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Avatar universal

Adderall raising heart rate and blood pressure.

Hello everyone. I wasn't sure where to post this; I hope this is the right place.

I'd like to know if its dangerous to have your heart rate go up to 98bpm and have it stay around this area through out part of the day (due to Adderall)?

I'm 26 years old and started taking Adderall 2 months ago. While the medication is active my heart rate goes up to 95-99bmp. It's usually 98 but it did go up to 101 at one time. My resting HR when I wake up in the morning is 60ish and my normal heart rate at mid-day is 80. It goes down in the 70's at night. Adderall seems to effect my HR 4-6 hours a day.

It might be raising blood pressure as well (more on this in a sec).

I live pretty unhealthy. I don't exercise and I eat way too much junk food. My maternal side of the family also has a history of heart disease.

I had an EKG and blood work done 2 months ago and my cholesterol was somewhat higher than it should be (a few points above normal range).  I also have a "normal abnormal heart rate." It skips beats and has a weird pattern sometimes. I've been told by 2 top doctors that it's nothing to worry about.

My blood pressure at home is usually between 114-117 over 72-80. When I visit my doctor I am ALWAYS 130/89. I do get anxious and my doctor said this could be why.  Interestingly my blood pressure was somewhere around this range when on Adderall (I've actually only checked it once while on Adderall so I dont know this for sure.)

Is it dangerous to have a heart rate of 98 through out the day? Or blood pressure 130/89 (if this is actually accurate)?

I've read that anything under 100 is considered normal.

Today was my first day of exercising (30 minutes on treadmill) and I plan to gradually make healthy changes in my life. I'm convinced that after a few months of regular exercise and healthy eating my cholesterol and blood pressure will be 100% normal.

I'd like to talk to my Doctor about increasing my Adderall dose but I wanted to get some opinions as to the increased heart rate.

Thanks and I appreciate you taking the time to read this.
8 Responses
976897 tn?1379171202
Well, I'm a bit confused about your Doctor here. It clearly states that if heart rate increases or blood pressure increases, you should come off the medication. It is also stated that if you are an anxious person, you should avoid this medication. Here's a list of SOME of the side effects...
Palpitations, tachycardia, elevation of blood pressure, sudden death, myocardial infarction. There have been isolated reports of cardiomyopathy associated with chronic amphetamine use, arrhythmia.
You have at least three of these side effects and I think I would be a bit concerned with the medication. It also states if you have any form of artery disease, to avoid this med, and you say you have a family history?  
Surely from exercise and diet change you will feel natural benefits rather than using
Avatar universal
Hi Ed. Thanks for your response.
I can tell that your feedback to my post came from your knowledge of heart issues and possibly experience (i did post in a heart forum after all) and not from experience with stimulant medication.

I haven't been able to find anything stating that a personal should discontinue use if heart-rate increases. Could you please share your link/source? Increased heart-rate is listed as a side-effect. This is what is listed in the official drug information which can be found at http://adderallxr.com :

"Stimulant medications cause a modest increase in average blood pressure (about
2-4 mmHg) and average heart rate (about 3-6 bpm), and individuals may have larger
increases. While the mean changes alone would not be expected to have short-term
consequences, all patients should be monitored for larger changes in heart rate and
blood pressure"

Also my Dr. checks my BP once per month and it has remained consistant (130/89). This was a concern for her at first so she monitored me every two weeks starting out but my BP has remained consistant. It's most likely higher due to "white coat syndrome." I monitor my BP daily at home as well. The only thing I feel I have to keep in check is my cholesterol. I don't know how long it takes cholesterol to increase but 3 weeks prior to my bloodtest I had been eating fast food A LOT (more than I usually do). 6 times a week maybe. I was traveling at the time. Would this cause a spike in cholesterol in 3 weeks? I'm confident I'll be in a low range as I continueing avoiding fastfood and making healthier food choices.

There is also nothing that says people with anxiety should avoid Adderall XR. It does seem like common sense: stimulants should make people w/ anxiety even more anxious but thats not the case in my situation. My anxiety is caused by ADD. Adderall gives me mental energy but it also calms me; I'm able to think clear and am less anxious overall. This effect is common, but not all people with ADD have anxiety.

As for your 3rd point I do not have artery disease. I may be predisposed to it; I can't argue with that but I do not have heart disease. I've been thoroughly checked twice. Once two years ago during a sleep study (which was done at the top ranked heart hospital in New Jersey) and once before my family doctor started me on Adderall (including and EKG).

I think you're right: I do hope to experience some benefits from exercise and diet change. Based on what you've said I think I can make an accurate assumption that ADD is not something you're very familiar with.  Again, I know I posted in a heart forum but Adderall and other stimulant medications are very safe. Between 1999 & 2003 4 out of 1 million people taking adderall died.

My main concern is having a heart-rate of 98bpm 4-6 hours per day. I don't know much about heart health (that is your area)

This isn't always resting heart rate. Its me going through out my day and randomly deciding to sit down and check my pulse. I suppose it has been 98 resting at times--while sitting @ the computer.

What I really want to know is:
Adderall or no Adderall is having a heart-rate of 95-98bpm dangerous...cause problems down the road? I'm still under 100 so I can't imagine it should be of too much concern but I did want to get some opinions. If I was over 100 I'd worry and possibly stop the medication.

I've heard from a lot of people that their HR initially increased when first started Adderall but reverted back to normal after a few months (once their body got used to the medication).

Anyway, Thanks for your reply Ed.
976897 tn?1379171202


Before taking Adderall

Stop using Adderall and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats;
feeling light-headed, fainting;
increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, chest pain, numbness, seizure); or
tremor, restlessness, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or motor tics (muscle twitches).

A HR of 98 would not be serious in normal circumstances, but I'm not sure about if it's chemically induced. You say " I also have a "normal abnormal heart rate." It skips beats and has a weird pattern sometimes. I've been told by 2 top doctors that it's nothing to worry about. ".  If the medication was causing arrhythmia and fast heart rates with me, I would seriously want the DR's to reconsider, but that's me.

The link you provided, actually states :
" Increase in Blood Pressure: Monitor blood pressure and pulse at appropriate intervals."
89 diastolic is borderline hypertensive. 130/89 is a pulse pressure of 59 and this is above normal. If you take the other value you mention, 117/80 then this is a pulse pressure of even more, 63. Normal is around 40 and if consistently higher, it can signify stiffening arteries.

"Based on what you've said I think I can make an accurate assumption that ADD is not something you're very familiar with."
My Wifes Nephew suffers ADHD and there has been a lot of research on this in Europe. No medication has actually been proven to work, long or short term, but other indicators have shown evidence, such as food colorings. In the UK, if food products contain specific food colorings then a warning label has to be displayed. A healthy diet has proved far more beneficial with my Wifes nephew than any medication or counselling.
Avatar universal
Please help me understand pulse pressure. This is a new term for me. From what I read I take the top number and subtract the bottom number to get my pulse pressure. Is this correct?

According to http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pulse-pressure/AN00968 a heart pressure of 40 in normal and anything above or below 40 is abnormal. Other websites say 35-50 as a healthy range. (conflicting opinions?)

Either your math is wrong or you are using some other calculation. Please share.

You said my highest BP of 130/89 has a pulse pressure of 59. Well 130-89=41 (am I missing something)? Even though this is a higher BP reading for me (Dr's office one) a pulse pressure of 41 is normal. So were your calculations wrong--or is there something I'm missing?

Looking at chart @ http://www.chelationsupport.com/biological_age_of_heart.htm it tells me that my chronological heart age (based on my pulse pressure and biological age) 25 -26 years--which is 100% accurate as I am 26 years old.

Please tell me if there is something I'm missing.

The BP numbers I mentioned on my first post were just numbers I've remember (not an actual reading). I just took my BP a few minutes ago and here is what I got:

113/78-left arm & 113/77-right arm
Pulse pressure: between 35-36

I think your math was wrong--please confirm if it was. You said my pulse pressure w/ a BP of 117/80 is 63 when in reality 117-80= 37 (this BP was made up. I was guessing based off what I remember the top/bottom number to be in the past.

What I've concluded is that I have a healthy BP @ home 90% of the time and higher "pre-hypertension" BP when I visit the doctor. Again, anxiety could play a role. I'm using a brand new Omron HR monitor btw.

As far as your Wife's Nephews ADD. I have also heard that following a specific diet can help treat ADD. I think some Dr's recommend a high protein diets for ADD. As a psychology student and someone with ADD I've seen how ADD affects people in completely different ways. Dr Amen suggests there are 6 specific categories (Hyperactivity and Inattentiveness being the main 2). I agree with a lot of what he says but not everything.

There are many conflicting opinons in Psychiatry (too many). My ADD causes a number of problems for me but the most life controlling effects are lack of motivation and constant tiredness/mental fatigue.

I'm inattentive and also have problems w/ focus/concentration but the consistent lethargy is what impacted my life the most. Some could argue that I was just lazy but when I prevents you from working for 5 years and you can count the number of times you've left the house a month on one finger something is wrong. It could appear to be depression or agoraphobia but it wasn't. If I was depressed it was from not doing anything--but I couldn't do anything because I had ZERO drive. Getting out of bed and dressed is hard.

I thought my problems were related to a sleep disorder so in 2009 I had 2 sleep studies done: both coming back as normal. I was so frustrated because I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. It wasn't until my counselor suggested the possibility of ADD. She introduced me to all of the current research. I took somes tests and I fit the bill. (I've known this counselor since I was 12 and she is one of people I trust and respect the most).

I tried diet/exercise in the past. It helped somewhat in the mornings with getting motivated to do things (but not enough for it to change my life). I still had all my other symptoms. I stuck with this fitness program for about 6 months. I have also tried high protein and vegetarian diets. I don't like high protein diets at all. I loved being a vegetarian for 6 months but I don't think I could do it permanently.

The first time I took Adderall it felt like putting on glasses for the first time. The medication has completely changed my life and if I wasn't on it I would still be staying inside ALLLLL day, have no friends, I would not be in college, and I wouldn't be headed in the positive direction I'm headed now. I can see a nice future for once.

So for me Adderall has literally been a miracle. I don't abuse it. As far as the addiction potential. There is being physically addicted to something and psychologically addicted to something. The physical part I don't think I'll ever have a problem with--that is if my body becomes addicted I'd have no problem tapering off and stopping if I needed too.  Psychological addiction is tricky because you can look at it from a few angles.  It it's improved my life tremendously and has treated my ADD would I want or be able to stop taking it? No, because my ADD would revert me back to my old way of life--which is staying inside 24/7 as the world passes by. Would I consider this an addiction? No-if something else came along or my ADD just suddenly went away I wouldn't take Adderall.

Now for the people who abuse Adderall: they have a good chance to become addicted; their addictive personalities caused them to continually abuse the medication in the first place.

I'm just ranting. Adderall has had a bad rep. with some people. I used to think that inattentive ADD was fake; a crutch/excuse people use (not ADD w/ hyperactivity--I've seen this first hand). I also thought it was just crazy how many people were on stimulants (and benzo's for reasons not related to ADD) and then I tried Adderall and it changed my life significantly.
367994 tn?1304957193
Q: "Please help me understand pulse pressure. This is a new term for me. From what I read I take the top number and subtract the bottom number to get my pulse pressure. Is this correct"?

Pulse rate is the difference of systole minus diastole pressure.  If greater than 40, that is usually evidence of hardening of the arteries.  

The range for the heart rate is 60 to 100 at rest.  Because the heart rate is a compensitory feature of body system the heart is expected to stay within that range, but there should be a variation within the range.  The compensitory factors are to maintain a balance of blood flow between the left and right side of the heart.  The left ventricle will dilate to increase the cardiac output with each stroke (or decrease), the heart rate will increase cardiac output (amount of blood pumped for each cycle...one minute), the blood pressure will vary and helps maintain the volume of blood in circulation, etc.  If there is a shortfall or increase of any one of those factors, that will effect the other compensitory factors.  

To have a heart rate of 98 for a sustained period is inconsistent that the heart rate is compensatory because there are constant changes that happen and that includes one's mental state that also has an influence, etc.  It could be coincidental that the two readings were the same at different times...it is very difficult to believe the HR would stay at the same rate, but it could remain higher and that can/would be an abnormal condition..  
367994 tn?1304957193
Correction: Pulse rate is the difference of systole minus diastole pressure.  If greater than 40, that is usually evidence of hardening of the arteries s/b greater than 60!
Avatar universal
I too have a question. I'm male 26 years old and weigh around 178. As a kid and throughout school I was prescribed to adderall for a total of 12 years. I stopped for about 6 years.
Anyway, recently I got some generic addy (amphetamine) tablets 30mg. Yesterday I took 2 at once so that's 60mg. They are IR. I felt the effects quick and strong however something scared me. My heart was beating way too fast when I tried to move. I had to lay down to study and not sit at my desk. If I stood up my heart rate would double. Now I've taken way more than this in the past but I panicked. I felt a panic attack coming on but I was ok as long as I layer down and not stood up. Why did this happen? I have no heart condition or anything of the sort. I have mild high blood pressure but that's about it. Someone please help
Avatar universal
You have to build up a tolerance. Those 6 years did away with the one you once had. You should take less, make sure you are plenty hydrated, and take vitamins. The most important part is definitely the hydration.  
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