The Popular Stimulant That Might Make You Poop

Nervousness, the foods we eat, and a robust workout can all get our bowels moving. This is also true for certain medications. Granted, warnings of potential digestive side effects can be found on the labels of most medications. For instance, NSAIDs, laxatives, and antibiotics are just a few of the various drugs that can prompt a case of diarrhea, according to MedlinePlus. Among the most widely prescribed medications across the country, Adderall is another medication that can set our guts in motion, says Healthline.

Adderall is primarily prescribed for people living with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). People with ADHD experience difficulty with maintaining attention and regulating their impulses. As a stimulant, Adderall boosts dopamine and norepinephrine production in the brain, which may help reduce these behavioral symptoms by kickstarting the body's central nervous system (per The Recovery Village). However, the very fact that Adderall is a stimulant medication is also why taking the drug may cause us to poop.

Adderall may boost digestive activity, making us poop

Having a stimulant effect similar to caffeine, Adderall can induce a case of the jitters or prompt symptoms of anxiety. In turn, this may activate what's known as the gut-brain axis, in which emotional and cognitive functioning influence our gastrointestinal activity and vice versa, according to 2015 research published in Annals of Gastroenterology. For this reason, taking Adderall may boost digestive activity in addition to brain activity.

Amphetamines are the chemical component of Adderall that gives it its stimulating effects. Healthline explains that when it is initially released into the bloodstream, this can send the body into fight-or-flight mode, which is activated by our sympathetic nervous system. This stress reaction serves to heighten our awareness and responsiveness to a potential threat by boosting blood flow to our muscles, enhancing our mental activity, and more (per StatPearls). The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, is responsible for our body's rest-and-digest state, which enhances gastrointestinal functioning. Therefore, once the stimulating effects of Adderall have passed, we may feel the urge to poop as our body returns to this resting state.

Finally, if you're taking Adderall around the same time that you're eating other bowel movement-inducing foods, this can further increase the likelihood of going number two. Reach out to your physician if you experience gastrointestinal issues that you suspect may be related to your medication.