Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) Prescription Facts

Dextroamphetamine is a generic drug, also available under the brand name medication called Dexedrine. Dexedrine is a central nervous system stimulant and an amphetamine drug. Dexedrine is a controlled substance that is only available by prescription. Dexedrine is prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. The typical dose of Dexedrine used to treat narcolepsy is 5 to 60 mg each day, taken in divided doses. Dexedrine can be prescribed to patients age 6 years and older for ADHD, and the standard starting dose is usually 5 mg, taken once or twice a day. The dosage may be raised as needed.

Dexedrine Regulations

Dexedrine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the U.S. under the Controlled Substances Act. As a controlled substance, federal regulations determine how Dexedrine can be prescribed, dispensed and used. Possessing or using Dexedrine without a prescription can lead to serious legal penalties. Despite this, it is still a commonly abused prescription drug. As a Schedule II controlled substance, the U.S. government has determined that Dexedrine has a high potential for abuse. Abusing Dexedrine, according to the federal government, can lead to severe physical and psychological dependence. Even with risk of abuse, Dexedrine is still used as a medical treatment.

Most Commonly Abused Stimulants

Dexedrine is an amphetamine stimulant drug. It’s similar in many ways to other prescription stimulants like Adderall, Vyvanse, Concerta and other medications. These drugs can create a euphoric effect when they are taken in high doses. To achieve faster effects and a stronger high, people will often crush up these drugs in order to snort or inject them. Extended-release versions of these prescription stimulants come in capsule form, so people will take the drug out of the capsule as well. These drugs are widely abused, particularly among younger people who might want to study or stay up for long hours. The effects of these prescription stimulants, when used recreationally, can be similar to those of illegal drugs like cocaine.

How Dexedrine Affects the Brain and Body

When someone has ADHD and they’re prescribed a therapeutic dose of Dexedrine, it tends to have a calming effect on them so that they can concentrate and focus without symptoms, such as hyperactivity or impulsivity. When someone doesn’t have ADHD and they recreationally abuse Dexedrine, the drug has different effects. Dexedrine is believed to affect certain brain neurotransmitters, including dopamine and norepinephrine. When it’s abused, Dexedrine can cause a euphoric high. People who abuse the drug recreationally may also experience heightened energy, sociability and self-confidence. Because of the stimulant effects of the drug, other side effects can include raised blood pressure, increased body temperature and it can impact the cardiac system. There is also a crash that occurs as the effects of Dexedrine wear off. With any stimulant amphetamine, as the drug wears off people may experience feelings of depression, fatigue, lack of motivation and overall loss of interest. One of the biggest risks associated with Dexedrine abuse is a sudden heart attack, stroke or death, especially in people with pre-existing conditions who take the drug.

Half-Life of Dexedrine

The half-life of Dexedrine is around 12 hours. While the duration of the effects of Dexedrine can be anywhere from 8 to 10 hours, it takes 12 hours for just half the amount of the drug to be eliminated from the body. It can take around five half-lives for a drug to be fully eliminated. 

Factors That Influence How Long Dexedrine Stays in Your System

While half-life estimates can give an overview of how long a drug stays in your system, many factors affect the specific time. Your metabolism plays a significant role in how long Dexedrine stays in your system. If you have a faster metabolism, you’re going to eliminate a drug more quickly than someone with a slower metabolism. If you’re older or have health problems, you’re likely going to eliminate Dexedrine more slowly from your system than a younger, healthier person. Other factors that influence how long Dexedrine stays in your system include your hydration level, body mass, and your level of physical activity.

How Long Does Dexedrine Stay in Your Urine, Hair, and Blood?

Dexedrine is an amphetamine, and it can show up on a drug test. For that reason, people often wonder how long it can show up in individual drug screenings, including urine tests, blood tests, and hair follicle tests. In a urine test, Dexedrine is likely to be detectable for one to two days for most people. The detection window in blood tests is also one to two days. In a hair follicle test, Dexedrine can be detectable for up to 90 days.

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with 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 providers.