What is Dexedrine?

Pronounced as /ˈdeksədrən,ˈdeksəˌdrēn/

Dexedrine is the brand name for the chemical compound dextroamphetamine sulfate under the amphetamine group, specifically a sympathomimetic amine substance. This substance alters the actions of the endogenous catecholamines of the sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight stimuli”). This part of the autonomic nervous system controls the body’s involuntary muscles or processes.

This medicine is prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Likewise, it’s also classified under Schedule II stimulant drugs.

What does Dexedrine look like?

This prescription drug is typically sold in the market in four shapes: round, diamond, three-sides, and Spansule. Below is a summary chart to describe the physical appearance of this drug in the market.

NameStrengthPill ImprintColorShape
Dexedrine5-mgSKF E19orangeThree-sided
Dexedrine spansule5-mg3512 5 mg SB 5 mgBrownCapsule-shape
10-mg3515 10 mg SB 10 mgBrownCapsule-shape
15-mg3514 15 mg SB 15 mgBrown&clearCapsule-shape
Dexedrine tablet10-mg10 MIAPeachRound
10-mg“M” and “10”WhiteDiamond
10-mg“953 10” and “b”PinkRound
10-mgN 942PinkRound

What are the other names of Dexedrine?

This prescription CNS substance is known by the following brand names:

  • Dexedrine
  • Zenzedi
  • ProCentra
  • Dextrostat

Its generic name is dextroamphetamine sulfate.

What are the street names?

The drug is known in the streets by different names, depending on the area or what it is mixed with.

Here are some

Street names:

  • Dex
  • Bennies
  • Uppers
  • Speed
  • Beans
  • Dexies
  • Beauties
  • Go pills
  • L.A. turnarounds
  • West Coast turnarounds
  • Pep pills

What is Dexedrine used for?

This prescription drug is a sympathomimetic amine substance which is mainly used as a standard treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The formulation of this medicine aims for a gradual release of an active chemical in the blood. The effect is improved focus and stable behavior for patients.

In addition, an old usage of this substance is to treat narcolepsy or inability to sleep well. Meanwhile, during the 1970s, this prescription drug was known as Obetrol and used to treat obesity.

How does Dexedrine work?

This sympathomimetic chemical substance treats ADHD and narcolepsy by targeting the sympathetic nervous system in multiple mechanisms. These mechanisms include inhibition for the uptake of adrenergic and dopamine, enhanced secretion of monoamines, and the inhibition of monoamine oxidase.

Medication using this prescription drug induces peripheral actions such as an increase in blood pressure and enhanced respiratory action. Likewise, it stimulates dopamine secretion in the mesocorticolimbic system which later induces a euphoric feeling.

How strong is Dexedrine?

This prescription drug has a high addictive potential comparable to methamphetamines and amphetamines. In history, during World War II, the main chemical component of this medicine together with meth was used by the soldiers to keep them awake and alert always.

This substance has also been classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule II stimulant. An amount less than 15mg of this substance exhibits the same addictive level as cocaine, meth, methadone, hydromorphone and other illicit drugs under Schedule II.

When using this prescription drug to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, proper dosage must be observed to avoid any strong side-effects of this substance. Below are the recommended dosages when using this drug for medication of the two illnesses.


  • Common dosage is 5-60mg daily which is divided depending on the patient’s response to medication
  • Initial dose for 6-12 years old: 5mg per day, increments for daily dose can be 5mg per week and stop until a full response is achieved
  • Initial dose for 12 years and above: 10mg per day, increments for daily dose can be 10mg per week and stop until a full response is achieved

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • A Spansule capsule formulation is not advised for administration for patients younger than 6 years

For patients ages 6 years and above: Initial dose at 5mg once or twice a day; daily dose can be increased by 5mg per week until a full response is achieved

How long does Dexedrine stay in your system, blood, urine, saliva, hair?

If you are to undergo a drug test, you may be wondering how long this drug stays in your system.

  • Blood test: 1-2 days
  • Urine test: 1-2 days
  • Saliva test: 1-2 days
  • Hair test: up to 90 days

How does one get addicted to Dexedrine?

This prescription drug is comparable to methamphetamine and cocaine in terms of addictive potentials. Addiction is directly linked to tolerance on any substance. Addiction to this drug starts when the persons take it in for the wrong reason such as to gain an academic achievement, to enhance sports skills, to lose weight, to fight mental fatigue, and to attain an intense feeling of excitement.

Intranasal and intravenous methods of taking in the chemical substance pose a higher chance for the person to get addicted. These two methods give a faster euphoric sensation for the user.

How does Dexedrine use affect the brain and the body?

This is a CNS stimulant drug which promotes the production of two neurotransmitters: dopamine and norepinephrine. The neurotransmitter dopamine induces the pleasure sensation or euphoric feeling. Meanwhile, norepinephrine gives that adrenaline effect.

Enhancing the production and secretion of these two neurotransmitters gives off the following effects: inhibits mental fatigue, enhances mood, provides intense excitement, and activates the senses.

What are the short and long-term effects of Dexedrine?

This medicinal substance can cause both short-term and long-term effects. Below are the following effects when using this drug:

Short-term effects:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Nervousness
  • Inability to sleep well
  • Stomach ache
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Being bleary-eyed

Long-term effects:

  • Sexual impotency
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension
  • Psychosis
  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • High-level irritability
  • Paranoia

Why is Dexedrine dangerous?

This chemical substance is very dangerous. Extensive dosage and abuse of it will lead to cardiovascular failure, cerebral hemorrhage, gastrointestinal malfunction, and respiratory failure. Both short-term and long-term effects of this prescription drug can be dangerous if taken for granted, considering there’ll be dosage increments for those who have gained dependence.

Moreover, improper use of this drug paired with other illicit stimulants can lead to severe psychosis, chronic intoxication, and schizophrenia.

What causes Dexedrine overdose?

Drug overdose is directly linked to a person’s tolerance. Overdose for this drug rarely happens at low dosages, less than 15mg. Severe reactions can be observed at 30mg dosage while more damaging effects can be induced for 400-500mg dosage.

What are the signs of an overdose?

Overdosage from this prescription drug has several symptoms which vary in intensity depending on the amount taken and frequency. Below are some of the typical signs and symptoms for Dexedrine overdose:

  • Agitation
  • Uncontrolled body shaking
  • Overreaction to an external condition
  • Death of muscle fibers
  • Fast breathing pattern
  • Increased aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic attacks

How do you treat Dexedrine overdose?

In order to help those people who have experienced overdose with this drug, the following treatments or procedures are recommended:

  • The patient must be refrained and protected against self-injury and external situations that might exacerbate his stimuli.
  • If needed, the patient’s current content inside his stomach must be flushed out.
  • Other options for detoxifying the inside of the patient’s stomach is through the ingestion of activated charcoal or cathartic.
  • The patient can also undergo peritoneal dialysis or the removal of waste from the blood.
  • The person can take chlorpromazine which counteracts stimulant effects induced by amphetamine intoxication.

What are the withdrawal symptoms from Dexedrine?

Withdrawal symptoms of this drug may occur after a few hours after the drug is last taken, peaking 24 to 48 hours after use. Abrupt cessation from excessive dosage results to severe fatigue, mental retardation, and irregular sleeping patterns. Below are some of the other evident symptoms for withdrawal:

  • Skin diseases
  • Inability to sleep
  • High-level of irritability
  • Intense agitation state
  • Chills
  • Muscle pains
  • Bad dreams
  • Apathy
  • Temporary psychosis

How can you treat Dexedrine addiction?

Abuse for any kind of prescription or illicit drugs is treatable. Treatment must be done step-by-step for complete recovery. You can consider the following steps for your treatment process:

  • Consult your medical personnel or clinician for a comprehensive guideline in order to recover from drug dependence.
  • Reward System: A contingency management plan where sets of rewards will be given to the patients who avoid using this drug.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A treatment process seeking to determine the variables causing drug abuse, risk reduction methods, and enhancing coping mechanisms.
  • Recovery Group: A community-based plan which allows the patient to meet other victims and have a sharing about their experiences and success.