Can You Drink Coffee While Taking Adderall?

Adderall And Caffeine

The discussion about Adderall and caffeine is not new. People have been debating their consumption in combination for a long time. While some say Adderall and caffeine can be consumed together, others nullify, stating that when taken together, they can cause more harm than help. 

Both Adderall and caffeine are stimulants. Even though taking any of them alone or in small quantities will not show any adverse effect, too much consumption can become a matter of concern. 

Before we get into the subject, let’s understand both the components individually and know their effects on the body. 

What is Adderall? 

Adderall stimulates the nervous system and has two main active ingredients, Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine (1). It is a prescription drug that treats certain diseases related to neurotransmitters in the brain. 

How Does Adderall Work?

One of the widely used remedies for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, Adderall targets neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine (2). Once targeted, they help build focus and alertness, which are absent in such conditions. At the same time, it regulates attention and impulse control, the major symptoms of ADHD.

Other benefits of Adderall include:

  • Helps stay awake and alert
  • Reduces excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Decrease sudden episodes of sleep

Being a prescription medicine, it is always advised to take Adderall in a set amount to prevent the chances of any side effects or adverse reactions. Some major problems that one may experience due to its overdose are-

  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite, 
  • Dependency or misuse

Moreover, everybody doesn’t respond well to Adderall, and symptoms such as weight loss, irritability, and lack of appetite may prevail. Therefore, its abuse or taking in incorrect doses can trigger adverse reactions.

What is Caffeine 


Caffeine, one of the widely used ingredients all around the world, is also a stimulant of the central nervous system (3). People consume caffeine in different forms, such as beverages, pills, gum, snack bars, etc. 

Caffeine is a natural substance with high potency. It is extracted from plants like coffee beans, yerba mate, tea, etc. Other than stimulating the nervous system, caffeine is also responsible for increasing heart rate and the respiratory system. The mood-altering effects of caffeine make it one of the most widely used beverages early in the morning. 

However, overconsumption of caffeine is dangerous. 

How Does Caffeine Work?

The aftereffects of caffeine are a result of a blocked neurotransmitter called adenosine, a brain chemical. The work of adenosine is to relax the body and promote sleepiness. However, as one consumes caffeine, neural activity increases, and other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, are released. 

Thus, after caffeine consumption, we often feel:

  • Increased alertness
  • Improved focus
  • Enhanced mood
  • Reduced perception of fatigue

Besides putting adenosine on temporary rest, caffeine also promotes the release of adrenaline. It again increases heart rate and heightens alertness while boosting the energy temporarily.

Usually, caffeine starts working within 15 to 20 minutes of consumption, depending upon the dose. However, people who are sensitive to it can experience adverse reactions (4), such as-

  • Sweating and chest pain
  • Nausea and dizziness 
  • Anxiety and restlessness 
  • Upset stomach 

What Happens If You Consume Adderall And Caffeine Together?

If you consume a small amount of Adderall and caffeine together, it’s unlikely to cause any overstimulation or adverse effects. Still, mixing the two is not a good idea. 

This is mainly because Adderall is a prescription medicine that should always be consumed within the set limit. At the same time, if this medication is prescribed for children, sticking to what’s told by the doctor is essential to prevent any unpleasant side effects. 

Likewise, caffeine intake, along with Adderall, is a big no, whether it’s about a child or an adult. Since both these components are known to stimulate the central nervous system, any up and down of the dosage can influence the results. 

Adderall And Caffeine Side Effects

Some of the major issues one can face as a result of Adderall and caffeine consumption together include the following:

  • Severe case of insomnia 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Chest pain 
  • Anxiety disorder

If you are addicted to coffee, it is advised to consume decaffeinated beverages instead. 

Taking Adderall Without a Prescription 

Adderall is believed to trigger the nervous system and stimulate the brain’s functioning. As a result, many people take it without a prescription to attain certain goals, such as:

  • Improved academic or work performance– Students and people facing high academic or work pressure tend to take Adderall to improve focus and increase productivity.
  • Recreational use– Stimulating the nervous system, Adderall is believed to create a sense of euphoria and increase energy levels. Therefore, people often consume it for recreational purposes. 
  • Weight loss– Since Adderall misuse is associated with suppressed appetite, people struggling to lose weight often find Adderall consumption as their last resort. 
  • Social influence– Peer pressure can be blamed in some circumstances when an individual starts consuming Adderall and becomes addicted to it. 

What Is The Safe Limit For Adderall And Caffeine Consumption?

Adderall is not a dangerous drug; neither is caffeine consumption. However, taking them in high doses or using both of them together can over-stimulate the nervous system, leading to certain disadvantages. 

Here are the recommendations:

  • If you are under Adderall prescription, limit your caffeine intake to 1 cup of coffee a day. 
  • If you take Adderall occasionally, consume caffeine only on the other days of the week. 
  • If you don’t take Adderall, consume not more than 2 to 3 cups of coffee to prevent the chances of caffeine addiction. 

Besides, if you experience chest pain or any other discomforting symptom after Adderall or caffeine intake, stop their use immediately. 


While Adderall is a prescription medicine that stimulates the nervous system, caffeine is also a strong stimulant. When used alone, they work as designed to function; however, when using Adderall and caffeine in daily routine, especially in more than the recommended dose, experiencing adverse effects is not uncommon.

So, stay mindful about your choices to live a healthy life. 


  1. Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta (all amphetamine-like drugs to treat ADHD)-
  2. Neurocognitive, Autonomic, and Mood Effects of Adderall: A Pilot Study of Healthy College Students-
  3. Caffeine and the central nervous system-
  4. Effect of caffeine on human health-

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