Generic Name: Methamphetamine
What is Desoxyn?
Desoxyn (Generic Name: methamphetamine) is an immediate-release, stimulant medication primarily used to treat ADHD symptoms in children ages 6-12, adolescents, and adults. Desoxyn may improve focus, and decrease impulsivity and hyperactive behavior, hallmark symptoms in some patients with ADHD. The safety and effectiveness of Desoxyn for patients under age 6 or over age 65 has not been established.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends treatment with behavioral therapy before medication for children under the age of 6. For children ages 6 to 11, the AAP says the most effective treatments for ADHD are parental behavior therapy and/or ADHD stimulants. Likewise, the National Institute of Mental Health finds the most successful treatment plans use a combination of ADHD medication, like Desoxyn, and behavior therapies.
Desoxyn can be also used as a short-term treatment for obesity in patients 12 and older.
According to the FDA, Desoxyn is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. It is an amphetamine.
How to Use Desoxyn
Before starting or refilling a Desoxyn prescription, read the medication guide included with your pills, as it may be updated with new information.
This guide should not replace a conversation with your doctor, who has a holistic view of your or your child’s medical history, other diagnoses, and other prescriptions. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking the medication.
Dosage for Desoxyn
As with all medications, follow your Desoxyn prescription instructions exactly. When treating ADHD, Desoxyn is taken orally, once or twice daily. When treating obesity, Desoxyn is typically taken a half hour before each meal. Taking Desoxyn late in the evening can cause difficulty sleeping. Tablets are available in 5mg dosages.
The optimal dosage varies by patient; it is not determined by age, weight, or height, but rather by how a person metabolizes the medication.
Your doctor may adjust your prescribed dose of Desoxyn until you or your child experiences the best response – that is, the lowest dosage at which you experience the greatest improvement in symptoms without side effects. If you or your child exceeds the prescribed daily dosage, call your doctor or poison control, or seek emergency medical care.
During treatment, your doctor may periodically ask you to stop taking your Desoxyn so that he or she can monitor ADHD symptoms; check vital statistics including heart, and blood pressure; or evaluate height and weight. If any problems are found, your doctor may recommend discontinuing treatment.
After long-term usage, some patients develop a tolerance to Desoxyn. If you notice that your current dosage is no longer controlling symptoms, talk to your doctor to plan a course of action.
Side Effects Associated with Desoxyn
The most common side effects of Desoxyn are as follows: fast heart beat, tremors, trouble sleeping, upset stomach, dry mouth, decreased appetite, headache, dizziness, and weight loss.
Other serious side effects include slowed growth in children, seizures, eyesight changes, and new or exacerbated heart and mental problems. Taking Desoxyn may impair your or your teenager’s ability to drive, operate machinery, or perform other potentially dangerous tasks. This side effect usually wears off with time. If side effects are bothersome, or do not go away, talk to your doctor.
Most people taking this medication do not experience any of these side effects.
Report to your doctor any heart-related problems or a family history of heart and blood pressure problems. Patients with structural cardiac abnormalities and other serious heart problems have experienced sudden death, stroke, and heart attack while taking Desoxyn. Stimulants can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Physicians should monitor these vital signs closely during treatment. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child experiences warning signs such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking Desoxyn.
Also, disclose to your physician all mental health issues including any family history of suicide, bipolar illness, tics/Tourette’s syndrome, or depression. Desoxyn may create new or exacerbate existing behavior or mental problems, bipolar illness, or psychotic symptoms including but not limited to hearing voices, believing things that aren’t true, or manic symptoms. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child experiences new or worsening mental health symptoms including hallucinations or sudden suspicions.
Discuss circulation problems with your doctor before taking Desoxyn, which has been known to cause numbness, coolness, or pain in fingers or toes, including Raynaud’s phenomenon. Report to your doctor any new blood-flow problems, pain, skin color changes, or sensitivities to temperature while taking Desoxyn.
Desoxyn can rarely lead to life-threatening serotonin syndrome, or toxicity, especially when co-administered with serotonergic agents like SSRIs or SNRIs. If you experience changes in mental status, coordination problems, muscle twitching, racing heartbeat, high or low blood pressure, sweating, vomiting or diarrhea, seek medical help immediately.
People with diabetes or a history of seizures should use caution when considering taking Desoxyn.
Amphetamines like Desoxyn have a high potential for abuse and addiction, especially among people who do not have ADHD. It is a “Schedule II Stimulant,” a designation that the Drug Enforcement Agency uses for drugs with a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule II drugs include Dexedrine, Ritalin, Adderall XR, and cocaine. People with a history of drug abuse should use caution when trying this medication. Taking the medication exactly as prescribed can reduce potential for abuse.
The above is not a complete list of potential side effects. If you notice any health changes not listed above, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
Precautions Associated with Desoxyn
Store Desoxyn in a secure place out of reach of children, and at room temperature. Do not share your Desoxyn prescription with anyone, even another person with ADHD. Sharing prescription medication is illegal, and can cause harm.
You should not take Desoxyn if you:
- are allergic to amphetamines or other stimulant medications
- have taken an antidepressant monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in the past 14 days
- have heart disease or hardening of the arteries
- have high blood pressure
- have hyperthyroidism
- have glaucoma
If you are thinking of becoming pregnant, discuss the use of Desoxyn with your doctor. Animal studies indicate risk of fetal harm. Desoxyn is passed through breastmilk, so it is recommended that mothers do not nurse while taking it.
The effects of Desoxyn on the elderly have not been sufficiently studied.
Interactions Associated with Desoxyn
Before taking Desoxyn, discuss all other active prescription medications with your doctor. Desoxyn can have a dangerous, possibly fatal interaction with antidepressants including MAOIs.
Desoxyn may alter the dosage of insulin required to manage diabetes, and can decrease the hypotensive effect of guanethidine.
Exercise caution with medicines that are known to interact with amphetamines including antidepressants, antipsychotics, seizure medications, blood pressure medications, stomach acid medications — like antacids — and cold or allergy medicines that contain decongestants. Even over-the-counter medications may contain ingredients that raise or lower the level of the medication in your blood to a dangerous level. Speak with your doctor about all other prescription and over-the-counter medications you take.
Share with you pharmacist a list of all vitamin or herbal supplements, and prescription and non-prescription medications you take when you fill your prescription, and let all doctors and physicians know you are taking Desoxyn before having any surgery or laboratory tests. The above is not a complete list of all possible drug interactions.
More Information on Desoxyn and Other ADHD Medications:
Free Download: The Complete Guide to ADHD Medications
Adult ADHD Treatment Options — An Overview
Primer: The Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD
A Parent’s Guide to ADHD Medications
ADDitude Directory: Find ADHD Specialists or Clinics Near You