ADHD Drug Side Effects in Adults

Certain medications prove very effective in treating the problem of ADHD in adults. These drugs can not only help the patients regain their focus, but can also bring back the feeling of control in these individuals. However, for many people, these perks come with a price, i.e. the health benefits are accompanied with side effects of the medicines used for treating ADHD. Generally, these side effects of ADHD drugs in adults are mild and fade away after a few weeks or months of treatment. But this may not be the case for everyone. Go through the following piece of read to know more about the possible ADHD drug side effects in adults.

ADHD Drug Side Effects in Adults

ADHD Drug Side Effects in Adults

While most ADHD patients use stimulant medicines to treat their condition, some take non-stimulants too. Both types of medications have similar side effects like:

Nausea & Vomiting

The most common side effect of ADHD drugs in adults is uneasiness, nausea and vomiting. To lower the odds of feeling queasy and to avoid this side effect of ADHD drugs, one should take ADHD medicines with food.

Loss of Appetite

Some drugs used to treat ADHD in adults can make one feel like not eating much. Adults taking ADHD drugs can lose their appetite and may often try to skip their meals. However, skipping meals can cause low blood sugar, which can make it even more difficult for these individual to focus and concentrate. To deal with this side effect of ADHD drugs, such individuals are advised to try eating many small meals throughout the day rather than 4 big ones. They should have their dinner later in the evening, after the effects of the extended release ADHD medication have worn off. At times, weak appetite can also cause nominal weight loss in these people. But if the ADHD patient experiences excessive weight loss, they must seek immediate medical attention.

Dry Mouth as a Side Effect of ADHD Drugs

ADHD medicines may cause dryness of the mouth. Patients are thus advised to drink plenty of fluids and use lozenges to keep their mouth moist and counteract this side effect of ADHD drugs.


Adult patients get headaches if they take ADHD medicines on an empty stomach or if they are dehydrated. These headaches show up when the effect of the medicine wears off. So again it is advised to take meals with ADHD drugs and keep yourself hydrated to prevent this side effects of ADHD drugs in adults.

Sleep Problems

Some ADHD medications can make it difficult for the adult user to fall asleep. To deal with this side effect of ADHD drugs, patients are advised to take these medicines earlier in the day to ensure that their effect fades off well before bedtime. Adult patients on a long-acting stimulant should consult their doctor and shift to a short-acting ADHD drug whose effects wear off faster. As tea, coffee and sodas make it hard for one to sleep, the consumption of these should also be limited by ADHD patients. These individuals must also avoid using computers, phones and TV before going to bed and should rather opt for calmer unwinding options like listening to music or reading a book.


Dizziness and blood pressure fluctuation are experienced in adults when one takes too much of ADHD medicines. You can consult your doctor to change your ADHD medicine to combat this side effect.

Moodiness as a Side Effect of ADHD Drugs

ADHD medications can also cause frequent mood swings and anxiety in some patients. But like other side-effects of ADHD drug, this also fades in time. Doctors can, however, adjust the dose or change the ADHD medication for the adult patients to help them cope up with their mood swings.


Tics are repeated sounds or movements which one makes unintentionally or unconsciously. ADHD medications do not cause tics, but rather brings out a patient’s underlying tic, like it may bring back a tic which the individual had, perhaps, in their childhood. Generally, tics fade over time, but in case they persist, the patient should consult their doctor.

There is no way of knowing how well an ADHD medicine will work for an adult patient. Some patients respond better to one ADHD drug than another. So, it may take a number of tries to determine the right medicine. ADHD patients who have heart problems, high blood pressure issues, a history of mental health disorders or any addiction, must inform their doctor about the same as these can cause hindrance in the normal ADHD treatment. At times, doctors may treat adults suffering from ADHD with drugs that are not FDA-approved. This is known as “off label” use. Since these drugs have different benefits, risks and side effects, patients must discuss and fully understand the specifics of these medications from their doctor, before using them.


Many adult patients who experience the side effects of ADHD drugs feel they are worth dealing with since the benefits of these drugs outweigh their negative effects, by far. However, these side-effects should not be ignored if they become too severe and begin affecting the patient’s quality of life. In such cases, the patient must contact their doctor for help, right away!

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 21, 2021

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