Medically reviewed on July 10, 2017
What is dextroamphetamine?
Dextroamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
Dextroamphetamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use dextroamphetamine 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.
Dextroamphetamine may be habit-forming, and this medicine 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.
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.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use dextroamphetamine if you are allergic to any stimulant medicine, or if you have:
moderate to severe high blood pressure;
heart disease or coronary artery disease (hardened arteries);
severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (stimulant medicine can make these symptoms worse); or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
Do not use dextroamphetamine if you have used 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.
Some medicines can interact with dextroamphetamine and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.
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;
an abnormal brain wave test (EEG); or
blood circulation problems in the hands or feet.
Taking dextroamphetamine 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.
Dextroamphetamine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Dextroamphetamine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 3 years old. Dextroamphetamine extended-release capsules are not for use in children younger than 6 years old.
How should I take dextroamphetamine?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not take dextroamphetamine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Dextroamphetamine may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Dextroamphetamine is sometimes taken 2 or 3 times per day. Extended-release dextroamphetamine is taken only once per day. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
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.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Keep track of your medicine. Dextroamphetamine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine 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 dextroamphetamine can 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 dextroamphetamine?
Dextroamphetamine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Avoid drinking fruit juices or taking vitamin C at the same time you take dextroamphetamine. These can make your body absorb less of the medicine.
Dextroamphetamine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty 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.
Dextroamphetamine can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using dextroamphetamine.
Common side effects may include:
tremors, fast heartbeats; or
sleep problems (insomnia).
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect dextroamphetamine?
Many drugs can interact with dextroamphetamine. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
blood pressure medication; or
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with dextroamphetamine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
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.
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