Dexedrine: ADHD Medication FAQ

Dexedrine is an amphetamine medication used to treat ADHD via a long- or short-acting capsule. Here, get essential treatment information about uses, side effects, dosages, potential for abuse, and more.

Close up of Dexedrine pills, an ADHD medication

What is Dexedrine?

The Dexedrine spansule is an amphetamine medication delivered via a long- or short-acting capsule, taken orally, that is primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) in children ages 3-12, adolescents, and adults. It was approved for use as an ADHD medication by the FDA more than 50 years ago.

How does Dexedrine treat ADHD symptoms?

Dexedrine comes in both long- and short-acting forms. The short-acting tablet comes in 5 mg dosages. This dose usually lasts about 2 hours. The longer-acting spansule is available in 5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg sizes and is typically effective for 8 to 10 hours after administration. This permits once-daily dosing with the spansule.

Why take Dexedrine for ADHD instead of Ritalin?

When taken in equal doses, Dexedrine is a stronger medication than Ritalin.

Who can take Dexedrine?

Dexedrine has been approved for use in patients age 3 years and older.

What are the side effects associated with Dexedrine?

Most people taking Dexedrine do not experience side effects. That said, the most common side effects of Dexedrine are as follows:

  • decreased appetite
  • tremors
  • headache
  • sleep disruptions
  • dizziness
  • stomach upset
  • weight loss
  • dry mouth
  • emotional lability

Serious Side Effects of Dexedrine:

  • irregular heartbeat
  • slowed growth in children
  • seizures
  • changes in eyesight
  • increased blood pressure

Is Dexedrine habit forming?

Dexedrine has a high potential for abuse, especially among people who do not have ADHD.

Dexedrine and Other ADHD Medications: More Information