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Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine

Generic Name: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (am FET a meen and DEX troe am FET a meen)
Brand Name: Adderall, Adderall XR, Mydayis

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Sep 23, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is amphetamine and dextroamphetamine?

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is a combination medicine used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is a drug of abuse. Tell your doctor if you have had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.

Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or a heart defect.

Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine may cause new or worsening psychosis (unusual thoughts or behavior), especially if you have a history of depression, mental illness, or bipolar disorder.

You may have blood circulation problems that can cause numbness, pain, or discoloration in your fingers or toes.

Call your doctor right away if you have: signs of heart problems--chest pain, feeling light-headed or short of breath; signs of psychosis--paranoia, aggression, new behavior problems, seeing or hearing things that are not real; signs of circulation problems--unexplained wounds on your fingers or toes.

You may not be able to use this medicine if you have glaucoma, overactive thyroid, severe agitation, moderate to severe high blood pressure, heart disease or coronary artery disease, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

Before taking this medicine

Do not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

You may not be able to use amphetamine and dextroamphetamine if you have:

  • an allergy to any stimulant medicine;

  • high blood pressure, heart disease, coronary artery disease (hardened arteries);

  • overactive thyroid;

  • glaucoma;

  • severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (stimulant medicine can make these symptoms worse); or

  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

Be sure your doctor knows if you also take stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. These medicines may interact with amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome.

Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in certain people. Tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart problems or a congenital heart defect;

  • high blood pressure; or

  • a family history of heart disease or sudden death.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has ever had:

  • depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or actions;

  • motor tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette's syndrome;

  • seizures or epilepsy;

  • an abnormal brain wave test (EEG);

  • kidney disease; or

  • blood circulation problems in the hands or feet.

Taking this medicine during pregnancy can cause premature birth, low birth weight, or withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

You should not breast-feed while you are using this medicine.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Not every brand of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is for use in the same age group of children.

How should I take amphetamine and dextroamphetamine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is against the law.

You may take this medicine with or without food, first thing in the morning.

Swallow the extended-release capsule whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it.

If you cannot swallow a capsule whole, open it and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use.

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine doses are based on weight (especially in children and teenagers). Your dose needs may change if you gain or lose weight.

While using this medicine, your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.

Your dose needs may change if you switch to a different brand, strength, or form of this medicine. Avoid medication errors by using only the form and strength your doctor prescribes.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but not late in the day. Skip the missed dose if it is almost evening. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine could be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include restlessness, tremor, muscle twitches, rapid breathing, confusion, hallucinations, panic, aggressiveness, muscle pain or weakness, and dark colored urine. These symptoms may be followed by depression and tiredness. Other overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, uneven heartbeats, feeling light-headed, fainting, seizure (convulsions), or coma.

What should I avoid while taking amphetamine and dextroamphetamine?

Do not share amphetamine and dextroamphetamine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Avoid drinking fruit juices or taking vitamin C at the same time you take amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. These can make your body absorb less of the medicine.

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • signs of heart problems--chest pain, trouble breathing, feeling like you might pass out;

  • signs of psychosis--hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), new behavior problems, aggression, hostility, paranoia;

  • signs of circulation problems--numbness, pain, cold feeling, unexplained wounds, or skin color changes (pale, red, or blue appearance) in your fingers or toes;

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • muscle twitches (tics); or

  • changes in your vision.

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Long-term use of stimulant medicine can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect amphetamine and dextroamphetamine?

Ask your doctor before using a stomach acid medicine (including Alka-Seltzer or sodium bicarbonate). Some of these medicines can change the way your body absorbs amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, and may increase side effects.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, especially:

  • lithium or other medicine to treat depression or mental illness;

  • blood pressure medicine;

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven;

  • cold or allergy medicine that contains a decongestant;

  • opioid (narcotic) medicine; or

  • seizure medicine.

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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