Generic Name: dextroamphetamine (dex-trow-am-FET-uh-meen)
Brand Names: Dexedrine®, Dextrostat®
Manufacturer: GlaxoSmithKline Corporation. Generic dextroamphetamines are made by several manufacturers.
What Is Dexedrine?
Marketed under the brand names Dexedrine® and Dextrostat®, dextroamphetamine and other amphetamines function as central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, and have been FDA approved for the treatment of both childhood and adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as narcolepsy in adults.
How Does Dexedrine Work?
Although it is not known exactly how dextroamphetamine works, it is believed to increase the flow of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, chemicals that carry the signal between neurons (cells of the nervous system). This can result in an increase in a person’s ability to focus over extended periods of time.
How Do I Take Dextroamphetamine?
Tablets of the salt dextroamphetamine sulfate (brand names Dexedrine or Dextrostat) are available in 5 mg and 10 mg strengths.
Dextroamphetamine sulfate is also available in a controlled release capsules (brand names Dexedrine SR or Dexedrine Spansule), in 5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg strengths. The capsules release the medication slowly over time and can be taken just once a day.
Is Dexedrine Effective for Adult ADHD?
Dextroamphetamine has been used to treat ADHD in both children and adults for many years. As early as 1998, studies have shown dextroamphetamine to be effective in the treatment of adult ADHD .
Dexedrine Minor Side Effects
Common side effects are similar to those typically associated with the use of stimulants, and include:
· Dry mouth
· Upset Stomach
· Diarrhea or Constipation
· Irritability and Restlessness
· Loss of appetite
· Difficulty falling asleep
· Weight loss
Most minor side effects of amphetamines resolve over the first week or two, as your body adjusts to the medication.
Addiction & Abuse
Studies have been done to address concern that use of stimulant medications may lead to later drug dependency and abuse. Although, untreated ADHD has been linked to an increased risk of substance abuse later in life , the likelihood of future drug abuse disorder is actually decreased when ADHD is properly treated .
Still, because dextroamphetamine is an amphetamine and stimulant, there is the potential for increasing tolerance to the medication over long-term use as well as the danger of abuse. And this medication is not recommended for people who have a history of drug abuse.
Dextroamphetamine and other amphetamines may not be right for you if you have a history of heart problems, such as hardened arteries (arteriosclerosis), heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), or any other pre-existing cardiac condition.
The drug is also not recommended for people with overactive thyroid, glaucoma, epilepsy and seizure disorders, severe anxiety or agitation and those who have taken MAO inhibitors within the past two weeks. Before taking Dextroamphetamine, be sure to tell your doctor if you have any of these problems.
Pregnancy Category C
As a category C medication, dextroamphetamine may be harmful to an unborn baby. This drug can also pass into breast milk and may be harmful to your baby if you nurse. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while you are being treated for ADHD.
There can be strong withdrawal symptoms upon the sudden termination of Dexedrine, including extreme fatigue and moodiness. Ideally dosage should be tapered over time.
1. Wilen TE, Spencer TJ, Biederman J. (1998) Pharmacotherapy of adult ADHD: In: Barkley RA, ed. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a handbook for diagnosis and treatment. 2d ed. New York: Guilford, p 592-606.
2. Richardson. (2005) When Too Much Isn’t Enough, Ending The Destructive Cycle of AD/HD and Addictive Behavior, Pinon Press
3. Wilens, et al. (2003) Does Stimulant Therapy of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Beget Later Substance Abuse? A Meta-analytic Review of the Literature, Pediatrics Vol. 111 (1).
4. Medicine Net: http://www.medicinenet.com/dextroamphetamine-oral_capsule_tablet/article.htm