Dextroamphetamine (By mouth)


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

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

Brand Name(s)

Dexedrine Spansules, Dexedrine, ProCentra, Dexedrine Spansule

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you or your child have had an allergic reaction to dextroamphetamine. You should not use this medicine if you have glaucoma, heart disease, blood vessel problems, an overactive thyroid, or high blood pressure. Do not use this medicine if you have a history of drug abuse, or if you are very nervous, tense, or agitated most of the time. You should not use this medicine if you have used a drug for depression called an MAO inhibitor (MAOI), such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®, in the past 14 days. Do not give the tablet and oral solution to a child younger than 3 years old, and the extended-release capsule to a child younger than 6 years old.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Liquid, Long Acting Capsule

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
  • It is best to take the extended-release capsule form in the morning. Taking this medicine in the afternoon or evening could make it harder for you to fall asleep.
  • If you use the short-acting tablet form of this medicine, take your last dose for the day about 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 part of an ADHD treatment program that may also include counseling or special education. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about all treatment measures.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use 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 away from children and 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.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using ammonium chloride, sodium acid phosphate, acetazolamide (Diamox®), chlorpromazine (Thorazine®), furazolidone (Furoxone®), glutamic acid, guanethidine (Ismelin®), norepinephrine (Levophed®), reserpine (Harmonyl®), antacids, diuretics or water pills, blood pressure medicines (such as atenolol, lisinopril, metoprolol, Cozaar®, or Diovan®), or certain pain medicines (such as meperidine, propoxyphene, Demerol®, or Darvon®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using cold or allergy medicines, ethosuximide (Zarontin®), haloperidol (Haldol®), lithium carbonate (Lithobid®), certain medicines for depression (such as amitriptyline, doxepin, nortriptyline, Pamelor®, or Sinequan®), methenamine (Hiprex®, Urex®), phenobarbital (Luminal®), or phenytoin (Dilantin®).
  • Do not eat citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit) or drink citrus juice when you take this medicine. Do not take vitamin C while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you or your child have heart problems, thyroid problems, or mild high blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you or your child have muscle tics or Tourette's syndrome, a condition that causes you to have muscle twitches or to make sounds you are not able to control.
  • Your doctor should know if you or your child have epilepsy, or a history of seizures, depression, or mental illness. Tell your doctor about any drug or alcohol problems. Also tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has tried to commit suicide.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine may cause blurred vision or make you dizzy or drowsy. If any of these occur, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or not able to see well.
  • 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.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to 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.
  • Changes in your mood or behavior.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Feeling very excited, fearless, restless, or happy.
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there.
  • Seizures.
  • Tremors or shaking.
  • Uncontrollable muscle movements or twitching.

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

  • Constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach.
  • Dry mouth or bad taste in your mouth.
  • Feeling restless or nervous.
  • Headache or dizziness.
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss.
  • Mild skin rash or itching.
  • Problems having sex.
  • Trouble sleeping.

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 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

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