Generic Name: Dextroamphetamine

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Dexedrine is a medicine used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Dexedrine is also used to treat a condition known as narcolepsy (a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness).

    Dexedrine is a federally controlled substance because it has abuse potential.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Dexedrine is a sustained-release medicine (a type of capsule that releases medicine into your body throughout the day). Dexedrine works by changing the amount of certain chemicals in your brain, thereby improving symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Dexedrine is an important part of a total treatment program for people with ADHD that may include counseling or other therapies. Dexedrine may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in people with ADHD.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Dexedrine exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may start to notice an improvement in your symptoms. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions from time to time to assess how well your medicine is working and to check for improvement of your condition.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Dexedrine is a federally controlled substance because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep Dexedrine in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Dexedrine may harm others, and is against the law. Misuse of Dexedrine may cause sudden death and serious heart-related side effects.

    More common side effects may include: fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, decreased appetite, tremors, headache, trouble sleeping, dizziness, stomach upset, weight loss, dry mouth.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Sudden death in people who have heart problems or heart defects; stroke and heart attack in adults; increased blood pressure and heart rate with symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.

    Mental problems with symptoms such as new or worsening behavior and thought problems, bipolar illness, aggressive behavior, or hostility. Children and teenagers may also begin to hear voices, believe in things that are not true, or become suspicious.

    Slowing of growth (height and weight) in children.

    Seizures, mainly in people with a history of seizures.

    Eyesight changes or blurred vision.

    Circulation problems in your fingers or toes, with symptoms such as feeling numb, cool, or painful, or changing color (such as from pale to blue to red).

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Dexedrine if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Dexedrine if you are very anxious, tense, or agitated.

    Do not take Dexedrine if you have heart disease, hardening of your arteries, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), or glaucoma (high pressure in the eye).

    Do not take Dexedrine if you are taking an antidepressant medication called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (such as phenelzine or selegiline) or have taken any within the past 14 days.

    Do not take Dexedrine if you have a history of drug abuse.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Dexedrine. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, including heart problems, heart defects, high blood pressure, mental problems (such as psychosis, mania, bipolar disorder, or depression), or a family history of these problems; tics (repeated movements or sounds that cannot be controlled) or Tourette's syndrome (a brain disorder characterized by tics); thyroid problems; seizures; circulation problems in your fingers and toes; or if you have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines, or street drugs.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.


    Adults and children ≥12 years: The recommended starting dose is 10 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your healthcare provider will increase your dose as needed.

    Children 6-12 years: The recommended starting dose is 5 mg once a day. Your healthcare provider will increase your dose as needed.


    Adults and children ≥6 years: The recommended starting dose is 5 mg once or twice a day. Your healthcare provider will increase your dose as needed.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Dexedrine exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Dexedrine without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take Dexedrine in the morning.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how Dexedrine affects you.

    Do not start any new medicine while you are taking Dexedrine without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Dexedrine is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Dexedrine may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Dexedrine during pregnancy are unknown. Dexedrine can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Dexedrine. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Dexedrine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.

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I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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