Adderall and Sex Drive: What You Should Know

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Adderall and Sex Drive: What You Should Know

Adderall is a prescription medication that’s commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It can be both helpful and effective in treating symptoms like impulsivity, poor concentration, and lack of focus, but it can also cause some unwanted side effects, including erectile dysfunction and decreased libido. Understanding the relationship between Adderall and sex drive is important for maintaining a healthy sex life and drive while treating your disorder.

ADHD and Sex Life

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant used to treat ADHD. It acts on the brain to increase the amount of neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. This results in improved mood, increased focus and concentration, and a reduction in hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.

Considering our focus on taking Adderall and sex drive today, how can not taking Adderall affect your sex life with ADHD:

  • Impulsivity: Adults with ADHD may impulsively pursue sex, which is why sex addiction often co-occurs with ADHD and other disorders that cause impulsive behavior. That same impulsiveness may prompt someone to engage in risky sexual behaviors, such as unprotected sex and sex with strangers. Adults with ADHD may find that their impulsivity makes them poor lovers, as they’re anxious to get started as much as they are to move on to the next activity.
  • Inability to focus or pay attention: Adults with ADHD also tend to jump from one thought to the next and struggle to be present in the moment. As a result, their rapid-fire thoughts might keep them from fully enjoying sexual activity. In serious cases, people with ADHD might even find themselves so distracted during sexual activity that they’re no longer able to perform.
  • Hyperactivity: Hyperactivity can also impact a person’s sex drive and performance. ADHD can induce a high level of arousal that leads to frantic sexual pursuit to alleviate tension. As a result, ADHD adults may find themselves drawn to edgier sexual practices like fetishism and exhibitionism, both of which have their cons.

To be clear, these scenarios don’t apply to all adults with ADHD, but it puts things into perspective. Scenarios usually don’t start this severe, and the longer someone with ADHD goes without getting help, the more of an impact their symptoms may have on their sex drive and other areas of their lives.

Adderall Sexual Side Effects in Adults

For many people, the best solution for their ADHD symptoms is prescription medications like Adderall. However, while alleviating impulsivity, hyperactivity, and depression might sound great, Adderall does affect you sexually, and it’s important to be aware of the possible sexual side effects of Adderall if you’re interested in taking it for your symptoms.

Adderall Side Effects in Men Sexually

In men, erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common sexual side effect of Adderall. One study found that more than 1,300 men between the ages of 18 and 57 who used Adderall were more than twice as likely to experience ED. The study also found that 29.3% of Adderall users had previously experienced ED compared to 11.9% of people who did not use Adderall.1 However, this study was conducted on people who used Adderall without a prescription, so the rate of ED might be lower in people who use the drug as prescribed.

Men who experience Adderall ED may also experience other sexual side effects, such as decreased sex drive or desire to have sex. Some people may even find that their sex drive increases when they first start taking Adderall, only to drop the longer they take it. ED can also make it less likely that a man will engage in sexual activity, not only due to physical challenges of the condition but also because of any self-consciousness the condition often causes.

Adderall Side Effects in Females Sexually

Not only can Adderall cause permanent erectile dysfunction in men, but it can also have an impact on women, as well. Adderall sexual side effects in females include headache, nervousness, painful periods, and decreased sex drive, all of which can either directly or indirectly decrease sex drive. Other effects that aren’t specifically sexual include mood swings, headache, constipation, which can also decrease a person’s desire to have sex.

Studies also show that estrogen plays a key role in the effectiveness of stimulant medications. Estrogen is a hormone that affects sexual desire and arousal along with progesterone and testosterone. Having higher levels of estrogen in the body promotes vaginal lubrication and increases sexual desire. Unfortunately, low levels of estrogen are associated with less effectiveness from or response to stimulant medications.

So while your sex drive may continue to thrive while taking Adderall, the medication may not be effective enough to treat your ADHD symptoms. However, this isn’t the end all be all. In addition to taking Adderall, there might be other reasons you’re experiencing ED or your sex drive is low. At the end of the day, it’s best to speak to your doctor.

Help for Adderall Addiction

Adderall side effects in adults sexually are not the only dangers this drug presents. Adderall also has a potential for addiction, and taking higher doses of it chronically or mixing it with other substances can lead to a serious drug use disorder. Fortunately, our drug and alcohol treatment center in Palm Beach offers prescription drug addiction treatment programs that can help.

Our facility offers various forms of addiction treatment in Lake Worth, FL, to help people recover from both illicit and prescription drug addictions. Starting with medically monitored detox and continuing client care with aftercare support, our facility helps clients recover from the physical challenges of quitting drugs to the psychological challenges of staying sober.

Because drug abuse and mental illness often go hand-in-hand, BHOPB also offers dual diagnosis treatment that addresses both conditions to help patients achieve mental and physical well-being.

To learn how to get started with our substance abuse or mental health treatment programs in Palm Beach, call Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches today at 561-220-3981.



  1. NIH – The Impact of Illicit Use of Amphetamine on Male Sexual Functions


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