Does Adderall cause a swollen tongue? (+3 factors)
In this article, we will discuss whether Adderall can cause a swollen tongue or not, what the research suggests, what factors contribute to Adderall-induced swollen tongue and what to do if Adderall causes a swollen tongue.
Does Adderall cause a swollen tongue?
Yes, Adderall (amphetamine+dextroamfetamine) can cause a swollen tongue in some individuals. Swollen tongue is not a commonly reported side effect of Adderall and is also not a direct effect. Certain mechanisms and indirect pathways that involve Adderall can lead you towards a swollen tongue.
A swollen tongue can also be attributed to an Adderall-induced allergic reaction in the body. Adderall is a stimulant medication that contains amphetamines. It is used to treat conditions like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or narcolepsy. It acts upon the central nervous system to provide treatment for the above-mentioned conditions (1).
Not every person taking Adderall will experience a swollen tongue. These side effects depend upon various other factors that may vary in different patients. If you have any queries regarding the use of Adderall or any of its side effect then consulting your healthcare provider is the best option.
What does the research suggest?
Adderall can indirectly cause a swollen tongue or glossitis in some patients. Adderall can cause dry mouth in some individuals and is a commonly reported side effect (2). This can cause inflammation of the tongue due to irritation and discomfort experienced by the patient (3). Sometimes, Adderall can cause mouth sores that may lead to inflammation of the tongue as well.
Individuals with a weak immune system are highly susceptible to allergic reactions after taking Adderall (4). Although allergic reactions to Adderall are rare, they may occur in some individuals, especially the ones with compromised immune systems. The signs and symptoms of Adderall-induced allergic reactions include the inflammation of the tongue, throat and lips.
What factors contribute to Adderall-induced swollen tongue?
Here are a few factors that may contribute to Adderall-induced swollen tongue.
Adderall can decrease saliva production in patients taking it (2). This can influence the oral hygiene of the patient. This potentially increases the risk of a swollen tongue due to bacterial growth or an infection.
Dosage and duration
Higher doses are more likely to cause a higher risk of side effects. Increased doses or prolonged use of Adderall can also increase the incidence of a swollen tongue in patients taking Adderall for ADHD or narcolepsy.
Not every person taking Adderall will experience a swollen tongue after taking Adderall. Some patients might not even experience it. The variation of side effects among different individuals may be due to genetic predisposition, metabolic rate, age and gender.
Underlying medical condition
If you are taking Adderall and experience a swollen tongue then it may be due to drug-disease interaction. In case you have any underlying medical condition such as hypersensitivity, dehydration or allergies then you are more susceptible to experience swollen tongue after taking Adderall.
Concurrent medications such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can interact with Adderall and cause complications like swollen tongue or allergies (5).
What to do if Adderall causes a swollen tongue?
A swollen tongue can be a side effect of Adderall in some patients. If you experience this side effect then consulting your healthcare provider is essential.
Consulting healthcare provider
Your healthcare provider will examine your condition.
- Your doctor will take your past medical history and determine the actual cause of your swollen tongue.
- If Adderall is found to be the cause then your doctor may have to modify your treatment plan. The modifications may include lowering the dose of the medication.
- A lower dose will help your body to adjust better to the effects of Adderall or in case of hypersensitivity, starting with a lower dose can help manage the condition as well.
- If the symptom does not subside even after modifications in your treatment plan then your doctor might suggest an alternative medication to help with your condition.
Alternatives to Adderall
Other stimulant medications that can help you with your condition of ADHD or narcolepsy may include the following (6).
In my opinion, Adderall can cause swollen tongue as an indirect effect. It may be due to an allergic reaction in the body. However, various factors are involved in the incidence of this side effects. These factors may include physiological factors or pharmaclogical factors.
Not every individual will experience the same side effects to the medication which in this case is Adderall. Incase of any concern regarding the effects of Adderall whether therapeuticor adverse, you need to consult your healthcare provider to get a proper advice.
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Shoar, N. S. (2023, May 23). Dextroamphetamine-Amphetamine. StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507808/
Götrick B, Giglio D, Tobin G. Effects of amphetamine on salivary secretion. Eur J Oral Sci. 2009 Jun;117(3):218-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0722.2009.00629.x. PMID: 19583747.
Sharabi, A. F. (2023, August 8). Glossitis. StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560627/
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In Brief: Alternatives to Adderall | The Medical Letter Inc. (n.d.). https://secure.medicalletter.org/TML-article-1664c#:~:text=SHORT%2DACTING%20STIMULANT%20ALTERNATIVES%20%E2%80%94%20Currently,their%20onset%20of%20action%20occurs