Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) in children and adults, and narcolepsy (loss of the brain’s ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally). Dexedrine has potential for abuse and should only be used as prescribed.
- What is a safe dose of this medication?
- ADHD: For adults, initially a 5 mg dose is given two times a day, which can be increased each week by 10 mg according to response. The maximum dose, however, should only exceed 40 mg a day under rare circumstances and only after consulting a physician. For children three to six years old, a dose of 2.5 mg should be taken in the morning. Dosage may be increased by 2.5 mg each week, but should not exceed 40 mg per day total. Additionally, it is best to divide dosage at higher levels with about four to six hours in between each dose. For children older than six, an initial dose of 5 mg may be given and dosage may be increased weekly by 5 mg. Total intake should not exceed 40 mg per day.
- Narcolepsy: This condition is rare for children younger than 12. For adults, a 10 mg dose is administered two to three times a day and it can be increased by 10 mg weekly. Maximum dose should not exceed 60 mg per day. For elderly individuals, a dose of 5 mg is given two to three times a day to maintain sleep cycle.
- Is this drug safe to use if I am pregnant?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designates this drug as a pregnancy category C medication, which means studies during animal pregnancies have indicated a risk of adverse effects for the fetus. However, some conditions for which this drug is prescribed may be of greater risk to the mother and fetus. All possible treatments should be weighed by you and your doctor before using this drug if you are pregnant or become pregnant during treatment.
- How is this drug processed within my body?
Dexedrine has a bioavailability of 75% to 100% (when taken orally). It is well-absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and undergoes metabolism in the liver. It has a half-life of 10 to 12 hours (dependent upon the pH level of the urine) after which it is excreted in the urine. About 15% to 40% of Dexedrine is bound to plasma protein.
- Are there ways to get more out of my treatment with this drug?
If you are prescribed this medication for ADHD treatment, consider finding a therapist or counselor with whom you can develop a therapeutic relationship. A therapist may be able to help you regulate your behavioral and emotional responses to symptoms associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity. Additionally, therapists can help you better understand what you are experiencing, help you develop a good self-care routine to mitigate symptoms, and teach you healthy coping strategies when symptoms manifest or become triggered.