What Are The Differences Between Adderall and Meth?

Methamphetamine, meth for short, is one of the most abused drugs in the world. The Japanese chemist Nagai Nagayoshi first synthesized the drug from amphetamine in 1893. However, it was only commercially produced when it was used as a stimulating drug for soldiers in World War II. However, the side effects of the drug were so intense that the soldiers lessen their use in the 1940’s.

On the other hand, Adderall came from the salts of the drug Dextroamphetamine. It is a powerful drug that can treat various mental disorders such as ADHD.  Shire Pharmaceutical’s subsidiary Richwood Pharmaceuticals introduced it back in 1996 as an instant-release tablet. Since then, it has become one of the most famous and abused psychoactive drug in the US. (1)

Uses Of Adderall And Meth

The Food and Drug Administration approved both Adderall and some brands of Methamphetamine for the treatment of the mental disorder ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a disease that causes a person to have some difficulty maintaining focus or controlling impulses.

Furthermore, both drugs have shown stimulating properties. That is the reason why some athletes use Adderall to improve their physical performance. On the other hand, soldiers used Methamphetamine back then to induce wakefulness and attention during battle.

Listed below are some uses that are exclusive to each drug:


  • Exogenous Obesity: Studies have shown that short term use of Meth along with other drugs can help reduce obesity. However, the FDA advises doctors to weigh the benefits of the drug against its possible side effects. (2)


  • Narcolepsy (Sleep Disorder): This mental disorder is similar to insomnia. However, its primary effect is that it decreases a person’s ability to regulate their circadian rhythm or our natural body clock. Thus, making it hard for a person to schedule their sleep cycle.
  • Improve Cognitive Function: Several clinical trials were able to show that therapeutic or low dosage use of both Adderall can improve a person’s working memory, inhibition control, initiative, and attention.

Side Effects Of Adderall And Meth

Methamphetamine is known worldwide due to being a mainstream recreational drug. Its illicit use has reached every country I the world due to its euphoric side effects. Hence, nearly all countries have placed strict regulations upon the drug.

Other than its stimulating effects, Meth can also cause a person to experience loss of appetite, hyperactivity, dilated pupils, flushed skin, excessive sweating, increased movement, dry mouth and teeth grinding, headache, irregular heartbeat and more. (3)

Furthermore, recreational users of methamphetamine are known to experience what is known as “meth mouth.” It is a disorder wherein a person loses some of their teeth abnormally fast. The American Dental Association believes this is due to both the physical and psychological effects of meth.

On the other hand, clinical trials have shown that Adderall can cause its users to experience hypertension or hypotension, Raynaud’s phenomenon (reduced blood flow to the hands and feet), and increased heart rate.

Furthermore, other studies were able to show that other common side effects of the drug include appetite loss, abdominal pain, nausea, and weight loss. Some sexual side effects may also include erectile dysfunction or prolonged erections. (4)

Effects On Pregnant Women

The US FDA has given both Meth and Adderall a category C with regards to pregnancy. This means, only animal studies were able to show significant adverse effects on developing fetuses. Furthermore, more human studies are needed to fully establish the consequences of the drugs on unborn human fetuses.

Nevertheless, FDA does not rule out the possibility of the drugs affecting unborn fetuses. Furthermore, as the drugs are highly addictive, withdrawal symptoms may manifest in newly born children from mothers who took the medications during pregnancy.

Also Read: Provigil Vs Adderall

Can Adderall And Meth Be Taken Together?

Adderall and Meth are both stimulant drugs. Hence, taking them at the same time may increase the risk of adverse side effects. Furthermore, there have been reports of people experiencing intense palpitations a few hours after taking both drugs together.

Taking the two drugs together can also increase the risk of tolerance and addiction as both drugs can be highly addictive to users. Remember to take drugs only as prescribed by your physician. Lastly, avoid experimentation with any drug without the prior approval of a trained medical professional.


Ilieva IP, Hook CJ, Farah MJ (January 2015). “Prescription Stimulants’ Effects on Healthy Inhibitory Control, Working Memory

Adderall: The Most Abused Prescription Drug in America. (n.d.). Retrieved 9 2017, September, from HuffingtonPost: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-ronald-ricker-and-dr-venus-nicolino/adderall-the-most-abused_b_619549.html

Meth. (n.d.). Retrieved September 9, 2017, from Food and Drug Administration: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/017078s042lbl.pdf

Narcolepsy. (n.d.). Retrieved September 9, 2017, from National Health Institute UK: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Narcolepsy/Pages/Introduction.aspx, and Episodic Memory: A Meta-analysis”. J. Cogn. Neurosci. 27: 1–21.

“Methamphetamine Use (Meth Mouth)”. American Dental Association. Archived from the original on June 2008. Retrieved September 2017.