Does Adderall XR cause fatigue? (+5 alternatives)

In this article, we will explore whether Adderall XR can cause fatigue or not how Adderall XR can cause fatigue, what factors can contribute to Adderall XR-induced fatigue and what to do if Adderall XR causes fatigue.

Does Adderall XR cause fatigue?

Yes, Adderall XR can paradoxically cause fatigue in some patients taking it. Adderall XR increases the alertness and focus in some individuals but in some cases, it can cause tiredness as a side effect as well. 

Adderall XR is an extended-release formulation that contains amphetamines such as dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It is a stimulant medication that works by stimulating the central nervous system by modulating the levels of neurotransmitters in it (1). 

If you are taking Adderall XR for ADHD or narcolepsy and experience fatigue then it is important to consult your healthcare provider. They will help you find out the exact cause of fatigue and the triggers or factors associated with it. 

How does Adderall XR cause fatigue?

Adderall XR causes fatigue due to a rebound action known as “Adderall crash”. When a person takes Adderall XR, the effects start to wear down slowly due to a drop in the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. This drop can cause a rebound effect leading to exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue (2).

The Adderall crash is commonly observed after the higher dose of Adderall XR or at the end of the duration of treatment. 

The stimulant effects of Adderall XR can also the fatigue causing the patient to over-exert. This over-exertion can cause your energy reserves to deplete causing fatigue once the effects of Adderall XR wear down as well (3).  Adderall is also known to cause dehydration due to its diuretic effect (4). Dehydration can also become a reason for fatigue in some individuals.

What factors can influence Adderall XR-related fatigue?

Certain factors can contribute to Adderall XR-related fatigue. These factors can be:

  • Higher doses are associated with increased side effects. If Adderall XR is taken for a longer period of time or higher doses of Adderall XR are taken then fatigue can be a common result. 


  • Individual sensitivity plays an important role. Not every person taking Adderall XR will experience fatigue due to variations among individuals.


  • If you are taking any concurrent medications along with Adderall XR, then these medications, themselves or the interaction between these medications and Adderall XR may cause fatigue.


  • Some underlying health conditions such as sleep disorder, anxiety or depression can also cause fatigue in some individuals taking Adderall XR.


  • Over time, your body may develop a tolerance to Adderall XR causing fatigue. 


  • Inadequate sleep patterns and nutritional deficiencies can also cause fatigue while you are taking Adderall XR. 

What to do if Adderall XR causes fatigue? 

If you are taking Adderall XR and you are experiencing fatigue after taking it, then the first and foremost step is to consult your healthcare provider.

Consult healthcare provider

Your healthcare provider will evaluate your condition to determine the exact cause of fatigue you might be experiencing. Your past medical history will also be considered. After evaluation, if Adderall XR is found to be the cause of fatigue then your doctor might have to make adjustments to your dosage regimen.

Evaluate lifestyle factors

Certain lifestyle factors can contribute to your condition. Your doctor will ask you to manage your lifestyle as well. In this, you will have to manage your sleep schedule, your dietary intake and your daily exercise. You need to have an active lifestyle to avoid getting medical symptoms like fatigue.

Adjust timings

The time at which you take Adderall XR can also be a potential cause of experiencing fatigue. Your doctor might make changes in your dosage schedule to manage your condition and provide you relief from the fatigue you have started experiencing after taking Adderall XR.

Review other medications

Your doctor will have to carefully analyze your concurrent medications if you are taking any. Certain drugs can interact with Adderall XR to cause fatigue. The fatigue you are experiencing might not be solely due to Adderall XR, it can be a result of a drug-drug interaction in your body.

In this case, your doctor will have to manage your treatment so that there are no interactions.

Open communication

Open communication with your healthcare provider is essential. You need to discuss any medical condition you migh have or any other medication you might be taking. Your doctor needs to be fully informed of your medical record. Your doctor needs all this information to make an informative decision about your treatment plan. 

Alternatives to Adderall XR

If your condition does not get better even after all the modifications in the treatment plan and your lifestyle, your doctor might have to discuss an alternative pharmacotherapy with you to provide you with a treatment that is effective with reduced side effects.

Medication (5) Description
Ritalin XR/IR Methylphenidate, an alternative stimulant
Intuniv Non-stimulant ADHD medication
Concerta A long-acting methylphenidate
Vyvanse Long-acting stimulant, lisdexamfetamine
Wellbutrin Bupropion, off-label for narcolepsy
Strattera Non-stimulant ADHD medication

In my opinion, Adderall XR can cause fatigue in some individuals. However, not every person taking Adderall XR will experience fatigue after taking it. The incidence of side effects varies among individuals taking Adderall XR.

This variation is attributed to various factors such as genetic predisposition, metabolic rate, age and gender along with the normal functioning of different body organs. This is why self-medication is not recommended. You need to consult an experienced healthcare provider to help you with your condition.




Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Biederman J, Lopez FA, Boellner SW, Chandler MC. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of SLI381 (Adderall XR) in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics. 2002 Aug;110(2 Pt 1):258-66. doi: 10.1542/peds.110.2.258. PMID: 12165576.


Crna, R. N. M. (2018, April 13). Coping with an Adderall crash.


Plumber, N., Majeed, M., Ziff, S., Thomas, S. E., Bolla, S. R., & Gorantla, V. R. (2021). Stimulant Usage by Medical Students for Cognitive Enhancement: A Systematic Review. Cureus, 13(5), e15163.


Speller, P. J., & Streeten, D. H. P. (1964, May 1). Mechanism of the diuretic action of D-amphetamine. Metabolism.


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