Does Adderall cause leg cramps? (+3 tips)

In this article, we will explore whether Adderall can cause leg cramps or not, what is the link between Adderall and leg cramps, what factors might influence Adderall-induced leg cramps and what to do if Adderall causes leg cramps.

Does Adderall cause leg cramps?

Yes, Adderall (amphetamine+dextroamphetamine) can cause leg cramps. However, Adderall does not cause leg cramps directly but some of its indirect effects can contribute to the cramps experienced in the leg. A leg cramp is a sharp sudden pain that is experienced in the leg due to sudden muscle tightening. It usually appears in the calf of the legs.

Adderall is a stimulant medication that contains a combination of amphetamines. Amphetamines affect the central nervous system by influencing neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Due to this effect of Adderall, it is usually prescribed for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy (1).

If you are prescribed Adderall and after taking the medication you experience leg cramps then you need to carefully observe and monitor the frequency of this side effect and if it starts to interfere with your daily life then you need to consult your healthcare provider. 

What is the link between Adderall and leg cramps?

The exact link between Adderall and leg cramps is not determined yet but certain theories and connections are predicted. 

Adderall is known to cause a diuretic effect in the body (2). This diuretic effect increases the urine output. Increased urination can cause dehydration in the body of the patient. Dehydration is a very common cause of leg cramps. It can also worsen the existing muscle cramps. 

Adderall also has a rare effect on the electrolyte balance of the body. It can create an imbalance, especially by influencing the levels of magnesium and potassium (3). This effect of Adderall also contributes to the leg cramps.

Adderall also causes muscle tension due to its stimulant effect on the central nervous system. This muscle tension may also contribute to the leg cramps you may feel after taking Adderall (4). 

What factors may influence Adderall-induced leg cramps?

Several factors can contribute to Adderall-induced leg cramps. Here are a few.

  • Dosage and duration: Higher doses are associated with increased side effects. Increased doses of Adderall may become a cause of the leg cramps you might experience (5).


  • Dehydration: If your water intake is not sufficient then this may also be a reason for leg cramps. Adderall can further worsen the effects of dehydration (6). 


  • Physical exertion: Strenuous exercises or activities can also lead to leg cramps despite the intake of medications such as Adderall.


  • Poor circulation: Any factor of lifestyle that may be causing poor circulation in your body can also become a factor influencing Adderall-induced leg cramps. 


  • Medications: If you are taking any concurrent medications then there is a risk of the medications interacting with Adderall and causing leg cramps as a side effect.


  • Underlying medical conditions: Underlying medical conditions can also increase your risk of experiencing leg cramps after taking Adderall.

Not every person taking Adderall will experience leg cramps. The incidence also depends on the individual sensitivity of the patients. 

What to do if Adderall causes leg cramps?

If you are taking Adderall and experience leg cramps then you need to contact your healthcare provider to rule out any potentially life-threatening condition that might be causing leg cramps as a symptom.

You need to have open communication with your healthcare provider and discuss any side effects you might be experiencing after taking Adderall including leg cramps. In the meantime, you can manage your leg cramps by following tips:

  • Ensure proper water intake to combat dehydration.
  • If electrolyte imbalance is the factor in your leg cramps then you need to make the dietary adjustment and take the required supplements.
  • Moderate exercise, stretching or a daily walk can help with muscle tension and flexibility of your muscles. 
  • Gently massaging the affected area can help provide temporary relief temporarily. 
  • Applying cold compresses or heat packs can also provide temporary relief to your leg cramps. 

After a proper diagnosis, if Adderall is found to be the main cause of leg cramps then your doctor might suggest lowering the dose of Adderall to help your body manage the effects of Adderall more easily.

What are the alternatives to Adderall if it causes leg cramps?

If your cramps do not get better even after all the remedies and medication adjustments then it is necessary to switch Adderall to a more suitable treatment option. 

The alternatives may include (7):

Alternative medication Class Use
Ritalin Stimulant ADHD and narcolepsy
Vyvanse Stimulant ADHD
Strattera Non-stimulant ADHD
Guanfacine Alpha-2 agonist ADHD
Wellbutrin Atypical antidepressant Narcolepsy (Off-label)

In my opinion, Adderall does not directly cause leg cramps but it may lead to the condition and can worsen the symptoms as well. Muscle cramps may subside after a week or two once your body is well-adjusted to the effects of Adderall. However, if the leg cramps become severe or more frequent you might need to contact a therapist for a targeted treatment approach.

Not every person taking Adderall might experience leg cramps due to the individual variations. These variations may be attributed to individual lifestyles, physiological factors, age and gender etc.



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Shoar, N. S. (2023, May 23). Dextroamphetamine-Amphetamine. StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.


SPELLER PJ, STREETEN DH. MECHANISM OF THE DIURETIC ACTION OF D-AMPHETAMINE. Metabolism. 1964 May;13:453-65. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(64)90119-2. PMID: 14169224.


Yu-Yahiro JA. Electrolytes and their relationship to normal and abnormal muscle function. Orthop Nurs. 1994 Sep-Oct;13(5):38-40. doi: 10.1097/00006416-199409000-00008. PMID: 7854827.


Bordoni, B. (2023, August 4). Muscle Cramps. StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.,effect%20on%20Golgi%20tendon%20organs.


McCormack, J. P., Allan, G. M., & Virani, A. S. (2011). Is bigger better? An argument for very low starting doses. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l’Association medicale canadienne, 183(1), 65–69.


Cleary, M. A., Sitler, M. R., & Kendrick, Z. V. (2006). Dehydration and symptoms of delayed-onset muscle soreness in normothermic men. Journal of athletic training, 41(1), 36–45.


In Brief: Alternatives to Adderall | The Medical Letter Inc. (n.d.).,their%20o