Does Adderall cause muscle tension? (+3 tips)

In this article, we will explore whether Adderall can cause muscle tension or not, how Adderall causes muscle tension, what factors may influence Adderall-induced muscle tension, what to do if Adderall causes muscle tension and how to manage Adderall-induced muscle tension.

Does Adderall cause muscle tension?

Yes, Adderall (amphetamine+dextroamphetamine) can cause muscle tension in some patients. It is a commonly reported side effect of Adderall. Adderall is usually associated with muscle tension due to its primary action on the central nervous system (1). 

Not everyone taking Adderall will experience the same side effects. The intensity, duration and frequency of muscle tension may differ from patient to patient. Muscle tension may also appear during the start of medication when the body is trying to adjust to the effects of Adderall. It may subside once the body is well-adjusted. 

If you are taking Adderall and experience muscle tension then you may need to consult your healthcare provider to get a better understanding of the cause of your condition and to treat it accordingly and if needed, make changes in your treatment plan. 

How does Adderall cause muscle tension?

Muscle tension caused by Adderall is directly linked to its stimulant effect on the central nervous system (2). Adderall increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters in the nervous system (3). This also affects the peripheral nervous system which controls muscle contraction and relaxation (4).

The increased level of dopamine and norepinephrine can lead to muscle tension. Muscle tension is more prominent in certain parts of the body including the neck, jaw and shoulders but it can affect other parts of your body as well.

What factors influence Adderall-induced muscle tension?

Here are some factors that may influence Adderall-induced muscle tension.

  • Higher doses are more likely to cause an increased risk of side effects including muscle tension (5).  


  • The effects of Adderall may vary from patient to patient including the therapeutic as well as adverse effects. 


  • The use of Adderall for a longer period of time can also cause muscle tension in the patients taking it. 


  • If you are taking some other medications such as antidepressants, antacids, antihistamines, antihypertensives and caffeine the the interaction of Adderall with these medications can also cause muscle tension.


  • In case of underlying health conditions such as anxiety, stress or conditions affecting muscle function then the drug-disease interaction can cause increased risk of muscle tension.


  • Adderall can cause dehydration and dehydration may lead to muscular spasms and muscle tension (6). 


  • Physical and psychological stress can also lead to muscular tension. 


What to do if Adderall causes muscle tension?

If Adderall causes muscle tension then you need to consult your healthcare provider.

Consulting healthcare provider 

Your healthcare provider will perform a thorough examination to determine the primary cause of muscle tension. If Adderall is found to be the cause of muscle tension, then your doctor may need to adjust the dosage regimen of your medication and modify it according to your requirements.

Lowering the dose of Adderall can help lower the intensity of its adverse effects including muscle tension. Sometimes, muscle tension may subside on its own once the body starts adjusting to the effects of Adderall. If the effects of Adderall do not subside, then your doctor might suggest an alternative medication that can help with your condition and alleviate your risk of muscle tension.   

The alternatives that may help you with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy may include (7):

How to manage Adderall-induced muscle tension?

Here are some tips that can help you to manage muscle tension caused by Adderall.

  • Hydration can help you with the management of muscle tension as it can help with muscle cramps. Aim for eight glasses of water per day.


  • The application of a heat compress or a cold compress can help you with the management of muscle tension.


  • Regular exercise can help with the reduction of muscle tension and the improvement of health.


  • Magnesium supplements can help with the muscle tension. Magnesium can help with the relaxation of muscles (8).


  • Taking a bath with Epsom salt can also help with the reduction of muscle tension. Epsom salts are also a type of magnesium sulfate.


  • A good posture of standing and sitting can also help with the management of muscle tension. 

In my opinion, Adderall can cause muscle tension in some patients. Even though it is a common side effect, it may not be observed in every patient taking Adderall due to the differences in their genetic predisposition, metabolic rate, age and gender. 

Consulting your healthcare provider is essential if you are taking Adderall and experience muscle tension or any other side effect. They can help you determine the cause of the condition and tailor a treatment plan according to your requirements. 

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


Kon, J. J., & Kon, A. A. (2020). Severe muscle pain and stiffness due to dexmethylphenidate. Clinical case reports, 8(3), 420–422.


Dela Peña, I., Gevorkiana, R., & Shi, W. X. (2015). Psychostimulants affect dopamine transmission through both dopamine transporter-dependent and independent mechanisms. European journal of pharmacology, 764, 562–570.


Taylor, J. L., Amann, M., Duchateau, J., Meeusen, R., & Rice, C. L. (2016). Neural Contributions to Muscle Fatigue: From the Brain to the Muscle and Back Again. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 48(11), 2294–2306.


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%20onset%20of%20action%20occurs


Altura BM, Altura BT. Tension headaches and muscle tension: is there a role for magnesium? Med Hypotheses. 2001 Dec;57(6):705-13. doi: 10.1054/mehy.2001.1439. PMID: 11918431.