Adderall and Breastfeeding: Safety, Effects & Alternatives

Last Updated: February 1, 2024

Editorial Policy | Research Policy

Little is known about the effects of Adderall on the development of a breastfeeding infant, which is why it is not advised.

Adderall is a common medication for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a lifelong neurobehavioral condition. Fortunately, the condition can be treated with medications, including the stimulant Adderall. However, this can lead to concerns when a woman considers breastfeeding while taking Adderall. It is important to carefully weigh the risks of Adderall treatment with your doctor before taking the drug while nursing.

Can You Take Adderall While Breastfeeding? 

The FDA advises against taking Adderall while breastfeeding because there is little data on how Adderall’s components (dextroamphetamine and amphetamine) impact a baby’s development. Although some evidence exists that Adderall at prescribed doses might not be harmful, not enough is known about the medication to say for sure. Therefore, women who abuse Adderall should avoid breastfeeding.

How Long Should I Wait to Breastfeed After Taking Adderall?

It is unclear how long Adderall lasts in breast milk, making it hard for experts to determine how long a woman should wait before breastfeeding. Some stimulants have been found in breast milk for days after the last dose. This includes methamphetamine, which has a half-life of up to 40 hours. A half-life refers to how long it takes to remove half a dose from your system. 

Because it takes multiple half-lives for your body to clear a drug, stimulants like methamphetamine are present in your breastmilk for much longer. While there is no specific data for Adderall in breast milk, it could follow a similar profile.

Your doctor can evaluate your specific medical history and best advise you on how long to wait to breastfeed after taking Adderall.

Safety Precautions To Consider 

If you and your doctor have decided that the benefits of Adderall outweigh the risk, it is important to pay extra attention to safety while you breastfeed. You should be mindful of your prescribed dose, milk production and baby’s condition.

Follow Proper Dosage Instructions

It is vital to follow your doctor’s dosing instructions for Adderall to prevent any complications in your baby. Never take more of the medication than prescribed or take it more often than prescribed. In addition, never take Adderall not specifically prescribed to you. 

Pay Attention to Your Milk Production

Few studies exist on Adderall and milk production. However, experts think Adderall may not affect milk production, especially when the woman has already been breastfeeding for a while. That said, large doses of Adderall may decrease milk production.

Monitor Your Baby’s Condition

Adderall’s ingredients, dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, have been individually studied in breastfed infants, finding no side effects. However, it is still important to monitor your baby for possible side effects of stimulant exposure, such as:

  • Excessive stimulation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Poor weight gain

Adderall Alternatives for Lactating Parents

Safety data on ADHD medications during breastfeeding is generally lacking. This includes stimulants like Adderall and non-stimulants like guanfacine. For this reason, you and your doctor may consider non-medication strategies to manage your symptoms while you breastfeed. These may include:

  • Setting phone alarms and reminders
  • Using ADHD phone apps to help keep yourself focused
  • Sticking to an organized schedule
  • Keeping a detailed calendar
  • Having a friend or loved one help keep you accountable
  • Taking walks
  • Staying well-hydrated
  • Journaling

Help for Stimulant Abuse

If you struggle with Adderall and are thinking about breastfeeding, you may need help to ensure the safety of yourself and your baby. The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper can help. With our medical detox program to help get you off Adderall and our rehab program to help keep you off the drug, we are with you every step of the way. Contact a Recovery Advocate today to learn more.

Sources

Drugs and Lactation Database. “Methamphetamine.” February 15, 2023. Accessed April 14, 2023.

Drugs and Lactation Database. “Amphetamine.” January 15, 2023. Accessed April 14, 2023.

Drugs and Lactation Database. “Dextroamphetamine.” February 15, 2023. Accessed April 14, 2023.

Chomchai, Chulathida; Chomchai, Summon; Kitsommart, Ratchada. “Transfer of Methamphetamine (MA) into Breast Milk and Urine of Postpartum Women who Smoked MA Tablets during Pregnancy: Implications for Initiation of Breastfeeding.” Journal of Human Lactation, May 2016. Accessed April 14, 2023.

National Library of Medicine. “DailyMed – ADDERALL- dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate tablet.” February 27, 2022. Accessed April 14, 2023.

Freeman, Marlene P. “ADHD and Pregnancy.” American Journal of Psychiatry, July 1, 2014. Accessed April 14, 2023.

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