Adderall Overdose

Written by Theresa Valenzky

& Medically Reviewed by Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD

Medically Reviewed

Up to Date

This article was reviewed by a medical professional to guarantee the delivery of accurate and up-to- date information. View our research policy.

Edit History

Last Updated - 09/12/2023

View our editorial policy
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. Speak with a Recovery Advocate by calling (719) 602-0914 now.

Updated 09/12/2023

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.

Sources

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.

Authorship

Get your life back

Recovery is possible. Begin your journey today

Call Us Now Admissions Check Insurance

What To Expect

When you call our team, you will speak to a Recovery Advocate who will answer any questions and perform a pre-assessment to determine your eligibility for treatment. If eligible, we will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. If The Recovery Village is not the right fit for you or your loved one, we will help refer you to a facility that is. All calls are 100% free and confidential.

All calls are 100% free and confidential.