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Dexedrine Review – Is it Effective?

By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

Reviewed by Rebecca Williams, MD, MA, MB, BChir

Last Updated:

Evidence Based | Facts | What's Inside? | Is it Safe? | Warnings | Cost | Shop For Dexedrine | How To Take | Verdict

Dexedrine (generic: Dextroamphetamine) is a psychostimulant medicine commonly prescribed to treat ADD/ADHD in children and adults.[1][2] Like other psychostimulants, Dextroamphetamine works on the central nervous system and boosts neurotransmitters in the brain.[3]

By increasing the number of two neurotransmitters – norepinephrine and dopamine – this prescription drug claims to improve a person’s concentration and focus, while also reducing impulsive behavior and hyperactivity.[4]


1) Dexedrine Quick Facts


Dexedrine is the brand name for a medication that is formulated entirely of Dextroamphetamine. It is available in tablets and as capsules called Dexedrine Spansule.

Dexedrine tablets are short-acting and are effective for about four (4) to six (6) hours. They are usually taken two (2) or three (3) times per day.[5]

On the other hand, Dexedrine Spansule is an extended-release variant, which is typically effective for eight (8) to twelve (12) hours.[6] When a capsule is taken, an initial dose is released immediately, and the remaining substance is released gradually. Unlike the tablets, these capsules are only taken once daily.

2) How Did Amneal Pharmaceuticals Start?

Racemic amphetamine was first produced in the lab under the name phenylisopropylamine in Germany, 1887, by the Romanian chemist Lazar Edeleanu.[7] However, the substance remained relatively unknown to the public until 1932 when the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (also known as Smith, Kline and French) launched phenylisopropylamine in the form of the Benzedrine inhaler for use as a bronchodilator.

In 1935, the medical community grew aware of the stimulant characteristics of amphetamine, specifically Dextroamphetamine. Two years later, in 1937, GlaxoSmithKline produced the first Dextroamphetamine tablets under the brand name Dexedrine.[8]

The new drug was approved in the United States to treat attention disorders (ADD and ADHD), narcolepsy, and obesity. In Canada, Dexedrine was also prescribed for Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

Internationally, Dextroamphetamine is available under the brand names Dextropa (Portugal), AmfeDyn and Simpamina (Italy), GSK (Canada), Obetrol (Switzerland), Stild (Spain) and UCB (United Kingdom).[9]

For the United States market, Dexedrine is produced by Amneal Pharmaceuticals.[10] The company specializes in researching, manufacturing, marketing, and selling generic and biosimilar pharmaceutical products.

Amneal Pharmaceuticals contact information:

Phone: (877) 835-5472 or (866) 525-7270

  • Email: drugsafety@amneal.com
  • Address: 400 Crossing Blvd 3rd Floor Bridgewater, NJ 08807 United States
  • Website: amneal.com

What’s Inside?

3) What’s Inside Dexedrine?

Dexedrine contains the following active ingredient: dextroamphetamine sulfate.

Some adderrall supplements like Adderplex make use of a more complex formulation.

4) What Does Dexedrine Do?

Dextroamphetamine is prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and, in some cases, narcolepsy. Dextroamphetamine can also be prescribed off-label for its past medical indications, such as obesity and depression.[11][12]

While long-term dextroamphetamine exposure at high doses in some animal species is believed to lead to nerve damage and abnormal dopamine system development,[13][14] pharmaceutical amphetamines, have been shown to improve nerve growth and brain development in humans with ADD/ADHD.[15]

Reviews of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies show that long-term treatment with amphetamine salts (such as Dextroamphetamine) enhances functions in several parts of the brain and reduces abnormalities in brain structure and function observed in patients with ADD/ADHD.[16]

The effectiveness and safety of long-term use of amphetamine salts for the treatment of ADD/ADHD have been established through many clinical trials and reviews. For instance, several randomized controlled trials of uninterrupted stimulant therapy for ADD/ADHD treatment spanning two years have confirmed treatment safety and effectiveness.[17]

Two other clinical reviews have shown that long-term, continuous stimulant therapy for ADD/ADHD is effective for enhancing the quality of life and academic achievement, decreasing the core symptoms of ADD and ADHD (i.e., impulsivity, inattention and/or hyperactivity), and providing improvements in a large number of functional outcomes across nine categories of outcomes related to a social function, antisocial behavior, academics, driving, occupation, non-medicinal drug use, obesity, self-esteem, and service use (i.e., academic, financial, occupational, health, and legal services).[18][19]

5) Dexedrine Benefits & Results


Dexedrine claimed[20] benefits include:

  • Dexedrine Spansule is a sustained-release capsule specially formulated that an initial dose is released promptly and the remaining substance is released slowly over an extended period;
  • It is prescribed for the treatment of ADD/ADHD and, in some cases, narcolepsy;
  • Clinically tested for effectiveness and long-term safeties.
Is it Safe?

6) Dexedrine – Is it Safe?

Common side effects[21][22][23] of Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine):

  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth or unpleasant taste
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • A change in sex drive or ability

Serious side effects of Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine):

  • Pounding or fast heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Difficult or slow speech
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Numbness or weakness of a leg or arm
  • Seizures
  • Mood changes
  • Feeling paranoid or unusually suspicious
  • Hallucinations
  • A frenzied or strangely excited mood
  • Hostile or aggressive behaviors
  • Abnormal movements
  • Verbal tics
  • Hives
  • Changes in vision or blurred vision

7) Dexedrine Product Warnings

Individuals having or knowing to have the following medical problems should not take Dexedrine:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Severe agitation or anxiety
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Moderate or severe hypertension
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness)
  • Depression
  • Psychosis (mental illness)
  • Thyroid problems
  • Tourette’s Syndrome

Using Dexedrine with any of the following prescription drugs is not recommended. Your physician may choose not to prescribe you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Tranylcypromine
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Safinamide
  • Furazolidone
  • Iproniazid
  • Methylene Blue
  • Selegiline
  • Moclobemide
  • Linezolid
  • Nialamide
  • Procarbazine
  • Phenelzine
  • Rasagiline
  • Sibutramine
Shop For Dexedrine

8) Who Sells Dexedrine?

Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) is a prescription medication. That means it can’t, and it shouldn’t be bought from unapproved stores. It is available, however, at most drugstores.


9) How Much Does Dexedrine Cost?

Dexedrine is a brand name drug. A month’s supply without insurance can cost about $350, depending on the frequency and dose.

Dexedrine is also available in the generic form Dextroamphetamine, which is less expensive than the brand name medication. Ask your physician and talk to your pharmacist about taking the generic form.

However, some people report that the generic version is not as effective, or they have side effects they did not have with Dexedrine.

10) Alternatives to Dexedrine

Because Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) is a prescription drug, we can only review prescription medicines as potential alternatives. We don’t advocate substituting a treatment directed by your physician with an over-the-counter dietary supplement.

Vyvanse (generic: Lisdexamfetamine) is a stimulant prescription drug first approved in the United States on February 23, 2007.[24][25] Vyvanse is commonly prescribed in the treatment of ADD/ADHD and Binge Eating Disorder (BED). Lisdexamfetamine is potentially addictive, and there have been reports of serious cardiac side effects in adults and children.[26][27]

Adderall is a stimulant prescription medication that contains a mixture of four amphetamine salts: dextroamphetamine saccharate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, and amphetamine sulfate.[28] Adderall is generally prescribed to treat attention-deficit disorder (ADD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy.[29][30]

How To Take

11) How to Take Dexedrine

If your physician prescribes you Dexedrine, the starting dose will oftentimes be between 2.5 mg and 5 mg per day. The treatment may need to be adjusted gradually, as your physician observes how well the medicine is working.

Children may be prescribed doses varying from 2.5 mg to 40 mg per day. Adult treatments range from 5 mg to 60 mg per day.

12) Of the Same Product Line

Dexedrine is available in several variations:

  • 5 mg tablet;
  • Spansule SRC 10 mg sustained-release capsule;
  • Spansule SRC 15 mg sustained-release capsule.

13) What Users Are Saying

"I was diagnosed with narcolepsy at the age of eight. I was taking 5 mg tablets that handled my situation. I was able to be an outgoing, loving child. My body was managing medication without falling asleep at inappropriate times." [Read full review]


"This medication is very good, I take it first thing in the morning two capsules of 10mg and one around noon, in precisely one hour I feel that hit, dopamine increasing in my brain, me being able to focus on everything and multitasks at one time," [Read full review]


"I was diagnosed with ADHD six months ago. I am 30 years old. My whole life has been a big problem with taking school, finance, and friendship seriously. I have, on the other hand, is a person with a good mood, charm, and with a sense of adventure." [Read full review]



14) Our Final Take On Dexedrine

From an effectiveness and safeness standpoint, Dexedrine is one of the better prescription drugs fro ADD and ADHD. However, each individual responds differently to medication; therefore, Dexedrine may work better in some than in others.

You may also experience adverse effects with Dexedrine that you don’t have with other similar prescriptions. Overall, amphetamine-based stimulants such as Adderall are more widely prescribed than Dextroamphetamine. That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t do just as well or better on Dextroamphetamine.

Ensure your physician has your complete medical history so he can make an informed recommendation and don’t hesitate to request a different dose or a different medicine if you’re not feeling proper symptom relief with the first one you try.

4.6/5 - (5 votes)

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