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Can I Take Adderall With Suboxone?

Can you safely take Adderall with Suboxone? The answer: It depends.

Both Adderall and Suboxone are prescription medications your doctor uses to treat illness. Use them as directed, and ensure your doctorknows you are taking both medications, and the risk is small.

Misuse either medication, or refuse to disclose your use with the doctor treating you, and your risks go up.

Mixing drugs isn’t always safe. Effects may be stronger or more unpredictable when two substances enter your body. And in 2019, almosthalf of all drug overdose deaths involved multiple drugs.[1]

Let’s dig into what both Adderall and Suboxone do, and then we’ll discuss their interactions.

What Is Adderall?

Generic drugs dextroamphetamine and amphetamine are combined in the brand-name medication Adderall. Doctors use this medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

People with ADHD can experience severe symptoms that impede their quality of life. Those symptoms include:

  • Inattentiveness. You may lose items, make mistakes, or struggle to listen carefully.
  • Hyperactivity. Perhaps you can't sit still for long periods and feel most comfortable while on the move.
  • Impulsivity. You may make decisions quickly, interrupt others, or intrude on conversations.

Amphetamine-based medications like Adderall may soothe electrical activity within your brain, leading to a sense of focus and control. When your ADHD symptoms abate, you may find it easier to succeed at home, at work, and in your relationships.

Adderall and other amphetamine medications have high abuse potential. If you use the drug recreationally (rather than to treat ADHD), or if you buy the drug from a dealer and not a doctor, you are abusing the drug. Doctors often prescribe the drug sparingly due to this issue.[2]

What Is Suboxone?

The prescription medication Suboxone contains two generic drugs: Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Doctors use Suboxone to help people who have opioid use disorder.

Suboxone contains:

  • Buprenorphine. This partial opioid agonist works like an opioid, but the effect is much weaker than you'd experience with a full agonist. Buprenorphine also has a ceiling effect, so the effect wears off even if you take more of it.
  • Naloxone. This opioid antagonist is only absorbed and activated if the medication is tampered with. This can help discourage you from abusing the prescription drug since the naloxone will lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.[3]

 For people with a substance use disorder, Suboxone can help to soothe cravings, ease symptoms, and make sobriety easier to attain and maintain. When taken as directed, it is impossible to abuse.

Can You Safely Mix Medications?

Studies have not found a direct link between Suboxone/Adderall mixing and overdose deaths. The two medications work on different pathways, so they do not augment one another.

For someone with a substance use disorder and ADHD, it can be wise to use both medications as a doctor directs. When your ADHD impulsivity is addressed, you might be less likely to revert to drug use.

You can run the risk of an Adderall overdose, however. Symptoms include hyperactivity, a racing heart, and tremors.[4]

If you are ever tempted to take Adderall or Suboxone differently or in excess of what your doctor recommends, contact your doctor and seek other sources of help.

SOURCES

  1. Polysubstance Use Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/polysubstance-use/index.html. July 2021. Accessed January 2022.
  2. Amphetamine (Adderall). National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Amphetamine-(Adderall). August 2021. Accessed January 2022.
  3. Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone). National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Buprenorphine/Buprenorphine-Naloxone-(Suboxone). January 2021. Accessed January 2022.
  4. Fitzgerald K, Bronstein, A. Adderall (Amphetamine-DextroAmphetamine) Toxicity. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine. 2013 Feb;28(1):2-7. doi:10.1053/j.tcam.2013.03.002. Accessed January 2022.

Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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