Can You Take Adderall While Your Pregnant?

Adderall Is Best Avoided but May Be Safe for Pregnant Women in the Smallest Possible Dose

Adult ADHD, in its severest form, can make it impossible for women to function effectively in their daily lives. Pregnancy can amplify ADHD symptoms, but concerns about the effect of amphetamines on a developing fetus cause many women to stop taking Adderall the minute they know they are pregnant. Doing so is your own personal choice, but there may be alternatives to Adderall that are right for you.

About ADHD

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Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, or ADHD, is diagnosed when a person's brain does not naturally produce enough of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. These brain chemicals help support executive function such as memory and decision-making. Without effective amounts of these neurotransmitters, those with ADHD have a difficult time coping with everyday stimuli and display symptoms such as anxiety, forgetfulness, hyperactivity, difficulty focusing, short attention span, depression, anxiety and insomnia. Many of these symptoms, especially anxiety and insomnia, can make pregnancy harder, and, in extreme cases, can have an effect on your baby's health.

About Adderall

Adderall is an amphetamine that stimulates your central nervous system. This helps compensate for the lower levels of dopamine and norepinephrine that your brain produces on its own. Taken in carefully prescribed and monitored doses, Adderall can help increase attention span, support your ability to focus and help decrease impulsive behavior. While no clinical human trials have been conducted on the effects of Adderall on pregnant women, studies on lab animals have shown a correlation between Adderall use and increased instances of spina bifida, low birth weight and skeletal malformations. Anecdotal evidence also suggests an increase in lower birth weights in babies born to women who took Adderall throughout their pregnancy, but most evidence seems to have come from women who were abusing the drug rather than those under medical supervision.

Pharmaceutical Alternatives

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Buproprion, prescribed under the name Wellbutrin, may be one safe alternative to Adderall. There is some evidence that this anti-depressant can help ease the symptoms of ADHD without the risks of Adderall. Taking the lowest effective dose of Adderall may also be a safe alternative while pregnant and nursing.

Non-Pharmaceutical Alternatives

Depending on the severity of your ADHD symptoms, you may find some relief through exercise, meditation, massage and psychotherapy focused on helping you explore other coping mechanisms.


Before simply stopping Adderall, speak to your prescribing physician to see if there is an effective alternative.