Adderall During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

by on April 29, 2012

Can pregnant women take Adderall?

No, the use of Adderall during pregnancy is not safe. Adderall is a combination of amphetamine salts which can potentially cause harm on the unborn fetus. Animal studies reveal that infants who are born to mothers taking amphetamines exhibit withdrawal symptoms and are at an increased risk of low birth weight.

The Food And Drug Administration (FDA) classifies Adderall under the Pregnancy Category C. This means that this drug has not been well studied on pregnant humans, but animal studies show that it does cause harm on the fetus.

Animal studies, specifically on mice samples, revealed that Adderall can cause miscarriages and congenital defects. In a separate study conducted on rodent samples, the drug has been linked to problems with brain chemicals which resulted in long-term cognitive and memory problems.

However, animal studies do not always reflect how humans will react on a specific medication. Therefore, this medication can actually be used by a pregnant woman if the physician determines that the perceived benefits outweigh the potential risks to the fetus and the pregnancy. Your healthcare provider is in the best position to determine whether taking Adderall is more beneficial in your situation. You and your doctor will need to come up with a shared decision about taking Adderall during pregnancy.

If you get pregnant while on Adderall treatment, make sure that you contact your doctor right away. In addition, inform your healthcare provider if you have any plans of becoming pregnant.

Can breastfeeding women take Adderall?

The current recommendation is that breastfeeding women avoid Adderall. This drug contains amphetamines which can be passed through the breast milk and can cause undesirable effects on the infant.

According to some studies, taking Adderall in prescribed doses for specific medical conditions may not affect the nursing infants adversely. However, in patients who are taking Adderall chronically, large doses of this drug can be passed to the infant causing unwanted side effects. Furthermore, the effects of amphetamine in breast milk on the neurological development of the infant have not been fully studied. Studies are still inconclusive whether large doses of amphetamine can interfere with breast milk production.

Because of the potential side effects of Adderall on the nursing infant, women taking this CNS stimulant are advised to refrain from breastfeeding their infant. Consult your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed your child. Your physician is in the best position to determine what is appropriate in your case. He or she can choose to discontinue the drug, adjust the dosage or change it with other medications that are relatively safer for breastfeeding women.