Dextroamphetamine (By mouth)


Dextroamphetamine (dex-troe-am-FET-a-meen)

Treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a sleep problem). This medicine is a stimulant.

Brand Name(s)

Dexedrine, Dexedrine Spansule, Dexedrine Spansules, ProCentra, Zenzedi

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Long Acting Capsule, Liquid, Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Extended-release capsule for ADHD: It is best to take this medicine in the morning. This medicine could make it harder for you to sleep if you take it in the afternoon or evening.
  • Short-acting tablet: Take your last dose for the day at least 6 hours before bedtime, unless your doctor gives you other instructions.
  • Swallow the extended-release capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • This medicine is only part of an ADHD treatment program, which may also include counseling or education. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about all treatment measures.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Tell your doctor if you are also using chlorpromazine (Thorazine®), ethosuximide (Zarontin®), haloperidol (Haldol®), lithium (Lithobid®), methenamine (Hiprex®, Urex®), phenobarbital (Luminal®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), an antihistamine (such as Benedryl®), or medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, Elavil®).
  • Tell your doctor if you drink fruit juice.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using acetazolamide (Diamox®), glutamic acid, guanethidine (Ismelin®), reserpine (Harmonyl®), sodium acid phosphate, sodium bicarbonate (Alka-Seltzer®) or other antacid (such as Gaviscon®, Maalox®, Mylanta®, Rolaids®), blood pressure medicine (such as amlodipine, atenolol, clonidine, hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), lisinopril, metoprolol, Benicar®, Cozaar®, Diovan® ), or certain pain medicines (such as meperidine, propoxyphene, Darvon®, Demerol®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have heart disease or similar heart conditions, including heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, blood circulation problems, or history of heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has a history of depression, bipolar illness, suicide, or mental illness, or if there is a history of drug or alcohol problems. Make sure your doctor knows if you have thyroid problems, muscle or vocal tics or Tourette syndrome, or a history of seizures.
  • This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine may cause Raynaud phenomenon, which is a problem with the blood circulation in your fingers or toes. Tell your doctor if you have tingling or pain, cold feeling, paleness, or skin color changes in the fingers or toes, especially when exposed to cold. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained sores or ulcers on your fingers or toes.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you or your family notices any unusual changes in behavior, such as an increase in aggression, hostility, agitation, irritability, or suicidal thinking or behaviors. Also tell your doctor if you have hallucinations or any unusual thoughts, especially if they are new or getting worse quickly.
  • This medicine may cause slow growth. If your child is using this medicine, the doctor will need to keep track of your child's height and weight to make sure that your child is growing properly.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blurred vision or changes in vision
  • Chest pain that may spread to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, trouble breathing, nausea, unusual sweating, faintness
  • Extreme energy, mood or mental changes, confusion, agitation, unusual behavior
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm, leg, or on one side of your body
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Seizures
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Unexplained sores, coldness, numbness, or color changes on your fingers or toes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling anxious, restless, irritable, or nervous
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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