Adderall Overdose

Written by Theresa Valenzky

& Medically Reviewed by Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD

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Last Updated - 09/12/2023

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Updated 09/12/2023

Adderall Overdose

Adderall (amphetamine) is a stimulant drug often prescribed for children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It can also be used for some seizure disorders and narcolepsy. While Adderall is not typically addictive when taken as prescribed, it is often misused (See: Adderall Addiction) when it’s taken at higher amounts than prescribed or by students who think it helps them concentrate better.

What Happens in an Adderall Overdose?

The misuse of Adderall can lead to an overdose when too much is taken. Adderall overdoses can increase blood pressure to dangerously high levels and even lead to a heart attack or seizure that could permanently damage the heart or brain. Other symptoms of an Adderall overdose can include:

  • Tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle pains and weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • High body temperature
  • Rapid breathing
  • Hallucinations

Drug overdose can be fatal. If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, call 911 immediately. Do NOT be afraid to seek help. If you do not have access to a phone contact Colorado Poison Center for online assistance.

Aggression, confusion and panic are psychological symptoms that could result from an Adderall overdose. Adderall overdose can also cause kidney and liver damage that is sometimes permanent. Symptoms of kidney failure include swelling of the extremities, abdominal pain, urination changes, nausea, vomiting and fever.

Symptoms of liver failure include dark urine, lack of appetite, nausea, fatigue, yellowing of eyes, and swelling in the abdomen, legs and ankles.

Treating an Adderall Overdose

If an Adderall overdose is suspected, you should seek medical treatment immediately. At the hospital, medical personnel will likely perform tests to determine the severity of symptoms and determine whether you are seriously ill with a  condition such as a heart attack, stroke, seizure, kidney failure, liver failure or psychological illness. Immediately treating these serious conditions could save your life in the event of an overdose.

For less severe symptoms, treatment may include being placed in a calm and quiet environment, using ice packs and fans to cool you down, and providing medications to treat your symptomsActivated charcoal and gastric lavage (stomach pumping) may also be used to remove the drug from your stomach and prevent it from getting into the rest of your body.

Addiction treatment resources after an overdose can help springboard a lifetime of recovery and could include inpatient or outpatient rehab to treat Adderall misuse and prevent another overdose. Twelve-step programs and other support groups can also help with treatment and ongoing support.

If you or a loved one might be addicted to Adderall or any other drug, contact The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake today to discuss treatment options.


National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts.“>Prescrip[…]ts DrugFacts.” June 6, 2018. Accessed July 10, 2023.

O’Malley, Gerald F.; O’Malley, Rika. “Amphetamines“>Amphetamines.” Merck Manuals, December 2022. Accessed July 10, 2023.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Dangers of mixing alcohol with caffeine and energy drinks“>Dangers […]energy drinks.” December 7, 2022. Accessed July 10, 2023.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Medical Aspects of Stimulant Use Disorders“>Medical […]Use Disorders.” 1999. Accessed July 10, 2023.

Thundiyil, Josef G.; Rowley, Freda; Papa, Linda; et al. “Risk Factors for Complications of Drug-Induced Seizures“>Risk Fac[…]uced Seizures.” Journal of Medical Toxicology, July 27, 2010. Accessed July 10, 2023.


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