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Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Trade namesDexedrine, Dextrostat
Licence dataUS Daily Med:link
Pregnancy cat.B3 (AU) C (US)
Legal statusControlled (S8) (AU) Schedule I (CA) Class B (UK) Schedule II (US)
Dependence liabilityModerate to High
RoutesOral (only medically-utilized route)
Pharmacokinetic data
BioavailabilityOral 75–100%[1]
MetabolismCYP2D6,[2] DBH,[3] FMO3,[4] XM-ligase,[5] and ACGNAT[6]
Half-life10-12 hours[7][8]
ExcretionRenal (45%);[9] urinary pH-dependent
CAS number51-64-9 YesY
ATC codeN06BA02
PubChemCID 5826
ChemSpider5621 YesY
KEGGD03740 YesY
Chemical data
Mol. mass135.20622
Physical data
Density0.913 g/cm³
Boiling point201.5 °C (395 °F)
Solubility in water20 mg/mL (20 °C)
 YesY (what is this?)  (verify)
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For the racemic compound, see Amphetamine.
Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Trade namesDexedrine, Dextrostat
Licence dataUS Daily Med:link
Pregnancy cat.B3 (AU) C (US)
Legal statusControlled (S8) (AU) Schedule I (CA) Class B (UK) Schedule II (US)
Dependence liabilityModerate to High
RoutesOral (only medically-utilized route)
Pharmacokinetic data
BioavailabilityOral 75–100%[1]
MetabolismCYP2D6,[2] DBH,[3] FMO3,[4] XM-ligase,[5] and ACGNAT[6]
Half-life10-12 hours[7][8]
ExcretionRenal (45%);[9] urinary pH-dependent
CAS number51-64-9 YesY
ATC codeN06BA02
PubChemCID 5826
ChemSpider5621 YesY
KEGGD03740 YesY
Chemical data
Mol. mass135.20622
Physical data
Density0.913 g/cm³
Boiling point201.5 °C (395 °F)
Solubility in water20 mg/mL (20 °C)
 YesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Dextroamphetamine[note 1] is a potent psychostimulant and amphetamine stereoisomer prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults and the rare sleep disorder, narcolepsy. Dextroamphetamine is also widely used by military air forces as a 'go-pill' during fatigue-inducing mission profiles such as night-time bombing missions. Preparations containing dextroamphetamine were also used in World War II as a treatment against fatigue.

The amphetamine molecule has two stereoisomers (which are mirror images of the same molecule): levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Dextroamphetamine is the more active dextrorotatory, or "right-handed", enantiomer of the amphetamine molecule. Dextroamphetamine is available as a generic drug or under several brand names, including Dexedrine and Dextrostat. Dextroamphetamine is also the active metabolite of the prodrug (that is, a drug that is metabolised in the body into another more biologically-active drug) lisdexamfetamine.

Dextroamphetamine, like other amphetamines, elicits its stimulating effects via two distinct actions: first, it inhibits the transporter proteins for the monoamine neurotransmitters (namely the serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine transporters) via trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1); and second, it releases these neurotransmitters from synaptic vesicles via vesicular monoamine transporter 2. It also shares many chemical and pharmacological properties with the human trace amine neurotransmiters, especially phenethylamine and N-methylphenethylamine, the latter being an isomer of amphetamine that is produced within the human body.


Part of this section is transcluded from Amphetamine. (edit | history)


Dexedrine Spansule 5, 10 and 15 mg capsules

Dextroamphetamine is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, and is sometimes prescribed off-label for its past medical indications, such as depression, obesity, and nasal congestion.[10][11] Long-term amphetamine exposure in some species is known to produce abnormal dopamine system development or nerve damage,[12][13] but humans experience normal development and nerve growth.[14][15][16] Magnetic resonance imaging studies suggest that long-term treatment with amphetamine decreases abnormalities in brain structure and function found in subjects with ADHD, and improves function of the right caudate nucleus.[14][15][16]

Reviews of clinical stimulant research have established the safety and effectiveness of long-term amphetamine use for ADHD.[17][18] Controlled trials spanning two years have demonstrated continuous treatment effectiveness and safety.[18][19] One review highlighted a 9 month randomized controlled trial in children that found an average increase of 4.5 IQ points and continued improvements in attention, disruptive behaviors, and hyperactivity.[19]

Current models of ADHD suggest that it is associated with functional impairments in some of the brain's neurotransmitter systems,[note 2] particularly those involving dopamine and norepinephrine.[20] Psychostimulants like methylphenidate and amphetamine possess efficacy in treating ADHD because they increase neurotransmitter activity in these systems.[21][20][22] Approximately 70% of those who use these stimulants see improvements in ADHD symptoms.[23][24] Children with ADHD who use stimulant medications generally have better relationships with peers and family members,[17][23] generally perform better in school, are less distractible and impulsive, and have longer attention spans.[17][23] The Cochrane Collaboration's review[note 3] on the treatment of adult ADHD with amphetamines stated that amphetamines improve short-term symptoms, but have higher discontinuation rates than non-stimulant medications due to their adverse effects.[26]

A Cochrane Collaboration review on the treatment of ADHD in children with tic disorders indicated that stimulants in general do not make tics worse, but high doses of dextroamphetamine in such people should be avoided.[27] Other Cochrane reviews on the use of amphetamine for improving recovery following stroke or acute brain injury indicated that it may improve recovery, but further research is needed to confirm this.[28][29][30]


Therapeutic doses of amphetamine improve cortical network efficiency, resulting in higher performance on working memory tests in all individuals.[21][31] Amphetamine and other ADHD stimulants also improve task saliency and increase arousal.[21][32] Stimulants such as amphetamine can improve performance on difficult and boring tasks,[21][32] and are used by some students as a study and test-taking aid.[33] Based upon studies of self-reported illicit stimulant use, performance-enhancing use, rather than abuse as a recreational drug, is the primary reason that students use stimulants.[34] High amphetamine doses, above the therapeutic range, can interfere with working memory and cognitive control.[21][32]

Amphetamine is used by some athletes for its psychological and performance-enhancing effects, such as increased stamina and alertness, but this is prohibited at events regulated by the World Anti-Doping Agency.[35][36][37] In healthy people at oral therapeutic doses, amphetamine has been shown to increase physical strength,[37][38] acceleration,[37][38] stamina,[37][39] endurance,[37][39] and alertness,[35] while reducing reaction time.[37] Like the psychostimulants methylphenidate and bupropion, amphetamine increases stamina and endurance in humans primarily through reuptake inhibition and effluxion of dopamine in the central nervous system.[38][39] At much higher doses, amphetamine can induce side effects that impair performance, such as rhabdomyolysis and hyperthermia.[40][41][38]


This section is transcluded from Amphetamine. (edit | history)

According to the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) and United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA),[note 4] amphetamine is contraindicated in people with a history of drug abuse, heart disease, severe agitation, or severe anxiety.[42][43] It is also contraindicated in people currently experiencing arteriosclerosis, glaucoma, hyperthyroidism, or severe hypertension.[42][43] People who have experienced hypersensitivity reactions to other stimulants in the past or are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are advised not to take amphetamine.[42][43] These agencies also state that anyone with anorexia nervosa, bipolar disorder, depression, elevated blood pressure, liver or kidney problems, mania, psychosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, seizures, thyroid problems, tics, or Tourette syndrome should monitor their symptoms while taking amphetamine.[42][43] Evidence from human studies indicates that therapeutic amphetamine use does not cause developmental abnormalities in the fetus or newborns (i.e., it is not a human teratogen), but amphetamine abuse does pose risks to the fetus.[43] Amphetamine has also been shown to pass into breast milk, so the IPCS and USFDA advise mothers to avoid breastfeeding when using it.[42][43] Due to the potential for stunted growth, the USFDA advises monitoring the height and weight of children and adolescents prescribed amphetamines.[42]

Side effects[edit]

Part of this section is transcluded from Amphetamine. (edit | history)

The Cochrane Collaboration review on amphetamines for ADHD suggests that dextroamphetamine and other amphetamine mixtures have the same incidence of adverse events.[26]


At normal therapeutic doses, the physical side effects of amphetamine vary widely by age and among individual people.[41] Cardiovascular side effects can include irregular heartbeat (usually increased heart rate), hypertension (high blood pressure) or hypotension (low blood pressure) from a vasovagal response, and Raynaud's phenomenon.[41][35][44] Sexual side effects in males may include erectile dysfunction, frequent erections, or prolonged erections. Other potential side effects include abdominal pain, acne, blurred vision, excessive grinding of the teeth, profuse sweating, dry mouth, loss of appetite, nausea, reduced seizure threshold, tics, and weight loss.[41][35][44] Dangerous physical side effects are rare in typical pharmaceutical doses.[35]

Amphetamine stimulates the medullary respiratory centers, producing faster and deeper breaths.[35] In a normal person at therapeutic doses, amphetamine does not noticeably stimulate breathing, but when respiration is already compromised, it may stimulate it.[35] Amphetamine also induces contraction in the urinary bladder sphincter, the muscle which controls urination, which can result in difficulty urinating; this effect can be useful in treating bed wetting and loss of bladder control.[35] The effects of amphetamine on the gastrointestinal tract are unpredictable.[35] Amphetamine may reduce gastrointestinal motility (i.e., intestinal peristalsis) if intestinal activity is high, or increase motility if the smooth muscle of the tract is relaxed.[35] Amphetamine also has a slight analgesic effect and can enhance the pain relieving effects of opiates.[35]

USFDA commissioned studies from 2011 indicate that, in children, young adults, and adults, there is no association between serious adverse cardiovascular events (sudden death, heart attack, and stroke) and the medical use of amphetamine or other ADHD stimulants.[sources 1]


Common psychological effects of therapeutic doses can include alertness, apprehension, concentration, decreased sense of fatigue, mood swings (elated mood followed by mildly depressed mood), increased initiative, insomnia or wakefulness, self-confidence, and sociability.[41][35] Less commonly, depending on the user's personality and current mental state, anxiety, change in libido, grandiosity, irritability, repetitive or obsessive behaviors, and restlessness can occur.[sources 2] Amphetamine psychosis can occur in heavy users.[40][41][51] Although very rare, this psychosis can also occur at therapeutic doses during long-term therapy.[40][41][52] According to the USFDA, "there is no systematic evidence that stimulants cause aggressive behavior or hostility."[41]


This section is transcluded from Amphetamine. (edit | history)

An amphetamine overdose can lead to many different symptoms, but is rarely fatal with appropriate care.[43][53] A moderate overdose may induce symptoms including brisk reflexes, confusion, high or low blood pressure, hyperthermia, inability to urinate, involuntary muscle twitching, irregular heartbeat, muscle pain, painful urination, rapid breathing, and severe agitation.[40][35][43] An extremely large overdose may produce symptoms such as amphetamine psychosis, bleeding in the brain, cardiogenic shock, circulatory collapse, compulsive and repetitive behavior, elevated blood potassium or low blood potassium, extreme fever, fluid accumulation in the lungs, high lung arterial blood pressure, kidney failure, metabolic acidosis, no urine production, rapid muscle breakdown, respiratory alkalosis, serotonin toxidrome, and sympathomimetic toxidrome.[sources 3] Fatal amphetamine poisoning usually involves convulsions and coma.[40][35]

Dependence, addiction, and withdrawal

Addiction is a serious risk with heavy recreational amphetamine use; it is unlikely to arise from typical medical use.[40][56][35] Tolerance develops rapidly in amphetamine abuse, so periods of extended use require increasing doses of the drug in order to achieve the same effect.[57][58]

A Cochrane Collaboration review on amphetamine and methamphetamine dependence and abuse indicates that the current evidence on effective treatments is extremely limited.[59] The review indicated that fluoxetine[note 5] and imipramine[note 6] have some limited benefits in treating abuse and addiction, but concluded, "no treatment has been demonstrated to be effective for the treatment of amphetamine dependence and abuse."[59] A corroborating review indicated that amphetamine dependence is mediated through increased activation of dopamine receptors and co-localized NMDA receptors in the mesolimbic pathway.[60] This review also noted that magnesium ions, which inhibit NMDA receptor calcium channels, and serotonin have inhibitory effects on NMDA receptors.[60] It also suggested that, based upon animal testing, pathological amphetamine use significantly reduces the level of intracellular magnesium throughout the brain.[60] Supplemental magnesium,[note 7] like fluoxetine treatment, has been shown to reduce self-administration in both humans and lab animals.[59][60]

According to another Cochrane Collaboration review on withdrawal in highly dependent amphetamine and methamphetamine abusers, "when chronic heavy users abruptly discontinue amphetamine use, many report a time-limited withdrawal syndrome that occurs within 24 hours of their last dose."[61] This review noted that withdrawal symptoms in chronic, high-dose users are frequent, occurring in up to 87.6% of cases, and persist for three to four weeks with a marked "crash" phase occurring during the first week.[61] Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, drug craving, depressed mood, fatigue, increased appetite, increased movement or decreased movement, lack of motivation, sleeplessness or sleepiness, and lucid dreams.[61] The review suggested that withdrawal symptoms are associated with the degree of dependence, suggesting that therapeutic use would result in far milder discontinuation symptoms.[61] Manufacturer prescribing information does not indicate the presence of withdrawal symptoms following discontinuation of amphetamine use after an extended period at therapeutic doses.[62][63][64]

Current models of addiction from chronic drug use involve alterations in gene expression in certain parts of the brain.[65][66][67] The most important transcription factors that produce these alterations are ΔFosB, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element binding protein (CREB), and nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB).[66] ΔFosB is the most significant, since its overexpression in the nucleus accumbens is necessary and sufficient for many of the neural adaptations seen in drug addiction;[66] it has been implicated in addictions to alcohol, cannabinoids, cocaine, nicotine, phenylcyclidine, and substituted amphetamines.[65][66][68] ΔJunD is the transcription factor which directly opposes ΔFosB.[66] Increases in nucleus accumbens ΔJunD expression can reduce or, with a large increase, even block most of the neural alterations seen in chronic drug abuse (i.e., the alterations mediated by ΔFosB).[66] ΔFosB also plays an important role in regulating behavioral responses to natural rewards, such as palatable food, sex, and exercise.[66][69] Since natural rewards, like drugs of abuse, induce ΔFosB, chronic acquisition of these rewards can result in a similar pathological addictive state.[66][69] Consequently, ΔFosB is the key transcription factor involved in amphetamine addiction, especially amphetamine-induced sex addictions.[66][69][70] ΔFosB inhibitors (drugs that oppose its action) may be an effective treatment for addiction and addictive disorders.[71]

The effects of amphetamine on gene regulation are both dose- and route-dependent.[67] Most of the research on gene regulation and addiction is based upon animal studies with intravenous amphetamine administration at very high doses.[67] The few studies that have used equivalent (weight-adjusted) human therapeutic doses and oral administration show that these changes, if they occur, are relatively minor.[67]


The main section for this topic is on the page Stimulant psychosis, in the section Substituted amphetamines.

Abuse of amphetamine can result in a stimulant psychosis that may present with a variety of symptoms (e.g., paranoia, hallucinations, delusions).[51] A Cochrane Collaboration review on treatment for amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine abuse-induced psychosis states that about 5–15% of users fail to recover completely.[51][72] The same review asserts that, based upon at least one trial, antipsychotic medications effectively resolve the symptoms of acute amphetamine psychosis.[51] Psychosis very rarely arises from therapeutic use.[52][42]


In rodents and primates, sufficiently high doses of amphetamine cause dopaminergic neurotoxicity, or damage to dopamine neurons, which is characterized as reduced transporter and receptor function.[73] There is no evidence that amphetamine is directly neurotoxic in humans.[74][75] High-dose amphetamine can cause indirect neurotoxicity as a result of increased oxidative stress from reactive oxygen species and autoxidation of dopamine.[12][76][77]



The main section for this topic is on the page Amphetamine, in the section Pharmacodynamics.

Pharmacodynamics of amphetamine enantiomers in a dopamine neuron

A pharmacodynamic model of amphetamine and TAAR1
via AADC
Amphetamine enters the presynaptic neuron across the neuronal membrane or through DAT. Once inside, it binds to TAAR1 or enters synaptic vesicles through VMAT2. When amphetamine enters the synaptic vesicles through VMAT2, dopamine is released into the cytosol (yellow-orange area). When amphetamine binds to TAAR1, it reduces dopamine receptor firing rate via potassium channels and triggers protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) signaling, resulting in DAT phosphorylation. PKA-phosphorylation causes DAT to withdraw into the presynaptic neuron (internalize) and cease transport. PKC-phosphorylated DAT may either operate in reverse or, like PKA-phosphorylated DAT, internalize and cease transport.

Amphetamine and its enantiomers have been identified as potent full agonists of trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1), a GPCR, discovered in 2001, that is important for regulation of monoaminergic systems in the brain.[78][79] Activation of TAAR1 increases cAMP production via adenylyl cyclase activation and inhibits the function of the dopamine transporter, norepinephrine transporter, and serotonin transporter, as well as inducing the release of these monoamine neurotransmitters (effluxion).[78][80][81] Amphetamine enantiomers are also substrates for a specific neuronal synaptic vesicle uptake transporter called VMAT2.[82] When amphetamine is taken up by VMAT2, the vesicle releases (effluxes) dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, among other monoamines, into the cytosol in exchange.[82]

Dextroamphetamine (the dextrorotary enantiomer) and levoamphetamine (the levorotary enantiomer) have identical pharmacodynamics, but their binding affinities to their biomolecular targets vary.[35][79] Dextroamphetamine is a more potent agonist of TAAR1 than levoamphetamine.[79] Consequently, dextroamphetamine produces roughly three to four times more central nervous system (CNS) stimulation than levoamphetamine;[35][79] however, levoamphetamine has slightly greater cardiovascular and peripheral effects.[35]

Related endogenous compounds[edit]

For more details on related compounds, see Trace amines.

Amphetamine has a very similar structure and function to the endogenous trace amines, which are naturally occurring neurotransmitter molecules produced in the human body and brain.[81][83] Among this group, the most closely related compounds are phenethylamine, the parent compound of amphetamine, and N-methylphenethylamine, an isomer of amphetamine (i.e., it has an identical molecular formula).[81][83][84] In humans, phenethylamine is produced directly from L-phenylalanine by the aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) enzyme, which converts L-DOPA into dopamine as well.[83][84] In turn, N‑methylphenethylamine is metabolized from phenethylamine by phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase, the same enzyme that metabolizes norepinephrine into epinephrine.[83][84] Like amphetamine, both phenethylamine and N‑methylphenethylamine regulate monoamine neurotransmission via TAAR1;[81][84] unlike amphetamine, both of these substances are broken down by monoamine oxidase B, and therefore have a shorter half-life than amphetamine.[83][84]


Amphetamine is well absorbed from the gut, and bioavailability is typically over 75% for dextroamphetamine.[85] However, oral availability varies with gastrointestinal pH.[86] Dextroamphetamine is a weak base with a pKa of 9–10;[2] consequently, when the pH is basic, more of the drug is in its lipid soluble free base form, and more is absorbed through the lipid-rich cell membranes of the gut epithelium.[2][86] Conversely, an acidic pH means the drug is predominantly in its water soluble cationic form, and less is absorbed.[2][86]

Approximately 15–40% of dextroamphetamine circulating in the bloodstream is bound to plasma proteins.[87]

The half-life of dextroamphetamine varies with urine pH.[2] At normal urine pH, the half-life of dextroamphetamine is 9–11 hours.[2] An acidic diet will reduce the half-life to 8–11 hours, while an alkaline diet will increase the range to 16–31 hours.[88][89] The immediate-release and extended release variants of dextroamphetamine salts reach peak plasma concentrations at 3 hours and 7 hours post-dose respectively.[2] Dextromphetamine is eliminated via the kidneys, with 30–40% of the drug being excreted unchanged at normal urinary pH.[2] When the urinary pH is basic, more of the drug is in its poorly water soluble free base form, and less is excreted.[2] When urine pH is abnormal, the urinary recovery of amphetamine may range from a low of 1% to as much as 75%, depending mostly upon whether urine is too basic or acidic, respectively.[2] Amphetamine is usually eliminated within two days of the last oral dose.[88] Apparent half-life and duration of effect increase with repeated use and accumulation of the drug.[90]

CYP2D6, dopamine β-hydroxylase, flavin-containing monooxygenase, butyrate-CoA ligase, and glycine N-acyltransferase are the enzymes known to metabolize amphetamine or its metabolites in humans.[2][3][4][5][6][91] Amphetamine has a variety of excreted metabolic products, including 4-hydroxyamfetamine, 4-hydroxynorephedrine, 4-hydroxyphenylacetone, benzoic acid, hippuric acid, norephedrine, and phenylacetone.[2][88][92] Among these metabolites, the active sympathomimetics are 4‑hydroxyamphetamine,[93] 4‑hydroxynorephedrine,[94] and norephedrine.[95]

The main metabolic pathways involve aromatic para-hydroxylation, aliphatic alpha- and beta-hydroxylation, N-oxidation, N-dealkylation, and deamination.[2][88] The known pathways include:[2][4][92]

Metabolic pathways of amphetamine

Graphic of several routes of amphetamine metabolism
The primary active metabolites of amphetamine are 4-hydroxyamphetamine and norephedrine;[92] however, most of an administered dose is excreted as amphetamine itself and the inactive metabolites.[2] Benzoic acid is metabolized by butyrate-CoA ligase into an intermediate product, benzoyl-CoA,[5] which is then metabolized by glycine N-acyltransferase into hippuric acid.[6]

History, society, and culture[edit]

Racemic amphetamine was first synthesized under the chemical name "phenylisopropylamine" in Berlin, 1887 by the Romanian chemist Lazar Edeleanu.[96] It was not widely marketed until 1932, when the pharmaceutical company Smith, Kline & French (now known as GlaxoSmithKline) introduced it in the form of the Benzedrine inhaler for use as a bronchodilator. Notably, the amphetamine contained in the Benzedrine inhaler was the liquid free-base,[note 8] not a chloride or sulfate salt.

Three years later, in 1935, the medical community became aware of the stimulant properties of amphetamine, specifically dexamfetamine, and in 1937 Smith, Kline, and French introduced tablets under the tradename Dexedrine.[97] In the United States, Dexedrine was approved to treat narcolepsy, attention disorders, depression, and obesity. In Canada, epilepsy and parkinsonism were also approved indications.[98] Dexamfetamine was marketed in various other forms in the following decades, primarily by Smith, Kline, and French, such as several combination medications including a mixture of dexamfetamine and amobarbital (a barbiturate) sold under the tradename Dexamyl and, in the 1950s, an extended release capsule (the "Spansule").[99] Preparations containing dextroamphetamine were also used in World War II as a treatment against fatigue.[100]

It quickly became apparent that dexamfetamine and other amphetamines had a high potential for misuse, although they were not heavily controlled until 1970, when the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act was passed by the United States Congress. Dexamfetamine, along with other sympathomimetics, was eventually classified as Schedule II, the most restrictive category possible for a drug with a government-sanctioned, recognized medical use.[101] Internationally, it has been available under the names AmfeDyn (Italy), Curban (US), Obetrol (Switzerland), Simpamina (Italy), Dexedrine/GSK (US & Canada), Dexedrine/UCB (United Kingdom), Dextropa (Portugal), and Stild (Spain).[102]

In October 2010, GlaxoSmithKline sold the rights for Dexedrine Spansule to Amedra Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of CorePharma).[103]

The U.S. Air Force uses dexamfetamine as one of its "go pills", given to pilots on long missions to help them remain focused and alert. Conversely, "no-go pills" are used after the mission is completed, to combat the effects of the mission and "go-pills".[104][105][106][107] The Tarnak Farm incident was linked by media reports to the use of this drug on long term fatigued pilots. The military did not accept this explanation, citing the lack of similar incidents. Newer stimulant medications or awakeness promoting agents with different side effect profiles, such as modafinil, are being investigated and sometimes issued for this reason.[105]


United States
Adopted Name
(D:L) ratio
of salts
Adderall XR3:1capsule[108][109]
Dexedrinedextroamphetamine sulfate1:0capsule[108][109]
ProCentradextroamphetamine sulfate1:0liquid[109]
Vyvanselisdexamfetamine dimesylate1:0capsule[108][110]
Zenzedidextroamphetamine sulfate1:0tablet[109]
An image of the lisdexamphetamine compound
The skeletal structure of lisdexamfetamine

Dextroamphetamine sulfate[edit]

Dexamphetamine 5 mg generic name tablets

In the United States, an instant-release (IR) tablet preparation of dextroamphetamine sulfate is available under the brand name Dextrostat, in 5 mg and 10 mg strengths,[111] with generic versions marketed by Barr (Teva Pharmaceutical Industries), Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and Wilshire Pharmaceuticals. Dextroamphetamine sulfate is also available as a controlled-release (CR) capsule preparation in strengths of 5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg under the brand name Dexedrine Spansule, with generic versions marketed by Barr and Mallinckrodt. A bubblegum flavored oral solution is available under the brand name ProCentra, manufactured by FSC Pediatrics, which is designed to be an easier method of administration in children who have difficulty swallowing tablets, each 5 mL contains 5 mg dexamfetamine.[112]

In Australia, dexamfetamine is available in bottles of 100 instant release 5 mg tablets as a generic drug.[113] or slow release dexamfetamine preparations may be compounded by individual chemists.[114] Similarly, in the United Kingdom it is only available in 5 mg instant release sulfate tablets under the generic name dexamfetamine sulphate having had been available under the brand name Dexedrine prior to UCB Pharma disinvesting the product to another pharmaceutical company (Auden Mckenzie).[115]


Main article: Lisdexamfetamine

Dexamfetamine is the active metabolite of the prodrug lisdexamfetamine (L-lysine-dextroamphetamine), available by the brand name Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate). Lisdexamfetamine is metabolised in the gastrointestinal tract, while dextroamphetamine's metabolism is hepatic.[116] Lisdexamfetamine is therefore an inactive compound until it is converted into an active compound by the digestive system. Vyvanse is marketed as once-a-day dosing as it provides a slow release of dexamfetamine into the body. Vyvanse is available as capsules, and in six strengths; 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg, and 70 mg. The conversion rate of Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate to dextroamphetamine base is 0.2948,[117] thus a 30 mg-strength Vyvanse capsule is molecularly equivalent to 8.844 mg dexamfetamine base.

Amphetamine salts (Adderall)[edit]

Adderall tablets
Adderall 20 mg tablets, some broken in half, with a lengthwise-folded US dollar bill along the bottom
Main article: Adderall

Another pharmaceutical that contains dextroamphetamine is commonly known by the brand name Adderall. The drug formulation of Adderall, including both the immediate release (IR) and extended release (XR) forms, is:

One-quarter racemic (d,l-)amphetamine aspartate monohydrate
One-quarter dextroamphetamine saccharate
One-quarter dextroamphetamine sulfate
One-quarter racemic (d,l-)amphetamine sulfate

Adderall is roughly three-quarters dextroamphetamine, with it accounting for 72.7% of the amphetamine base in Adderall (the remaining percentage is levoamphetamine). The salt ratio, as noted above, is 75%:25% or 3:1 dextroamphetamine to levoamphetamine.


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  1. ^ Synonyms and alternate spellings include dexamphetamine (AAN) and dexamfetamine (INN and BAN).
  2. ^ This involves impaired dopamine neurotransmission in the mesocortical and mesolimbic pathways and norepinephrine neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex and locus coeruleus.[20]
  3. ^ Cochrane Collaboration reviews are high quality meta-analytic systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials.[25]
  4. ^ The statements supported by the USFDA come from prescribing information, which is the copyrighted intellectual property of the manufacturer and approved by the USFDA.
  5. ^ During short-term treatment, fluoxetine may decrease drug craving.[59]
  6. ^ During "medium-term treatment," imipramine may extend the duration of adherence to addiction treatment.[59]
  7. ^ The review indicated that magnesium L-aspartate and magnesium chloride produce significant changes in addictive behavior;[60] other forms of magnesium were not mentioned.
  8. ^ Free-base form amphetamine is a volatile oil, hence the efficacy of the inhalers.

Reference notes[edit]

  1. ^ [45][46][47][48]
  2. ^ [49][41][35][50]
  3. ^ [54][40][35][53][55]

External links[edit]