As of 2011, Adderall is approved to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It is considered safe for most people who do not also have heart disease or a heart defect, according to Drugs.com. In rare cases or in people with undiagnosed heart disease or heart defects, Adderall can increase blood pressure, speed up the heart rate and even cause heart attack and stroke. If you are among those who experienced an increase in blood pressure, heart rate or other cardiac side effects while using Adderall, a regimen of heart-healthy living can help get you back on track.
See your doctor and have a full cardiac workup. Your heart's health may have changed since you were evaluated for your initial prescription of Adderall. Talk to your doctor about any risk factors for heart problems that have developed as a result of taking Adderall. It's important to seek your doctor's approval before starting any type of lifestyle-change program.
Transition to a heart-healthy diet. Heart-healthy diets help to manage cholesterol, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and other medical conditions. Eat healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated and trans fats. Choose plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat meat and dairy products and high-fiber whole grains. Limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men to avoid increases in cholesterol or weight. Double-check any medications you are taking to ensure you can drink alcohol in moderation.
Exercise regularly to build fitness and endurance. The heart is a muscle and like other muscles, regular exercise keeps it strong and healthy. Exercise also helps lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week, but your doctor may need to adjust the duration and intensity of your workouts due to your heart health.
Quit smoking. Smoking increases your risk of stroke or heart attack by increasing blood pressure and bad cholesterol that may have already been adversely affected by Adderall use. Smoking also contributes to hardening of the arteries. Quitting smoking can reduce heart attack risk in an otherwise healthy person by more than 50 percent, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Seek help for substance abuse if you are having trouble quitting Adderall. Adderall is an addictive substance with a high potential for abuse. Follow your clinician's instructions for safely quitting the medication.
Follow up with your doctor regularly to evaluate your heart health especially if you begin taking other stimulant drugs to treat ADHD symptoms.