Generic name: Dextroamphetamine sulfate.

Other brand names: DextroStat, Ferndex, Oxydess II, Spancap No. 1.

Dexedrine is a stimulant. It calms the central nervous system in children, and acts as a stimulant in adults. 

Quick Facts About Dexedrine


Used on a short-term basis to treat: narcolepsy, attention deficit disorder (ADD) with hyperactivity, obesity. Do not use this medication to improve mental alertness or to stay awake.

Dexedrine Dosage

Take exactly as prescribed. Swallow sustained release Spansule whole. Use with caution; can become dependent on this medication. Your doctor may periodically stop Dexedrine therapy to evaluate whether you still require the medication. Do not increase dosage unless directed by your doctor.

  • Usual adult dose: for narcolepsy — 5 to 60 milligrams per day, divided into equal doses. For obesity — one 10-milligram or 15-milligram Spansule taken in the morning, or up to 30 milligrams daily, divided into smaller doses, taken 30 to 60 minutes before meals.
  • Usual child dose: for narcolepsy — children 6 to 12 years — 5 milligrams per day; children 12 years and older — 10 milligrams per day, doctor may prescribe up to 60 milligrams per day. May be reduced if insomnia or anorexia appears. For ADD — children 3 to 5 years — 2.5 milligrams daily; children 6 years and older — 5 milligrams I or 2 times per day. Children should take the first dose upon waking up, then the remaining at intervals determined by your doctor. For obesity — not prescribed for children under 12 years for this use.
  • Missed dose: for 1 daily dose — take as soon as possible, unless within 6 hours of bedtime. If you remember the next day, do not take missed dose; return to regular schedule. For 2 or 3 doses per day — take as soon as possible unless within I hour of next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; return to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Dexedrine Side Effects

Dexedrine overdose can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms:

abdominal cramps, assaultiveness, coma, confusion, convulsions, depression, diarrhea, fatigue, hallucinations, high fever, heightened reflexes, high or low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, nausea, panic, rapid breathing, restlessness, tremor, vomiting. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: excessive restlessness, overstimulation.

Other Dexedrine side effects: changes in sex drive, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, exaggerated feeling of well-being or depression, headache, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, hives, impotence, rapid heartbeat, sleeplessness, stomach and intestinal disturbances, tremors, uncontrollable twitching or jerking, unpleasant taste in the mouth. Effects of chronic heavy abuse of Dexedrine: hyperactivity, irritability, personality changes, schizophrenia-like thoughts and behavior, severe insomnia, severe skin disease.


Inform your doctor before combining Dexedrine with:

ammonium chloride; chlorpromazine (Thorazine); glutamic acid hydrochloride; guanethidine (Ismelin); haloperidol (Haldol); lithium carbonate (Lithonate); methenamine (Urised); reserpine (Diupres); sodium acid phosphate. Substances that boost the effects of Dexedrine — acetazolamide (Diamox); baking soda; Diuril; MAO-inhibitor antidepressants such as Nardil and Parnate; propoxyphene (Darvon). Substances that decrease their effectiveness with Dexedrine — antihistamines such as Benedryl; blood pressure medications such as Catapres, Hytrin, and Minipress; ethosuximide (Zarontin); veratrum alkaloids (found in certain blood pressure medications). Substances that increase their effectiveness with Dexedrine — antidepressants such as Norpramin and Vivactil; meperidine (Demerol); Norepinephrine (Levophed); phenobarbital; phenytoin (Dilantin). Do not take for at least 14 days after MAO-inhibitor antidepressant therapy; may cause life-threatening rise in blood pressure.

Fruit juices and vitamin C dampen the effects of Dexedrine. 

Special Cautions

Dexedrine can cause premature births or babies with low birth weight. If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk; nursing mothers should not use.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Follow doctor’s instructions carefully for children. Monitor children on Dexedrine therapy; may stunt growth.

  • May cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Do not take if sensitive to or allergic to Dexedrine.
  • Your doctor will not start you on Dexedrine therapy if you have: agitation, cardiovascular disease, glaucoma, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, overactive thyroid gland, substance abuse.
  • Dexedrine contains tartrazine — yellow food coloring — which can cause severe allergic reaction.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Dexedrine side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.