View Full Version : Chronic Cough/throat clearing on Adderall


Winter1derer
11-24-12, 03:41 AM
I recently was diagnosed with ADD & started taking 20mg of Adderall each morning.

The first month or so I felt almost reborn & could actually visualize my future success in life, for the first time in my entire 30 years of life. Well the last few months I have felt a lot like my pre-adderall self & have lost concentration and motivation once again. I understand and expected my tolerance to increase after taking the medication for awhile, but I didn't expect to feel that it was not working at all, so soon.

The other more drastic change that has become a problem is a chronic coughing & clearing of my throat that comes about 30mins to an hour after taking my dose. It started around 3-4 months ago and I passed it off as a food allergy of some sort. Well it has progressively become more and more severe and completely uncontrollable! Some of the "attacks" last for almost 5 minutes, leaving me dizzy from hyperventilation! This cough is not any normal cough I've ever experienced & is loud enough for my family to hear it while on different floors of the house.

After a few weeks of driving my wife & kids crazy, I did my best to change it to an intense throat clearing. Unfortunately I can't stop myself when doing this either & it is almost worse due to having to get my breath through my nose which makes me feel light headed even quicker. When I concentrate and actually fight off the urge my body twitches & my face & throat do something I'm even embarrassed to do when alone.

On vacation this past summer my family experienced the annoyance, that has now become a part of my daily life, and within the first day both my parents and other relatives had been drove to their Witt's end! My dad thought & still thinks it is a food allergy he suffers from & doesn't understand when I explain how I have no control over it.

I've read a lot of stories from others online & on this forum about the EXACT experience after taking an amphetamine & feeling as if it were a tic. That is exactly what I had been telling my wife I felt that it was & she seemed to be the only one that agreed with me. I tried telling my previous doctor about it & she immediately wrote it off as post nasal drip & advised me to take allegra every day for 4 weeks & drink water like a fish. I followed her instruction & had no change whatsoever. After that I tried an inhaler which actually made it worse.

I recently changed doctors after relocating & plan to talk with him more in depth about it now that we have built trust in each other. I noticed most of the other posts related to this possible side effect are pretty outdated & were mostly concerned parents about their children. Guess I'm just hoping to get feedback from some adults whom have experienced this and options that may or may not have worked for them. Also, if any of those concerned parents found better options for their kids from the older posts, if love to hear them! Thanks!

namazu
11-30-12, 11:17 PM
I have not personally experienced this side effect from Adderall, but I think your intuition to discuss it with the new doctor is right on.

Stimulants can sometimes cause tics, or make them worse in people who already have them, which you already know.

If cough/throat-clearing are the only tic-type phenomena you experience, and they occur consistently, at a predictable time shortly after taking the Adderall, I wonder if it's also possible that the Adderall could be causing some kind of mild reflux that would irritate your throat -- again, a possibility to consider with your doctor.

If the coughs are "deep" and painful, it's even possible it could be some other condition, though I'm not sure what other conditions would be predictably triggered by Adderall like that. I don't think this would be a typical allergic response to the medication itself, but many things are possible.

In any case, between the side effect and the apparent loss of effectiveness, you might also discuss with your doctor the possibility of trying a different medication.

Stimulants, as a class of drugs, all come with some risk of worsening tics, but people respond differently to different meds, and you may find that, say, methylphenidate products don't cause the same problems that amphetamines do, or maybe even a different form or dose of amphetamine might help without the side effects.

The non-stimulant medications seem to work less well for core ADHD symptoms, on average, though for some people they're very effective. They are less likely, in general, to cause or worsen tics. In fact, some of the non-stimulant ADHD meds, like clonidine, have been used to reduce tics.

So, there are many options if the Adderall is causing intolerable throat-clearing/cough. But the first order of business is to get to know the new doctor and pin down the source of the cough, so you can decide how to proceed and what to try next.

One last thing -- sometimes, when starting a new drug for ADHD, it will seem to be fabulous at first and then seem less great. Sometimes it really is less great, but sometimes it's just that you've gotten used to the "new status quo" -- and if you were to stop the medication, you and others might still be able to tell the difference. You don't necessarily need to "feel" it working for it to be working.

Lack of motivation and concentration are frustrating, especially after you think you've "solved" that problem and then it comes back. But keep in mind that medications rarely make ADHD vanish, and you'll still need to use other ADHD-management strategies in conjunction with the meds. And if any of the lack of motivation/concentration is related to depression or situational factors rather than ADHD, you may need to address those separately. (Or, maybe a change in meds *will* fix the problem. You know your situation best, and hopefully your new doc will soon know it well, too, so you can figure out the best multi-pronged approach for you.)

Good luck!

Dmitri
11-30-12, 11:38 PM
I experience this too. Simple solution: drink more water. Your throat is dried out from dehydration. Trust me.

LynneC
12-05-12, 03:38 PM
My son has also experienced chronic throat clearing while taking Vyvanse. (long-acting version, same class of drug as Adderall)
The severity was dose-dependant (higher dose=more frequent throat clearing)
He described it as feeling like he had a constant lump in his throat. We stopped the Vyvanse recently becuase the throat clearing did not resolve over time...

namazu
12-05-12, 03:39 PM
We stopped the Vyvanse recently becuase the throat clearing did not resolve over time...
Has it gone away since the Vyvanse was discontinued (or is the "recent" too recent to tell yet)?

LynneC
12-05-12, 10:29 PM
Has it gone away since the Vyvanse was discontinued (or is the "recent" too recent to tell yet)?
Not resolved yet. We stopped the Vyvanse last Friday, and he's still clearing his throat, but not as frequently as before. This happened before with Focalin (continued tics after stopping the med) but eventually the tics did clear. Interestingly with the Focalin it was frequent eye-blinking, but no throat clearing.

It's apparent that all classes of stimulants aggravate his underlying tics, so I think we are done with the stimulants for the time being. It's unfortunate, because they were very effective at controlling his symptoms...

Drewbacca
12-11-12, 03:58 PM
It could be a GERD related issue or a medicine induced acid-reflux. If that is the case, you need to look into an appropriate heartburn/reflux med. I have had chronic sinus issues my entire life which result in coughing and throat clearing. It took a while to discover that it was being caused by post-nasal drip which was itself being caused by reflux. Considering raising your head with an extra pillow during sleep (or raising the entire mattress). Cut back on carbonated and/or acidic drinks, especially before bed time and see if that helps. You can try over the counter prilosec or zantac (both different types of med) to see if either helps, but it might take up to a week of continuous use to notice any difference.

LynneC
12-19-12, 12:02 PM
Not resolved yet. We stopped the Vyvanse last Friday, and he's still clearing his throat, but not as frequently as before. This happened before with Focalin (continued tics after stopping the med) but eventually the tics did clear. Interestingly with the Focalin it was frequent eye-blinking, but no throat clearing.

It's apparent that all classes of stimulants aggravate his underlying tics, so I think we are done with the stimulants for the time being. It's unfortunate, because they were very effective at controlling his symptoms...
Just wanted to mention, it took about two weeks of being stimulant-free for the throat-clearing tics to clear. He still occasionally clears his throat in what I would describe as a tic-like reaction, but it's infrequent. (like, a few times in the evening, versus the hunderds of times per day while talking vyvanse)

Arei
01-20-13, 11:46 PM
It could be a GERD related issue or a medicine induced acid-reflux. If that is the case, you need to look into an appropriate heartburn/reflux med. I have had chronic sinus issues my entire life which result in coughing and throat clearing. It took a while to discover that it was being caused by post-nasal drip which was itself being caused by reflux. Considering raising your head with an extra pillow during sleep (or raising the entire mattress). Cut back on carbonated and/or acidic drinks, especially before bed time and see if that helps. You can try over the counter prilosec or zantac (both different types of med) to see if either helps, but it might take up to a week of continuous use to notice any difference.

I have GERD and chronic sinus issues, but GERD throat irritation (a rising/pushing feeling up my throat, which can but doesn't always occur with heartburn, in fact I've got it right now but I've been without nexium for a few days and i've been lazy about getting it, zantac has been enough for now) is definitely different from postal-nasal drip. I feel very uncomfortable with the GERD symptoms, it caused some mania when it started as a kid to the point I spent a few years not eating trying to avoid having it, but it doesn't come with any urge to cough or clear my throat.

However when my sinus draining gets really bad, usually twice a year, I will have a horrible dry coughing fit of epic proportions. I call it the death hack, it's loud, obnoxious, everyone thinks I'm a smoker, it annoys everyone to death. Symbicort will get the coughing fits down to about 10 days rather then lasting a month or longer, and of course attacking hard with nasal rinses and nose sprays.

Though if you ARE experiencing a lot of sour stomach (you may not get heartburn, or get it very very sparingly) and you have this terrible pressure in your throat, GERD is something to consider. It may cause other people to develop a terrible cough. Though if GERD causes post nasal drip (I wonder how) that explains why I am in eternal pain and how both of my issues started around the same time, I thought it was just stress :lol: But my hacking is rather violent, painful, and annoying as all get out.



Anyway I got off on that topic too much, but it also could be you're having a mild allergic reaction in the form of throat irritation or maybe the stimulant somehow causes the throat irritation just from itself. That's odd but it's sounds feasible.

EDIT: I decided to look some stuff up and it really is possible to have GERD as the source of sinus issues. In my case though the medicine resolves all of my GERD symptoms completely and totally, but the constant pain and pressure remains in my sinuses 24/7 no matter what I do. Maybe I'm just special, but man yeah that sounds totally reasonable, so I would try to get some prilosec and see if that clears up any issue.

Missy60
04-04-13, 05:08 PM
My DGS had the throat clearing while taking Concerta. I actually thought he had allergies, but it stopped when he stopped taking Concerta. He had eye blinking on Vyvanse, it started out slowly and got worse until he blinked constantly. We took him off Vyvanse and the blinking stopped.

dvdnvwls
04-04-13, 05:13 PM
Blinking excessively sounds like a tic. Throat clearing - maybe, but might also be dry throat from dehydration. Another common effect of medication.

Melskels
09-13-16, 06:27 PM
Coughing could be a sign of a heart/cardiovascular problem. May want to ask your doctor and monitor your blood pressure.

Daydreamin22
09-16-16, 02:54 PM
That is probably a tic.

Laserbeak
11-18-16, 08:01 PM
Have you tried codeine or hydrocodone cough syrup?