ADHD Adderall Tongue: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention By Wendy Wisner Wendy Wisner Wendy Wisner is a health and parenting writer, lactation consultant (IBCLC), and mom to two awesome sons. Learn about our editorial process Updated on April 10, 2023 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Mei T. Liu, Pharm.D., BCPP Medically reviewed by Mei T. Liu, Pharm.D., BCPP Dr. Mei Liu is the Psychiatric Clinical Pharmacist at the Penn Medicine Princeton House Behavioral Health and is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print 4FR / Getty Images Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Drug Overview Adderall Tongue Main Causes Treatment and Prevention Summary FAQs Adderall is a common treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is also sometimes prescribed for narcolepsy. In some individuals taking this prescription drug, side effects can occur in the mouth and tongue. These effects are referred to collectively as 'Adderall tongue.' Learn more about Adderall, what Adderall tongue is, and the symptoms it can create, such as dry mouth, swelling, and tongue sores. We also discuss what causes these effects and, if you do experience them, how to get rid of Adderall tongue—even ways to prevent it. Overview of Adderall Adderall is a stimulant drug made up of two substances: dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It works by changing the way neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin affect the brain. Adderall is one of many ADHD medications that can be prescribed. Medications are often used to manage ADHD symptoms, and they are generally quite effective for this purpose. ADHD is a behavioral disorder that affects 3% to 10% of kids and teens and about 2.5% of adults. ADHD symptoms include inattention, difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Adderall is also sometimes prescribed as a treatment for the sleep disorder narcolepsy. Someone with narcolepsy often experiences excessive daytime sleepiness. So, their healthcare provider may prescribe an amphetamine-based stimulant such as Adderall to help treat this symptom. Important Information About Adderall Adderall can be habit-forming and should not be taken unless prescribed to you by a healthcare provider. This medication should also be avoided by certain individuals. This includes those who: Have heart disease, severe high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, or glaucoma Have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within the past 14 days Have a history of drug abuse Experience high levels of anxiety, tenseness, or agitation What Is Adderall Tongue? Adderall tongue is not a recognized disorder but more so a group of symptoms that people taking Adderall may experience. Each person seems to experience Adderall tongue a little differently, and with varying degrees of severity. Most descriptions of Adderall tongue are anecdotal as no studies have specifically looked at this phenomenon. Many people describe it as: A sore tongueA dry tongue and dry mouthA raw feeling on the tongueSwelling of the tongue and mouthUlcers or sores on the tongue Dry Mouth Dry mouth is a common side effect of Adderall and other stimulant medications. In fact, it’s considered one of the more common adverse effects associated with taking Adderall. When you experience dry mouth as a result of a medication you are taking, dryness in your mouth and on your tongue isn’t the only symptom. Dry mouth is caused by a decrease in saliva production and can lead to other issues, including: Bad breathHeightened thirstSore throatTrouble swallowingHoarse voiceSores on the tongue, lips, and mouthPain in the tongue, lips, and mouthTrouble with taste Causes of Adderall Tongue There are two main causes of Adderall tongue. One is that you're experiencing a common side effect of this medication. The second is that you're having an allergic reaction. Adderall Side Effects As mentioned, adverse effects involving the mouth and tongue can occur when taking Adderall. Other common Adderall side effects may include: AnxietyNauseaConstipationHeadachesInsomniaDecrease in appetiteAbdominal upset Adderall Side Effects in Males Allergic Reaction It is possible to have an allergic reaction to an ADHD medication—even after taking it for years. If you are allergic to Adderall and take this drug, you may experience a swollen tongue. Other potential signs of an Adderall allergic reaction can include: Hives, rash, or itchy skinBreathing issues, such as wheezingSwelling of the lips, mouth, throat, and the areas around the eyesAnaphylaxis, which can include labored breathing, dizziness, nausea, disorientation, rapid pulse, vomiting If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, call your healthcare provider right away and stop taking your medication. If you are experiencing anaphylaxis, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room. Adderall tongue symptoms caused by allergic reactions usually mean that you can no longer use Adderall to treat your ADHD and will need to switch to a different medication. Other medications used to treat ADHD include: ConcertaDaytranaFocalinMetadateMethylinRitalin Adderall Tongue Treatment and Prevention How do you get rid of Adderall tongue that occurs as a side effect of this medication as opposed to being an allergic reaction? The first course of action is to contact your healthcare provider. Your provider may adjust your ADHD medication dosage, reducing the drug's side effects, or give you other tips for managing your symptoms. If you've just started taking this medication, you may find that your Adderall tongue symptoms decrease as your body begins to adjust to it. Dry mouth and symptoms related to it (bad breath, sore throat, sores, and pain on the tongue) may be managed with at-home remedies such as: Staying hydrated and sipping water throughout the day Using a humidifier to bring moist air into your home Sucking on candies and lozenges or chewing gum, which can increase saliva production Decreasing caffeine and reducing alcohol use Using mouthwash Trying a nasal wash or oral spray Sometimes the symptoms of Adderall tongue can be prevented by adopting treatment methods such as staying hydrated, sucking on candy or gum, or the use of any method recommended by your healthcare provider. These may need to be utilized for the entire time you are taking Adderall, to keep your symptoms at bay. Summary Adderall tongue can be distressing. But there is a path forward and a way to manage both your symptoms and your ADHD. Your healthcare provider can discuss options with you, including symptom management and alternative medications. ADHD Treatment for Adults Frequently Asked Questions Is Adderall tongue painful? People can experience Adderall tongue a little differently. For some, it’s experienced more as a dry feeling on the tongue and in the mouth. For others, pain may be involved, including swelling of the tongue, tenderness, and pain caused by sores and ulcers. Learn More: What To Know About Generic Adderall (Dextroamphetamine-Amphetamine) How long does Adderall tongue last? Adderall side effects like dry mouth may resolve a few weeks after starting the medication, as your body adjusts. However, some people may experience Adderall tongue the entire time they are using this drug, to varying degrees. Is Adderall tongue contagious? No, Adderall tongue isn’t contagious because it’s either caused by an allergic reaction to the medication or is a medication side effect. Still, some viruses and bacterial infections may have similar symptoms to Adderall tongue, which is why you should share your symptoms with your healthcare provider. 13 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. MedlinePlus. Dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Clavenna A, Bonati M. Pediatric pharmacoepidemiology - safety and effectiveness of medicines for ADHD. Expert Opin Drug Safety. 2017;16:1335-1345. doi:10.1080/14740338.2017.1389894 Weyandt LL, White TL, Gudmundsdottir BG, et al. Neurocognitive, autonomic, and mood effects of Adderall: A pilot study of healthy college students. Pharmacy (Basel). 2018;6(3):58. doi:10.3390/pharmacy6030058 Song P, Zha M, Yang Q, et al. The prevalence of adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A global systematic review and meta-analysis. 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Cleveland Clinic. ADHD medication. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dry mouth remedies: 14 to try. Additional Reading MedlinePlus. Dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. By Wendy Wisner Wendy Wisner is a health and parenting writer, lactation consultant (IBCLC), and mom to two awesome sons. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for ADHD Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.