Side Effects of Dexedrine

Dexedrine is a stimulant considered to have a high risk of abuse. Originally introduced to battle obesity and depression, it has also been found to improve the ability to focus and concentrate, making it helpful in the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Dexedrine is sometimes called "speed" and categorized as an "upper" because of its stimulant effect. However, when that effect wears off, a letdown or crash follows. The resulting fatigue, depression and inability to function can be alleviated by another dose, and therein lies the danger. With prolonged overuse, the drug can cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms. The high potential for abuse and addiction is the reason Dexedrine is a controlled substance.

  1. Dangerous Side Effects

    • Dexedrine can cause numerous side effects dangerous enough to require immediate medical help. Allergic reactions can occur, including hives and swelling. The swelling can cause difficulty breathing. Other side effects include elevated blood pressure, chest pains, headache, inability to focus the eyes, racing or uneven heartbeat, lightheadedness, and fainting or seizures. Dexedrine is especially dangerous when combined with alcohol.

    Less Serious Side Effects

    • Less serious side effects of Dexedrine include muscle tics or twitches, general restlessness, tremors and muscle spasm. Insomnia, loss of appetite and weight loss are common. An uncomfortable dry mouth condition may hamper speech and create an unpleasant taste and bad breath. Constipation and/or diarrhea, impotence and loss of libido may occur.

    Mental Side Efffects

    • The "speed" effect of Dexedrine, which results in hyper mental activity, can instigate a creative or productive frenzy, upon which some may become dependent. This sense of heightened awareness can also cause intense emotions, panic, hallucinations and paranoia. After sustained use, the effects of the drug lessen and an immunity develops. Psychologically addictive effects can cause a perceived need for higher and higher dosages, which increases dependence and mental disturbances. In fact, amphetamines like Dexedrine act a lot like cocaine. Ultimately, with chronic abuse, they can produce a psychosis resembling schizophrenia.

    Side Effects in Children

    • Dexedrine may stunt growth in children, so youngsters who are taking the drug should be closely monitored. Also, like other amphetamines, Dexedrine may increase disturbed behavior or disordered thought in psychotic children.

    Side Effects in Newborns

    • Babies born to women who took Dexedrine during pregnancy are at risk for low birth weight and premature birth. The babies may become agitated, apathetic and even depressed as a result of withdrawal from the drug. Dexedrine comes through in breast milk, forcing nursing infants to suffer side effects and subsequent withdrawal symptoms if the mother takes the drug.

    Drug Interactions

    • Certain substances, such as fruit juice and vitamin C, weaken the effects of Dexedrine. Other substances are themselves rendered less effective when combined with Dexedrine, including antihistamines and some blood pressure medications.
      Substances that heighten the effects of Dexedrine include MAO inhibitors and certain diuretics. Drugs that become more potent when taken with Dexedrine include desipramine and phenobarbitol, among others. For a complete list of Dexedrine interactions, see Resources.

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