Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.
You may have heard about Adderall which is a drug prescribed to those who have attention problems, or used illicitly by people to help them work harder and for longer.
However, it could cause issues for male fertility.
In this article we shall cover the following points:
- What is Adderall?
- Can it affect male fertility?
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a brand name for a medical drug that contains four chemically related salts of amphetamines. Amphetamines are the safest and most effective stimulants known to medical science, and that is why doctors may prescribe them in medical conditions.
Adderall is relatively safe for various age groups. It is primarily prescribed to children and young adults for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also suitable for treating a rare condition called narcolepsy.
Benefits and Effects
Since it is so good for improving focus and mood, it is also among the abused substances. It is among the most commonly used illicit drugs. It may reduce fatigue, improve motivation, cause euphoria, promote weight loss, and prevent sleep.
Since it is a legal drug, the US FDA maintains a complete list of its indications and possible side effects.
Some of its common adverse effects are loss of appetite, insomnia, tachycardia, diarrhea, headaches, urinary tract infections.
However, it is worth understanding that neither the manufacturer nor government agencies mention about side effects caused by abuse of any substance.
Just think of alcohol. It improves mood and increases sexual drive in men and women. However, alcohol abuse is the leading cause of erectile dysfunction, too.
Can Adderall affect male fertility?
It is a valid question, especially considering that Adderall is a stimulatory drug. Thus, in those starting to use, it may cause an increase in sex drive. In addition, it stimulates various brain functions, improves confidence, enhances focus.
However, if a person continues to use the drug for long, resistance develops. Additionally, many side effects occur on prolonged use.
It is vital to understand that male fertility is on the decline globally. It is because male fertility is susceptible to various environmental toxins. For example, even some food supplements are rich in phytoestrogens and cause a reduction in male fertility.
When it comes to the role of Adderall and its influence on male fertility, there are still very few studies. Nevertheless, official data from the manufacturer says that it may cause impotence, urinary tract infections, and reduced fertility.
Fortunately, there is a lot of data from animal studies showing that it can considerably reduce male fertility. Studies in male rats show that even a single injection of amphetamines could reduce plasma testosterone. This effect is dose-dependent, meaning the higher the dose, the greater the adverse effect.
It means that those abusing Adderall are especially at the risk of developing low fertility.
At present, researchers are unsure how it occurs. But, the main hypothesis is that Adderall blocks the signaling pathway that stimulates the production of testosterone by Leydig cells in testicles. It means that there is a decline in testosterone levels and sperm count.
Additionally, Adderall may also affect the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, a central mechanism that ensures the adequate working of testicles.
Studies show that prolonged use of Adderall causes edema of testicles and even death of sperms producing cells in testicles. It is worth understanding that many of these changes are irreversible on prolonged use.
Thus, most evidence from humans and clinical studies confirm that prolonged use of Adderall reduces male fertility.
Although this effect is visible from the first dose, irreversible damage may only occur on prolonged use or abuse.