Dexedrine is among the medications that doctors prescribe for the treatment of ADHD. Since medications work differently for different patients, it is crucial to understand how they may affect your body.
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Doing so allows you to establish whether it is a suitable treatment for you and enables you to manage any side effects that may occur from its use.
Read on to find out more about Dexedrine’s side effects and dosage to ensure you have accurate information about the medicine.
What Is Dexedrine?
Dexedrine, also known as dextroamphetamine sulfate, is a stimulant medication for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It works by stimulating the central nervous system to help boost focus and increase your energy levels and activity.
Other uses of Dexedrine include:
- Treatment of Narcolepsy (a sleeping disorder)
- Short-term treatment of obesity
Dexedrine falls under Schedule II controlled drugs as it has euphoric effects and, therefore, a high risk of abuse. The medication is available for ADHD treatment in patients above six years old and is unsuitable for children below three years.
Dexedrine is available as:
- Oral solutions of varying strengths
Dexedrine Vs. Adderall: Which One Is Stronger?
While both Dexedrine and Adderall are ADHD drugs, they differ in effectiveness. Patients also react to the two medications differently.
Dexedrine contains one potent form of amphetamine, while Adderall has two. As such, Adderall is more effective than Dexedrine due to its combination of stimulants.
Since Dexedrine and Adderall contain similar ingredients and work similarly, both medications have similar side effects and drug interactions. Your doctor will advise you on the best option for you after evaluating your unique situation.
Dosage of Dexedrine
The amount of Dexedrine you need for your condition depends on numerous factors.
These factors include your:
- Medical conditions
- Medications you may be using
It is advisable to only take the medicine as per your doctor’s instructions.
Usually, your doctor will start you off at the lowest possible dose and increase it gradually as per your needs.
Dexedrine short-acting tablets are available in:
- 5 mg
- 10 mg
The long-acting capsules come in:
- 5 mg
- 10 mg
- 15 mg
Here are dosage instructions for both ADHD and Narcolepsy.
Dosage of Dexedrine for ADHD
Here is the dosage of Dexedrine for children and adults in case of ADHD:
- Children Above Six Years and Adults
5 mg is taken once or twice a day, 4-6 hours apart. Your doctor may increase the dose by no more than 5 mg per day.
- Children Between 3-5 Years
2.5 mg is taken once a day. The doctor may increase the dose by no more than 2.5 mg per day, depending on the child’s needs.
The medication is not suitable for children below three years.
Dosage of Dexedrine for Narcolepsy
Here is the dosage of Dexedrine for children and adults in case of Narcolepsy:
- Children Above 12 Years and Adults
Starting dosage is 10 mg per day. Your doctor may increase the dose without exceeding 10 mg per week.
- Children Between 6-11 Years
Starting dose is 5 mg, although it may increase by no more than 5 mg per week. There is no established dosage for children below five years.
Don’t take more or less than your doctor prescribes or use the medication for longer than advised.
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Dexedrine Side Effects
Just like any other medication, Dexedrine comes with side effects. While some may not be harmful to your health and will go away as your body adjusts to the medicine, there are rare side effects of Dexedrine requiring immediate medical attention.
In case they are severe or last longer than you expect, always consult your doctor.
Below are common side effects of Dexedrine:
- Stomach upset
- Weight loss
- Mouth dryness
- Loss of appetite
- Sleeping difficulties
Although they may not occur in everyone, you may exhibit the rare side effects of Dexedrine when using the medication.
Contact your doctor to avoid medical complications if you experience the following infrequent side effects of Dexedrine:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Vision changes
- An increase in blood pressure
- Behavior changes like aggression
- Depression symptoms like prolonged sadness and suicidal thoughts
- Slow growth in children
- Mania symptoms like overactivity
- Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoia
Side Effects of Dexedrine Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
If you experience the following side effects, stop taking the medication and seek medical attention immediately:
- Symptoms of allergies like:
- Breathing difficulties
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
Long-term Effects of Dexedrine
Dexedrine is a Schedule II controlled drug, and continuous use can lead to drug dependence. It is, therefore, unsuitable for patients with substance abuse or addiction problems.
Other long term effects resulting from prolonged use of the medication include:
- High blood pressure
- Stunted growth
- Cardiovascular problems
- Manic or psychotic symptoms
Long-term abuse of the medication may result in organ damage, impair your brain’s ability to produce its own dopamine, and even sudden death.
It is, therefore, advisable to take the medication as your doctor advises and seek professional help in case of bothersome or severe side effects. Mild side effects can go away in a few days or weeks.
Does Dexedrine Cause Depression?
Dexedrine can worsen mental health illnesses, such as aggravating mania and psychosis, and aggressive behaviors in teenagers.
The medication can also cause symptoms of depression such as losing interest in previously fun activities, thoughts of suicide and, and sadness.
If you experience depressive symptoms or suffer from depression from using Dexedrine, consult your doctor immediately.
Besides being part of the side effects, Dexedrine may result in depressive withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it abruptly.
The depressive episodes may occur between 3 to 5 days of stopping the medication and can be accompanied by:
Since Dexedrine can increase your risk of depression and other psychiatric problems, it is crucial to inform your doctor about your mental health condition.
You should also disclose to your doctor if you have any:
- Family history of suicide
- Bipolar disorder
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