7 Side Effects Of Even Occasionally Taking Adderall When You Don't Have A Prescription
Cramming for a big test or important meeting can be draining and overwhelming, which is why some people are tempted to take certain drugs to help ease the process. Although it might sound appealing to pop a pill to get through a long night, there are a number of shocking side effects of taking Adderall and other "smart" pills even just once in awhile. If you're not prescribed these medications, it can be quite dangerous to take these pills, even if it's just occasionally to get a big project done.
"All prescription medicine is potentially dangerous if taken without your own Rx because each type of medication has its own list of warnings and side effects, with properties designed to correct or treat specific health issues," Beverly Hills Concierge Doctor Dr. Ehsan Ali tells Bustle. "Without doctor oversight, it is impossible to know how these drugs will affect you. Stimulants such as Adderall can cause increased heart rate and skyrocketing blood pressure, as well as tremors, anxiety, and dehydration. There is also the potential to overdose on Adderall, especially when self-administered."
You might feel like it's harmless to take these medications just here and there, but you might want to think twice if you're not prescribed them. Here are seven side effects of even occasionally taking Adderall or other "smart pills" that have the same effects, according to experts.
1. Anger Or Violence
These medications can make you suddenly very irritable or agitated. "One of the most dangerous things that happens at times is when people take Adderall for the first time, they can get very angry, impulsive, and may become very violent," psychologist and professional counselor Brian Sheble, Ph.D, NCSP, LPC, NCC tells Bustle.
2. Drug Interactions
If you are taking other medicine, there is the chance of potentially dangerous interactions between medications. "There could be contraindicated (negatively interact) with other meds you're taking, and no one would advise you on this," psychologist and addiction specialist Stacey Rosenfeld, Ph.D., CGP, CEDS tells Bustle. "That's why it's important to get a prescription from a doctor who can weigh in on your medication interactions."
3. Dry Mouth
Stimulant based medications can cause dry mouth which can put you at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. "Bacteria flourish in the conditions created by dry mouth, and the rapid build up of plaque makes gums much more vulnerable to periodontal disease," Steven Golubow, DMD tells Bustle.
4. Fluctuating mood
Even after one time use, Adderall and other "smart pills" can cause drastic mood swings. "Your mood can go up and down," says Sheble. "You get very tired after the drug leaves your system." These pills can also worsen anxiety, because they affect the reward center of the brain, says Ali.
5. Aggravated Undiagnosed Medical Condition
It's possibly to have a medical condition unbeknownst to you that is aggravated by stimulants, which can be very dangerous. "For instance, if you have a heart arrhythmia and take someone else's pills, that can increase symptoms, and there would be no one advising you against this or advising you on any potential dangers and how to manage them," says Rosenfeld.
6. Heart Attack Or Heart Palpitations
"Because the treatment is a stimulant, it can cause elevated heart rate, which can lead to heart attacks or palpitations," says Ali. In addition to elevated heart rate, these pills can also increase blood pressure and cause inflammation and artery spasms that limit blood to the heart muscle, according to research published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. A blood pressure increase can also cause a stroke if it reaches dangerous levels, says Ali.
7. Not Eating Enough/Disordered Eating
When you take thees pills, you might find yourself without an appetite all day — and it can even lead to worse issues down the road. "...Not eating all day is obviously problematic from a health perspective and can lead to additional symptoms of disordered eating (e.g., overeating at night, continued restriction)," says Rosenfeld.
Even though taking Adderall or a smart pill from time to time when you're not prescribed it may seem harmless, you're putting yourself at risk for these dangerous side effects.