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Adderall and Chest Pain


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#1 SupermanicSoul

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 08:48 PM

After doing a ton of Googling and reading the PI sheet on Adderrall, I'm still a little uncertain about the chest pain it can cause. For instance, I take up to 30 mg. daily. I notice that some days, that last 10 of the 30 will cause chest pain. It's a stinging sensation. As a result I've backed off, but what I'm really curious about is exactly WHAT is causing it. Is Adderall constricting blood vessels in my heart? Is it causing muscles to tighten too much? What is the general mechanism behind the pain?

Thanks...


#2 null0trooper

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 09:35 PM

After doing a ton of Googling and reading the PI sheet on Adderrall, I'm still a little uncertain about the chest pain it can cause. For instance, I take up to 30 mg. daily. I notice that some days, that last 10 of the 30 will cause chest pain. It's a stinging sensation. As a result I've backed off, but what I'm really curious about is exactly WHAT is causing it. Is Adderall constricting blood vessels in my heart? Is it causing muscles to tighten too much? What is the general mechanism behind the pain?


Both mechanisms make sense.

Muscle tension from a stimulant isn't too unusual, so it could just be that. Relaxation exercises, maybe?

Vasoconstriction and hypertension are a bit more likely to regularly occur at any level, although not much - and I believe that 30 mg is far less than what an addict might consume... That would be reason enough to talk things over with a regular physician. You shouldn't be in bad enough shape for that little to even cause that much chest pain, unless you're actually 84. An EKG and some bloodwork is routine enough and everyone will be a little less worried.

Edited by null0trooper, 08 March 2008 - 09:35 PM.

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#3 AirMarshall

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 11:36 PM

After doing a ton of Googling and reading the PI sheet on Adderrall, I'm still a little uncertain about the chest pain it can cause. For instance, I take up to 30 mg. daily. I notice that some days, that last 10 of the 30 will cause chest pain. It's a stinging sensation. As a result I've backed off, but what I'm really curious about is exactly WHAT is causing it. Is Adderall constricting blood vessels in my heart? Is it causing muscles to tighten too much? What is the general mechanism behind the pain?

Thanks...

The mechanism of how Adderall is doing this is no mystery. Adderall besides its effects directly on the brain it is a "sympathomimetic drug".

Wikipedia
Sympathomimetic drugs are substances that mimic the effects of the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline) and the hormone/neurotransmitter norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Such drugs raise blood pressure and are weak bases.


Sympathomimetic drugs have very noticeable effects on the the heart, lungs and major organs, just a shot of adrenalin would. They stimulate increased electrical (nerve) activity which translates to increased blood pressure from narrowing of blood vessels, tachycardia (increased heart rate), for example.

A stinging sensation is not normal and you should contact your family doctor to get this checked. There are a number of easy checks that can be done in the office. What exactly is that sensation? Could be high blood pressure, slightly abnormal electrical heart rythm, a blocked artery, or an ischemic artery blockage. Could be nothing or something significant. See your family doc.

a.m.

Edited by AirMarshall, 08 March 2008 - 11:39 PM.

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#4 ldo

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 10:53 PM

I noticed a lot of muscle tension when I started taking the stuff, although in my case not in my chest. . After a few weeks, it went away. It may be a good idea to work up to that dose slowly. I started with only 5mg and really noticed the tension on the first few days. But if you're not SURE that it's just muscle tension that doesn't have to do with your heart, it's probably a good idea to get a doc to look at you while you're on it.

Also, anxiety can make your chest feel like that. But I'm guessing (and it is just a guess) you'd be consciously aware of it if you were that anxious. Adderall makes me more prone to getting more wound up. Perhaps it does that to you too?
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back on Prozac, alternating 5 and 7.5mg/day
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#5 Penny Century

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 12:41 AM

non science answer:

adderall gave me chest pains.
for some reason dexedrine does not.

maybe it's time to test different stimulants??

sorry for the no science here....
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#6 goldenbvtterfly

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 04:10 AM

non science answer:

adderall gave me chest pains.
for some reason dexedrine does not.

maybe it's time to test different stimulants??

sorry for the no science here....

Methinks the levo-amphetamine in Adderall could account for this....but that's just my slightly educated guess ;)

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#7 Guest_guisella_*

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 11:04 AM

Well I've been taking Adderall XR for about a year now. I started taking just regular adderall (the blue pill) 10mg for 2 months. Then i started the XR 20mg and now im at 25mg. Even before i started the adderall i alwasy remember that I had a slight problem with cold weather and heart pain. Whenever it is cold outside my chest hurst and it feels like my heart is being squeezed. This became significantly worse after Adderall. Now, I do notice my heart is alot more sensitive to phisical activity etc.. and after my episode last week Im more sure than ever that somehow Adderall is not making things better for me. I went to the hospital twice last week. The first time I thought i was having a heart attack. My chest tightened up and I felt like someone was stepping on my chest. My left arm went numb and i felt like i was going to faint and i was sweating cold and I had shortness of breath. I took aspirin and i felt better. I eneded up the same after the aspiring wore off and i went to the hospital. After an EKG, blood tests for i dont know what, and a castscan to see if i had a pulmonary embolism, and yeah after 8 hours at the hospital, they told me my chest pain was unknown and i had to go to a cardiologist. I did that friday and based on my sysptoms my doc gave me some very specific blood test and i have to get a stress cardio test. NOW, I am afraid all of these sypmtoms came, and if they were present before they never were severe, after Adderall XR. Could the Adderall really cause blocked arteries??? this would be crazy! I am a 24 year old woman! and the cardiologisst suspects I have vasospasm! I didnt even think i could have any of these issues at this age. Has anyone experienced heart attack like sympotoms like me? People keep telling me "oh c'mon you are too you, its porbablly anxiety." I know anxiety! This was not anxiety! I was calm and sitting when it happened.This was crushing chest pain that felt like someone was squeezing my heart and numbness in my jaw, throat and left arm. I told the cardiologist that i take adderall and he didnt say anything about it. He didnt even warm me that maybe adderall could potentially be causeing these sympotms or at least make them worse. Should I stop taking adderall just to be safe?

#8 Guest_Guest_ConcernedHusband_*

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 12:55 PM

Well I've been taking Adderall XR for about a year now. I started taking just regular adderall (the blue pill) 10mg for 2 months. Then i started the XR 20mg and now im at 25mg. Even before i started the adderall i alwasy remember that I had a slight problem with cold weather and heart pain. Whenever it is cold outside my chest hurst and it feels like my heart is being squeezed. This became significantly worse after Adderall. Now, I do notice my heart is alot more sensitive to phisical activity etc.. and after my episode last week Im more sure than ever that somehow Adderall is not making things better for me. I went to the hospital twice last week. The first time I thought i was having a heart attack. My chest tightened up and I felt like someone was stepping on my chest. My left arm went numb and i felt like i was going to faint and i was sweating cold and I had shortness of breath. I took aspirin and i felt better. I eneded up the same after the aspiring wore off and i went to the hospital. After an EKG, blood tests for i dont know what, and a castscan to see if i had a pulmonary embolism, and yeah after 8 hours at the hospital, they told me my chest pain was unknown and i had to go to a cardiologist. I did that friday and based on my sysptoms my doc gave me some very specific blood test and i have to get a stress cardio test. NOW, I am afraid all of these sypmtoms came, and if they were present before they never were severe, after Adderall XR. Could the Adderall really cause blocked arteries??? this would be crazy! I am a 24 year old woman! and the cardiologisst suspects I have vasospasm! I didnt even think i could have any of these issues at this age. Has anyone experienced heart attack like sympotoms like me? People keep telling me "oh c'mon you are too you, its porbablly anxiety." I know anxiety! This was not anxiety! I was calm and sitting when it happened.This was crushing chest pain that felt like someone was squeezing my heart and numbness in my jaw, throat and left arm. I told the cardiologist that i take adderall and he didnt say anything about it. He didnt even warm me that maybe adderall could potentially be causeing these sympotms or at least make them worse. Should I stop taking adderall just to be safe?


This sounds exactly like what my wife is experiencing.
She's 26 years old and has been experiencing these things for years (long before we started going out, however the sudden chest pains went away after a few minutes), she went to doctors and did the workups and they could never find anything...
We got married in July08 and she went through a few weeks where she was having these pains twice a day and they would last for upwards of 45minutes.. so i put my foot down and told her to document the time/date/severity/activity/food/etc (anything that could be at all relevant to what was happening to her)... and we scheduled an appointment to have her go see my doctors (we're on the same insurance now)..

Well, the initial diagnosis is that she's experiencing Coronary Artery Spasm's (http://www.nlm.nih.g...icle/000159.htm).
My wife's been prescribed some meds and we're supposed to give it a week or two to get the full effect.

After finding out what the doctor thought it was, i decided to do my normal over-researching of what it is...
The above article regarding the Coronary Artery Spasm specifies that the spasms could be triggered by "Medications that cause narrowing of the blood vessels (vasoconstriction)". http://en.wikipedia....asoconstriction


Adderall is a stimulant made from various Amphetamines, and most stimulants are known to cause (slight) vasoconstriction: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Amphetamine
I picked up a lot of good information from another thread: http://www.addforums...ead.php?t=53810
Which eventually lead me to this: http://en.wikipedia....zmetal's_angina
So, i suggest you bring some of your researched information to your doctor (as well as letting him/her know exactly what meds you're taking).

Good Luck!

#9 littleg6

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 09:30 AM

I realize this is an old thread, but just wanted to add my 2 cents for anyone who comes across this by internet search like I did. I was prescribed adderall xr 10mg then up to 20mg once per day by my Primary Dr after being screened positive for ADD.

After about a year of taking adderall xr, I experienced some light chest & jaw pain. Because I'm 53 years old, I went to the ER to get it checked out.

I stayed overnight attached to a blood pressure cuff, heart monitor, and that finger clip that monitors breathing. I had several EKG's, a chest X-ray, and a nuclear treadmill stress test and scan. During my results session with the Cardiologist, I was told there was no damage to the heart muscle (heart attack), nor did they find any other issues.

Even though everything turned out ok, I decided to take a break from adderall xr.

Six months later my life was falling apart around me due to my ADD symptoms. I went back to my Primary Dr to see about getting restarted on the adderall xr, at a lower dose than I had been on previously, however, they no longer seem to want to prescribe me the adderall xr...or any other ADD med for that matter.

Instead they asked me to get re-screened for ADD, then go to a Psychiatrist to be treated for this issue. They sent me off with 2 referrals to call to get the screen.

I called the first place and learned that they don't do ADD screenings at all. The second place, said they do them, but didn't accept my insurance. A third place (that I found on my own!) does the screenings, and takes my insurance, but as a new patient it's a 6 month wait to get in!

I'm feeling frustrated now that I have to wait another 6 months to have my ADD addressed because it affects my quality of my life on a daily basis.

My main concern is that after a 6 month wait for this appointment, I may still end up not getting any help with my ADD. I'm starting to think that because I went to the ER to get checked out for the chest pain, that I'll no longer be able to get any kind of treatment for my ADD!

Has this happened to anyone else?

Thanks in advance for any responses!

#10 notfred

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 10:03 AM

I would skip the assessment and get an appointment with a pdoc now.

nf

#11 ldo

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 11:35 AM

I'm wondering about this "screening". I've always heard that the primary way to diagnose ADD was by looking at history and behavior. For instance, if you have report cards from when you were 10 saying that you didn't pay attention in class. Unless these places are doing PET scans or something, I doubt if they can do much better, barring some new whiz bang technology I don't know about. One pitfall of "tests" for ADD is the novelty factor. They'd work if they gave you one every day for a week, but if it's new and different, we may not have that much trouble paying attention. I generally do very well on most kinds of tests, though there was this infernal thing where you needed to remember where a shape showed up on your computer screen. Easy at first, but not with a short delay.

I agree with notfred. Go straight to the pdoc. It is my understanding that some other meds, such as clonidine, may be used to cope with the side effects. But don't mess around yourself if you want to stay on this side of the dirt. My cardiologist says that he thinks Strattera is probably a smaller cardiac risk than the dexedrine I take now, so perhaps that's another option for you. Or perhaps dexedrine, ritalin, or focalin won't affect you the same way Adderall does. (For me, ritalin and focalin seem to be MORE of a problem for my heart, but perhaps you'd react differently.) Focalin is just one isomer of Ritalin, so it's supposed to have less side effects.

If your insurance won't pay for many sessions with a pdoc, you should also have a tdoc. You may be able to work out some things that will slow the rate of your

Meanwhile, suggest you take good care of yourself including, if your docs think it's ok, a fair amount of physical exercise. And a good diet with lots of veggies, etc. can't hurt your heart. Perhaps doing these things will make you less susceptible, and the exercise may help a little with your ADD.
dx:
dysthymia, ADD (mostly inattentive)
(dysthymia well treated, ADD not so much)
rx:
dexedrine 5mg three times/day, sorta
back on Prozac, alternating 5 and 7.5mg/day
150mg bupropion sr (generic Welbutrin) daily
clonidine for sleep, I forget how much
various heart/bp/cholesterol meds

#12 littleg6

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 08:41 PM

An update! Thanks for your responses notfred and Ido. I forgot to mention that since the cardiac work up I went on a nutrient dense diet and started exercising. I've lost 30 lbs, and blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels are all back to normal! I do have good insurance coverage too, so it was unusual that the one place didn't accept it. I've never run into that before!

I got an appointment with a Pdoc, but Medco would not approve any ADD meds for me until I got re-screened. I finally got that done today, so as soon as my Pdoc gets that on her desk my script will get filled...finally!

It was a real run around, but I'm grateful that I don't have to go much longer without the med. I plan to stay on my diet, and keep exercising in order to stay as healthy as possible. Hopefully, I won't experience any problems this time.

#13 Brendan Brown

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:47 AM

I had the same idea that littleg6 had when I found this thread. Its the first one that pops up when I search google for "adderall chest pain run" yet nothing on here is specific to exercising so I'll add my two cents.

I take adderall 20mg 3x daily on a regular basis (60mg daily) and on occassion per doc's suggestion I take 40mg at morning and 20-40mg late afternoon - evening because of my job hours and duties.

Most importantly, this is regarding moderate-almost severe chest pain/ tightness, right arm numbness, difficulty breathing, dry mouth, throat and jaw numbness, and dizziness during and after a physical fitness test.

I took an Army physical fitness test (APFT) today which includes push ups, sit ups, and a 2 mile run (in this instance I performed a 2.5 mile walk within 34 minutes due to severe back injury) and experienced the aforementioned symptoms. After doing my push ups and sit ups I felt pretty good, though slightly dehydrated (even though I drank plenty of water) and began my timed walk. Normally I do 3:10-3:20 minutes per lap and then speed it up from there but from the beginning I was doing 3:20-3:30 per lap with immediate difficulty breathing. I did ten laps and by lap 7 I was experiencing moderate right arm numbness and chest pain.

As an Army noncommissioned officer there's no way in hell I'll ever quit while still breathing so I went on. During my last 100 meters (my section chief noticed I wasn't well and doing pretty poorly so he paced me for the last 2 laps) all I could see was my chief's backside and had a very brief near-blackout, kind of as super tunnel vision with limited senses. By the time I finished my right arm was completely numb (like someone sat on it or if you purposefully constrict the artery in your armpit) and my chest felt like there was a tear right down the middle. I took a knee and steadied my breathing, and began to notice the chest pain stay the same and stop increasing in severity. After 10 minutes of being on one knee, breathing deeply, and drinking about 6 ounces of water I walked to my car and then drove back to my unit.

For another hour I was talking like that wheelchair kid on Malcolm in the Middle, "hey soldier...BREATHE BREATHE...what are you doing?"

Then after a long, hot shower I felt near-100% again. I do understand that adderall is an amphetamine and stimulates your CNS. I'm not asking for answers to my chest pain because I already assumed while I was doing my APFT test that it was causing it. If there are any soldiers or service members, exercise enthusiasts, or other then I posted for you. As amphetamines and stimulants all have differing effects on the CNS and each person handles this response differently I would highly suggest you monitor your dosage while exercising. When I do another test or exercise I'll be on coffee alone and then take my first dose immediately after my APFT.

Please let me know if you guys have any questions. Good luck to you all.





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