Dextroamphetamine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: dextroamphetamine (DEX-troe-am-FET-a-meen)
Brand Name: Dexedrine

Dextroamphetamine has a high potential for abuse and may be habit-forming if used for a long period of time. Use dextroamphetamine only as prescribed. Do not share it with others. Abuse of dextroamphetamine may cause serious heart problems, blood vessel problems, or sudden death.


Dextroamphetamine is used for:

Treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. It is also used to treat a type of sleep disorder (narcolepsy). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Dextroamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant. Exactly how it works is not known. It affects certain chemicals in the brain, which may help to improve attention span and behavior.

Do NOT use dextroamphetamine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in dextroamphetamine or to similar medicines
  • you have severe hardening of the arteries; active heart or blood vessel disease; moderate, severe, or uncontrolled high blood pressure; an overactive thyroid; glaucoma
  • you have agitation, anxiety, or tension
  • you take guanethidine
  • you take or have taken furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days
  • you have a history of alcohol or other substance abuse

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Does Your Child Have ADHD? Recognizing Signs & Treatment Options

Before using dextroamphetamine:

Some medical conditions may interact with dextroamphetamine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you or a family member have a history of mental or mood problems (eg, bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis), uncontrolled muscle movements (eg, tics), Tourette syndrome, or suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • if you have a history of heart problems (eg, heart failure, heart rhythm problems, heart defect), high blood pressure, seizures, abnormal electorencephalogram (EEG) test, growth problems, thyroid problems, certain blood problems (eg, porphyria), hardening of the arteries, or blood vessel problems, or you have had a recent heart attack
  • if you have a family history of sudden death or heart rhythm problems
  • if you have circulation problems in your hands or feet (eg, Raynaud phenomenon, thromboangiitis obliterans)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with dextroamphetamine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Acetazolamide, propoxyphene, sodium bicarbonate, or thiazide diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide) because they may increase the risk of dextroamphetamine's side effects
  • Adrenergic blockers (eg, guanethidine), antihistamines (eg, diphenhydramine), ethosuximide, or medicine for high blood pressure because their effectiveness may be decreased by dextroamphetamine
  • Ammonium chloride, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), chlorpromazine, glutamic acid, haloperidol, lithium carbonate, methenamine, reserpine, or sodium acid phosphate because they may decrease dextroamphetamine's effectiveness
  • Furazolidone or MAOIs (eg, phenelzine) because the risk of severe high blood pressure, fever, headache, and decreased heart rate may be increased
  • Meperidine, norepinephrine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (eg, fluoxetine), sympathomimetics (eg, pseudoephedrine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, desipramine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by dextroamphetamine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if dextroamphetamine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use dextroamphetamine:

Use dextroamphetamine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Dextroamphetamine comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get dextroamphetamine refilled.
  • Take dextroamphetamine by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Take your doses of dextroamphetamine 4 to 6 hours apart unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Do not drink fruit juice at the same time that you take dextroamphetamine. Certain fruit juices (eg, grapefruit, apple, orange) may decrease dextroamphetamine's effectiveness.
  • Take dextroamphetamine on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking dextroamphetamine at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
  • If you miss a dose of dextroamphetamine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use dextroamphetamine.

Important safety information:

  • Dextroamphetamine may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use dextroamphetamine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Serious effects, including heart attack, stroke, and sudden death, have occurred with the use of stimulant medicines in patients with heart defects or other serious heart problems. If you have a heart defect or other serious heart problem, talk with your doctor about other therapies to treat your condition.
  • Dextroamphetamine may cause sleeplessness. Do not take dextroamphetamine near your bedtime unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Avoid large amounts of food or drink that have caffeine (eg, coffee, tea, cocoa, cola, chocolate). Caffeine may increase the side effects of dextroamphetamine.
  • Dextroamphetamine may cause circulation problems in the hands and feet. Tell your doctor if you have any numbness, pain, tingling, cold feeling, or skin color change (eg, from pale to blue or red) in your hands or feet. Call your doctor right away if you have any unexplained sores or wounds on your fingers or toes.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take dextroamphetamine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • This product may contain tartrazine dye (FD&C Yellow No. 5). This may cause an allergic reaction in some patients. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to tartrazine, ask your pharmacist if your product has tartrazine in it.
  • Dextroamphetamine may interfere with certain lab tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking dextroamphetamine.
  • Lab tests, including blood pressure and heart rate, may be performed while you use dextroamphetamine. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Dextroamphetamine should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 3 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • Dextroamphetamine may affect growth rate in CHILDREN and teenagers in some cases. They may need regular growth checks while they take dextroamphetamine.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using dextroamphetamine while you are pregnant. Dextroamphetamine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking dextroamphetamine.

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, dextroamphetamine may not work as well and may require higher doses to obtain the same effect as when originally taken. This is known as TOLERANCE. Talk with your doctor if dextroamphetamine stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed.

Some people who use dextroamphetamine for a long time may develop a need to continue taking it. People who take high doses are also at risk. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. If you suddenly stop taking dextroamphetamine, you may experience WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include severe fatigue and drowsiness.

Possible side effects of dextroamphetamine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; dry mouth; headache; loss of appetite; mild weight loss; nausea; restlessness; trouble sleeping; unpleasant taste; upset stomach.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision or other vision changes; change in sexual ability or desire; chest pain or tightness; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; mental or mood changes (eg, aggression, hostility, new or worsening behavior or thought problems); numbness of an arm or leg; seizures; severe dizziness or headache; shortness of breath; significant weight loss; sudden vision changes; symptoms of stroke (eg, confusion, one-sided weakness, slurred speech); tremor; uncontrolled speech or muscle movements (eg, tics); unusual weakness or tiredness; vomiting.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include aggressiveness; coma; confusion; fast breathing; fever; hallucinations; increased reflexes; irregular heartbeat; muscle pain; panic; seizures; severe dizziness, drowsiness, or fatigue; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; stomach pain or cramps; tremor.

Proper storage of dextroamphetamine:

Store dextroamphetamine at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep in a tightly closed container. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep dextroamphetamine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about dextroamphetamine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Dextroamphetamine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take dextroamphetamine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about dextroamphetamine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to dextroamphetamine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using dextroamphetamine.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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