoimmune diseases and disorders such as myasthenia gravis can also contribute to muscle weakness.


  • Deficiency of vitamin B12, D or E can also affect the muscles (7).


Medication interaction

Certain medications can interact with Adderall and cause muscle weakness as a combined effect. However, some medications are more likely to cause muscle weakness as compared to Adderall and some medications may add up to the effect of any other underlying condition to cause muscle weakness.

That is why proper communication with your medical health advisor is essential. The medications that may become a causative factor of muscle weakness include the following:

  • Muscle relaxants
  • Beta-blockers
  • Antidepressants

Lifestyle factors

The following lifestyle factors can be a factor contributing to muscle weakness.

  • Taking a diet with fewer nutrients particularly proteins, vitamins and essential fats.
  • A strenuous exercise or daily activity can also lead to muscle weakness.
  • Chronic stress is an important factor. It can deplete energy reserves and cause muscle weakness.

How to treat muscle weakness while taking Adderall?

If you are experiencing muscle weakness, while on Adderall then the first and foremost step is to consult your healthcare provider to determine the exact cause of your muscle weakness.

If the condition is found to be due to Adderall, then:

  • You need to get your Adderall dosage regimen adjusted.
  • Adderall might be causing muscle weakness due to dehydration. In that case, you need to manage your water intake and electrolyte imbalance through diet and fluids.
  • Good sleeping habits are important for optimal energy management.
  • Ensure a diet that contains adequate proteins, fats and other required nutrients.
  • Managing stress is essential.

If Adderall is not the cause of muscle weakness, then:

If some underlying medical condition is the cause of muscle weakness, then your doctor will have to address that condition in order to provide you relief. However, if some medication is causing muscle weakness, then your doctor will manage the dosage regimen to avoid drug-drug interaction.

  • Regular daily exercise can help improve muscle strength and function.
  • You need to consult your healthcare provider about starting a supplement to help strengthen your muscles.
  • Physical therapy can be effective in improving the condition of muscles. 

 In my opinion, Adderall cannot cause muscle weakness directly but some of its effects might lead you to it. There are some cases, where Adderall might not even be the cause of your condition. This is the reason why consulting your healthcare provider at every step is crucial. 

Identifying the main cause is the most important part of a treatment strategy. Your doctor can help you identify the cause and then tailor a treatment plan suited to your needs and requirements.



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