Mixing Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) and Alcohol Side Effects & Interactions
Dexedrine is a brand-name prescription, stimulant drug that activates the central nervous system. The generic name for the drug is dextroamphetamine. Dexedrine is used to control the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as problems focusing and impulse control. Dexedrine can be prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy as well. In addition to being classified as a central nervous system stimulant, Dexedrine is an amphetamine. Dexedrine changes the presence of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and norepinephrine.
Due to the impact of Dexedrine on the brain, when it’s used at high doses or by people who don’t have ADHD, it can trigger feelings of euphoria. Dexedrine can have other effects as well, such as increased energy and concentration, a false sense of confidence and well-being, and appetite suppression. All of these factors make it a drug of abuse for some people. Dexedrine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the U.S., and it comes with a black box warning regarding its potential for abuse and addiction.
Some of the possible side effects of Dexedrine include problems falling asleep or staying asleep, headache, uncontrollable shaking and dry mouth. Constipation, changes in sex drive, weight loss, and restlessness are also possible. Severe side effects may occur with Dexedrine as well. Serious side effects requiring medical attention include a fast or pounding heartbeat, chest pain and shortness of breath. Slow speech, changes in mood, paranoia, agitation, hallucinations, and aggression may occur as well. The most severe side effects of Dexedrine can include heart problems and stroke.
Someone might mix alcohol and Dexedrine together for different reasons. They might inadvertently combine the two if they’re prescribed Dexedrine, unaware of the consequences. Other people might use alcohol to come down from the stimulant effects of Dexedrine. Regardless, mixing alcohol and Dexedrine can cause serious side effects. Mixing alcohol and any amphetamine-based drug can heighten the risk of cardiovascular side effects. For example, someone who is mixing alcohol and Dexedrine is more likely to experience increased heart rate, chest pain, high blood pressure or other serious heart-related problems. Almost all side effects of Dexedrine on its own are heightened when it’s mixed with alcohol, along with cardiac effects. Mixing alcohol and Dexedrine can cause:
- High body temperature
- Sleep disturbances
- Dry mouth
- Changes in sex drive
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness in the limbs
- Loss of coordination
- Changes in vision
Another risk of mixing alcohol and Dexedrine is that the stimulant effects of Dexedrine can mask the effects of intoxication from alcohol. Someone might continue drinking, not realizing how much they’ve had because they don’t feel drunk. While they might not feel drunk, they are still consuming large amounts of alcohol. That can cause alcohol poisoning, which can have serious side effects and cause loss of consciousness or death.
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Dexedrine is a prescription amphetamine and a central nervous system stimulant drug. Alcohol has the opposite effect, since it is a central nervous system depressant. However, the two substances don’t cancel each other out. When someone mixes alcohol and Dexedrine, it can amplify the most severe side effects of the medication, including high blood pressure, raised body temperature and heart-related problems. There is also a potential for someone who regularly mixes alcohol and Dexedrine to become dependent upon both substances. When someone is dependent upon both alcohol and Dexedrine, they would need to detox from both -which can be difficult and uncomfortable. Addiction treatment for a polysubstance addiction to substances like alcohol and Dexedrine can also be more complex.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.