Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine is a prescription medication used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and narcolepsy. May cause loss of appetite and weight loss.

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Overview

Reviewed: November 25, 2014
Updated: 

Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine is a prescription medication used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and narcolepsy. Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine belongs to a group of drugs called centrally acting sympathomimetics.  These work by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain.  

This medication comes in tablet form and an extended-release (long-acting) capsule to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken 2 to 3 times daily, 4 to 6 hours apart, with or without food. The extended-release capsule is usually taken once daily in the morning with or without food.  Swallow the extended-release amphetamine/dextroamphetamine capsules whole; do not chew or crush them.

Common side effects of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine include loss of appetite, headache, and trouble sleeping. Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine can also cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how amphetamine/dextroamphetamine affects you.

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Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine is a prescription medication used to treat 

  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) for children ages 3 and older and adults
  • Narcolepsy in children ages 6 and older and adults. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Brand Names

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Drug Class

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

Serious side effects have been reported with amphetamine/dextroamphetamine.  See the "Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine Precautions" section.

Common side effects of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine include the following:

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth

This is not a complete list of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • Acidifying agents such guanethidine, reserpine, glutamic acid HCl, ascorbic acid, and fruit juices 
  • Urinary acidifying agents such as ammonium chloride and sodium acid phosphate 
  • Adrenergic blockers
  • Gastrointestinal alkalizing agents such as sodium carbonate and urinary alkalizing agents such as acetazolamide
  • tricyclic antidepressants such as trimipramine (Surmontil), amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl), protriptyline (Vivactil), and clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar), isocarboxazid (Marplan), and rasagiline (Azilect)
  • Antihistamines
  • Antihypertensives
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Haloperidol
  • Ethosuximide
  • Lithium
  • Meperedine
  • Methenamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Propoxyphene
  • medications that reduce the acid level in your stomach such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex), cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid), ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Veratrum alkaloids

This is not a complete list of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with amphetamine/dextroamphetamine including the following:

  • Serious Cardiovascular Events. Inform your doctor if you have any heart problems. Stroke, heart attack, and sudden death have been reported in patients with serious structural heart and rhythm problems. 
  • Hypertension (increased blood pressure)
  • Psychosis. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of psychosis:
    • Thoughts and speech are unorganized
    • Experience beliefs that are not based in reality 
    • Hear, see, or feel things that are not there
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • Seizures
  • Vision Disturbances. Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
    • Difficulty focusing eyes
    • Blurred vision

Do not take amphetamine/dextroamphetamine if you

  • ​are allergic to amphetamine/dextroamphetamine or to any of its ingredients.
  • are allergic to other stimulant medications such as benzphetamine (Didrex), lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), or methamphetamine (Desoxyn).
  • have advanced heart disease.
  • have been told that you have moderate to severe high blood pressure. 
  • have glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease that damages a major nerve in your eye. Notify your doctor if you have vision problems.
  • have a history of drug abuse.
  • have problems with aggressive behavior.

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Food Interactions

Fruit juices may interact with amphetamine/dextroamphetamine by lowering absorption of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine. Discuss the consumption of fruit juices with your doctor.

Large amounts of beverages containing caffeine (coffee, tea, colas), eating large amounts of chocolate, or taking over-the-counter products that contain caffeine can increase the side effects of this medication. Discuss consumption of caffeine-containing products with your doctor.

Inform MD

Before taking amphetamine/dextroamphetamine, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, other stimulant medications such as benzphetamine (Didrex),lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), or methamphetamine (Desoxyn).
  • tell your doctor what nutritional supplements you are taking, especially glutamic acid (L-glutamine).
  • have glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye that may cause vision loss),
  • have hyperthyroidism (condition in which there is too much thyroid hormone in the body)
  • have feelings of anxiety, tension, or agitation. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take dextroamphetamine and amphetamine.
  • have recently had a heart attack and if you have or have ever had a heart defect, high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, hardening of the arteries, heart or blood vessel disease, or other heart problems.
  • Anyone in your family has or has ever had an irregular heartbeat or has died suddenly.
  • have or have ever had mental illness, seizures, an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG; a test that measures electrical activity in the brain)
  • anyone in your family has or has ever had depression, bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited), or mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood), motor tics (repeated uncontrollable movements), verbal tics (repetition of sounds or words that is hard to control), or Tourette's syndrome (a condition characterized by the need to perform repeated motions or to repeat sounds or words), or has thought about or attempted suicide.
  • have liver or kidney disease.
  • are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, call your doctor.
  • are 65 years of age or older, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine falls into category C. There are no well-controlled studies that have been done in pregnant women. Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine should be used during pregnancy only if the possible benefit outweighs the possible risk to the unborn baby.

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from amphetamine/dextroamphetamine, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Usage

Take amphetamine/dextroamphetamine exactly as prescribed.

Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine comes in tablet form and an extended-release (long-acting) capsule form to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken 2 to 3 times daily, 4 to 6 hours apart, with or without food. The extended-release capsule is usually taken once daily in the morning with or without food. Do not chew, divide, or break amphetamine/dextroamphetamine capsules. Swallow capsules whole.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine at the same time.

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your age

The recommended dose of Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) for the treatment of ADHD depends on individual patient response. It is usually started at a low dose and gradually increased until an optimal response is seen. The first dose should be taken on awakening. Additional doses should be taken at 4-6 hour intervals if appropriate. Only in rare instances should a dose higher than 40 mg be given.

The recommended dose of Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine) for the treatment of Narcolepsy is between 5 mg to 60 mg per day in divided doses and depends on individual patient response. The first dose should be taken on awakening. Additional doses should be taken at 4-6 hour intervals if appropriate.

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Overdose

If you take too much amphetamine/dextroamphetamine, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If amphetamine/dextroamphetamine is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store amphetamine/dextroamphetamine in a tight, light-resistant container.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine FDA Warning

Amphetamines have a high potential for abuse. Administration of amphetamines for prolonged periods of time may lead to drug dependence and must be avoided. Particular attention should be paid to the possibility of subjects obtaining amphetamines for non-therapeutic use or distribution to others, and the drugs should be prescribed or dispensed sparingly.

Misuse of amphetamine may cause sudden death and serious cardiovascular adverse events.