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ADD and Alcohol

February 2001

Q. I am a college student who recently started taking adderall for ADD. I was wondering whether using alcohol while taking adderall is safe and what the effects are? Thanks.

A. Adderall is a type of amphetamine drug that is now commonly used to treat ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Amphetamines are a type of central nervous system stimulant. Alcohol, on the other hand is a Central nervous system depressant. Therefore, if one drank alcohol, it could negate some of the benefits of the amphetamine in patients with ADD.

On the other hand, at least in rats, alcohol inhibits the liver from breaking down amphetamines, and therefore, can actually increase the actions of amphetamines which could cause increase anxiety, tremor, insomnia, etc., Not surprisingly, the two drugs taken together may have unwanted interactions.

Therefore, I do not recommend alcohol in one who is on Adderall. Somewhat surprisingly, a Medline search did not reveal as much data as I thought your question would elicit, but nevertheless, it is a good question.

Ref: SOURCE: Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1992 Feb;16(1):75-81. CIT. IDS: PMID: 1558306 UI: 92214809

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