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What Is Dexedrine? — Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

Given that the percentage of people with ADHD has doubled within the past decade, it’s likely that you know at least one person who takes prescription stimulants to manage their condition. However, most people don’t have a good understanding of stimulants. Stimulant medications like Dexedrine aren’t shortcuts that you should take just because you’re staying awake to study for a test. These medications should only be used when prescribed by a doctor.

Unfortunately, the inappropriate use of stimulants is widespread. Studies estimate that around 20% of college students self-medicate with stimulants like Dexedrine even though they have not received a prescription. Dexedrine, in particular, has a high value on the black market and carries significant potential for abuse.

That said, Dexedrine can be helpful when used responsibly. If you’re considering a prescription for Dexedrine, you should begin by learning about its benefits and how to use this medication properly. And as with any drug, you would be wise to inform yourself about potential side effects before starting a new medication. To help you make an informed decision, here are the most important things to know before taking Dexedrine.


What Is Dexedrine, and Why Is It Prescribed?

Dexedrine is a potent stimulant medication that doctors commonly prescribe to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. For patients struggling with ADHD, the use of amphetamines increases their ability to focus and encourages feelings of tranquility. Patients that suffer from narcolepsy use Dexedrine to promote wakefulness.

Dexedrine is the brand name for the medication dextroamphetamine, but it also goes by other names, including Procentra and Zenzedi. While people often compare Dexedrine to Adderall, they are a bit different. Essentially, Dexedrine is composed of one central nervous stimulant called dextroamphetamine sulfate. In contrast, Adderall is made of a combination of amphetamine salts, pairing dextroamphetamine sulfate with levoamphetamine. Both medications treat the same conditions, but different biological and lifestyle variables may mean that one works better for a specific patient than the other.

Dexedrine is available as tablets or capsules. The tablets are only effective for 4 to 6 hours, meaning they are short-acting. But the capsules, which go by the name of Dexedrine Spansule, have a longer lifespan. Patients only have to take Dexedrine Spansule once a day because they are extended-release and last for about 8 to 12 hours.

Good doctors are cautious about prescribing Dexedrine to patients because it has a high potential for abuse. The Drug Enforcement Agency classifies Dexedrine as a Schedule II drug. 

The Benefits of Dexedrine

Like all stimulant medications, Dexedrine has the benefits of increasing alertness, concentration, and attention span. Patients with ADHD typically report benefits which include:

  • Increased ability to stay organized and on task
  • Controlling emotional outbursts
  • Improving listening skills
  • Improving impulse control

People who suffer from narcolepsy experience other benefits, including increased energy and the better ability to stay awake.

What Precautions Should You Take Before Consuming Dexedrine?

Of course, if you’re considering taking Dexedrine, the first action you should take is to contact your primary care physician. They can help you determine the proper dosage and schedule to treat your specific issue.

When consulting your doctor, there are several precautionary questions you should keep in mind, which include topics like:


Speak with your doctor about any past allergic reactions you’ve experienced regarding dyes, food, or animals, as these can cause reactions to certain medications. If you experience any unusual symptoms like itching or rash, alert your healthcare provider immediately.


Currently, there is little information regarding the use of Dexedrine by children under the age of 3, so it’s difficult to draw any conclusions about the possible effects. As such, Dexedrine should not be used to treat ADHD in children younger than six years old.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Dexedrine. Studies have shown that the use of this medication in pregnant and breastfeeding women can have harmful effects.

Elderly People

There is no information on the effects of Dexedrine and elderly patients. Consult your doctor for personalized advice.

Drug Interactions

Taking Dexedrine with other medications should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some drugs have no side effects when taken in conjunction with Dexedrine, while others can have side effects which are dangerous and potentially fatal. In some instances, your doctor may need to adjust your dosage of any current medications to prevent harmful interactions. Let your doctor know about every prescription and supplement that you are taking before beginning to use Dexedrine.

Potential for Abuse

If you’re taking Dexedrine, you must follow your doctor’s orders closely. Taking more than your prescribed dosage can lead to drug dependency. If Dexedrine is not working for you, contact your doctor, and they may adjust your dosage or recommend that you try a different medication.

Incorrect Dosage

Your dosage of Dexedrine is dependent on your unique symptoms and situation. However, the standard starting dose for Dexedrine in patients with ADHD is 5mg once or twice a day for adults and children above six years old. The standard prescription for adults and children over 12 with narcolepsy is 10mg once a day. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 are only permitted to take 5mg once a day. Your doctor will adjust your dosage as needed.

Other Health Conditions

Certain illnesses can worsen if you are taking Dexedrine. People who suffer from anxiety or have a history of drug abuse should not take this medication. People with heart conditions, blood vessel illnesses, and hardening of the arteries should not take this medication.

Possible Employment Issues

Although people taking Dexedrine may be concerned that it will show up on a drug test, there is nothing to worry about if you have a prescription. Dexedrine does appear on drug tests, so you must let your employer know that you have a prescription for a Schedule II drug. Due to the potential for abuse with Dexedrine, your employer will require written proof that you have a prescription for the medication.

The Side Effects of Dexedrine

Every drug has side effects, and Dexedrine is no exception. That said, most patients don’t experience all of the side effects, while others don’t experience any symptoms at all. In addition, some side effects only occur when patients first begin treatment, and they will dissipate once your body adjusts to the medication.

Initial Effects

The initial side effects of Dexedrine include:

  • Change in taste
  • Low libido 
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Excessive itching
  • Dry mouth
  • Redness of skin
  • Weight loss 

Severe Side Effects

While it is uncommon, certain side effects require immediate medical attention. If you experience any of the following side effects, contact your healthcare provider immediately. 

  • Excessive agitation and emotional outbursts
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Trembling and uncontrollable tics
  • Manic behavior
  • Hair loss
  • Blurred vision

Countrywide Testing

If you’re suffering from ADHD or narcolepsy, Dexedrine might be the right medication to help your condition. We hope this post informed you about this drug’s uses, benefits, and side effects. If you have further questions about Dexedrine or the effects of any other drugs and supplements, Countrywide Testing can help.

We are an online retailer of drug and alcohol testing, lab services, and a variety of other resources. Our products include pregnancy tests, medical supplies, multi-panel drug tests, and more. We work with a SAMHSA, ISO, CLIA, and CAP licensed laboratory, which means you can rest easy knowing that a government-trusted facility processes your samples.

If you are interested in learning more about our services, contact us today to learn more!

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