You may have a lot of questions right now — one of which is can you take Adderall while pregnant?
Part of being pregnant is balancing your own health and wellbeing with the great task of growing a new human.
And knowing what medications we can and cannot take is part of that journey.
Whether it’s long been part of your medical treatment, or you’ve just been prescribed it for the first time, you may be wondering: can you take Adderall while pregnant?
Ultimately, what medications are suitable for you is something that should be navigated with your doctor.
No two situations are alike when it comes to the ins and outs of our mental and physical health.
What we can do is give you the lowdown on what to consider when it comes to taking Adderall during pregnancy, and what the risk factors might be for you and your baby.
Let’s dive in.
In this article: 📝
- What is Adderall?
- Can I take ADHD medication while pregnant?
- Can Adderall cause birth defects?
- Adderall and pregnancy: the bottom line
What is Adderall?
Adderall is the trade name for medication used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the sleep condition, narcolepsy.
It’s what’s known as a combination medication, containing different kinds of amphetamines.
These are stimulant drugs — or “uppers” — meaning that they basically make your brain and body work faster.
They can increase your energy, enhance your mood, and improve your focus and concentration.
This is helpful if you have ADHD.
This medical condition affects both brain development and activity, making it harder to concentrate.
It can also make you more impulsive and restless.
ADHD can disrupt both your personal and professional life.
And having ADHD can make you six times more likely to have learning challenges and/or another mental health disorder like anxiety and depression.
Finding the right treatment to manage it can be a game-changer. For some, Adderall is the ticket.
Adderall also helps in the treatment of narcolepsy symptoms.
Narcolepsy affects your body’s ability to control sleep-wake cycles and leads to severe drowsiness and sleep “attacks” during the day.
This complex disease currently has no cure and so needs to be treated on a symptom basis.
Adderall is one treatment option, as it can boost the functioning of certain chemicals in your brain that help reduce sleepiness and make you feel alert.
It’s important to note that amphetamines can be highly addictive, and are illegal when used in large quantities or without a prescription.
But if you use them under medical supervision, they can be part of your path to living with a common mental health condition or sleep disorder.
Can I take ADHD medication while pregnant?
If this is something you’re weighing up, know that you’re not alone.
The CDC estimates that about one in 100 women take ADHD medication while pregnant — a number that doubled from 1998 to 2011.
So is it safe? Well, that’s complicated.
The reality is that ADHD is treated with amphetamines — and amphetamines might come with some risks to you and your growing baby.
But the research is young on this one. And a lot of what we know about stimulants have come from research on drug abuse rather than as part of supervised medical treatments.
Can Adderall cause birth defects?
The research is mixed — and that’s likely because we’re still getting started when it comes to studying ADHD meds and pregnancy.
Specifically, ADHD medication has been linked to these rare conditions:
- Gastroschisis, where a baby’s intestines come through a hole in their abdomen and are found outside their body.
- Omphalocele, where a baby’s intestines stick outside their belly in a thin sac.
- Transverse limb deficiency, where a limb or limbs are smaller or missing.
But this study, on the other hand, concluded that ADHD medication doesn’t seem to be unsafe for you or your baby.
So yes, it’s confusing.
That’s why the official word from the FDA is that amphetamines like Adderall should be used during pregnancy “only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.”
Adderall and pregnancy: the bottom line
Whether to take Adderall during your pregnancy is an important issue to broach with your doctor.
Together, you can decide if taking this medication is a good idea for you.
The good news is, when it comes to ADHD, there are other helpful strategies that can either complement or supplement medication.
Talk therapy is an effective way to address the symptoms of ADHD and can help you develop skills and implement strategies to live with the condition.
Organizing your space at home and at work can also be useful, as can time management strategies like using a planner and creating routines for yourself.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has put together this handy guide that outlines various ways you can live with this condition.
It may also help to reach out to your Peanut community. You don’t have to do this alone.
All the best, mama.
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