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?

More common: False sense of well-being; irritability; nervousness; restlessness; trouble sleeping. Note – after these side effects have worn off, the patient may experience drowsiness, trembling, unusual tiredness or weakness, or mental depression.

Less common: Blurred vision; changes in sexual desire or decreased sexual ability; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness or lightheadedness; dryness or mouth or unpleasant taste; fast or pounding heartbeat; headache; increased sweating; loss of appetite; nausea or vomiting; stomach cramps or pain; weight loss.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible of any of the following side effects occur:

More Common: Irregular heartbeat

Rare: Chest pain; fever, unusually high; skin rash or hives; uncontrolled movements of head, neck, arms, and legs with long-term use or at high doses: Difficulty in breathing; dizziness or feeling faint; increased blood pressure; mood or mental changes; pounding heartbeat; unusual tiredness or weakness

Is Dexedrine habit forming?

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

More Information on Dexedrine and Other ADHD Medications:

Read Our Full Medication Overview and User Reviews of Dexedrine
Adderall: Complete ADHD / ADD Medication Overview
Free Download: A Parent’s Guide to ADHD Medications