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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Effects of Caffeine and ADHD

07/13/2007

Question:

I currently take Adderall 20mg twice daily.

What effects does caffeine consumption have on a person with ADHD? 2. Why is caffeine contraindicated with the use of adderall?

Answer:

Sorry I took some extra time on your questions but I was hoping to find out more than I already knew. Unfortunately, I was not able too. It seems that the paradoxical (different than what one would usually expect) reaction individuals sometimes see to caffeine is not well understood. We sometimes see the same response to stimulant medications, by the way. I have read in some review articles that it is seen when someone is on too high of a dose of stimulants but I have had patients with ADHD on very low doses who did fine when the dose was increased. Still, the great majority of patients I know who have gotten sleepy from stimulant medications have done so even with increases. There is no good medical evidence I am aware of on sleepiness with either medical stimulants for ADHD or caffeine.

In regards to your question about caffeine and Adderall, I just answered that last week so please take a look at this question.

In the mean time, I urge you to keep in mind that, just because you get sleepy with caffeine, that does not mean it does not have other effects like increasing anxiety, giving you less Stage 4 (deep) sleep, and putting more stress on your cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels). Moderation is probably still appropriate.

For more information:

Go to the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Susan Louisa Montauk, MD
Formerly Professor of Family Medicine
University of Cincinnati