Generic name: Dextroamphetamine Sulfate
What is Zenzedi?
Zenzedi (Generic Name: dextroamphetamine sulfate) is an immediate-release stimulant medication — a tablet taken orally that is primarily used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD in children and adolescents ages 3-16. According to the FDA, Zenzedi is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. It is an amphetamine.
Zenzedi may improve focus and decrease impulsivity and hyperactive behavior, two hallmark symptoms for some patients with ADHD.
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 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 Zenzedi, and behavior therapies.
How to Use Zenzedi
Before starting or refilling a Zenzedi 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 Zenzedi
As with all medications, follow your Zenzedi prescription instructions exactly. Short-acting Zenzedi tablets are taken every 4 to 6 hours during the day. The tablets are available in 2.5mg, 5mg, 7.5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg, and 30mg doses. The first dose is typically taken first thing in the morning; tablets should be taken at the same time each day for the best results.
The optimal dosage varies widely by patient; it is not determined by age, weight, or height, but rather by how a person metabolizes the medication.
During treatment, your doctor may periodically ask you to stop taking Zenzedi so that he or she can monitor ADHD symptoms; check vital statistics including blood, heart, and blood pressure; or evaluate height and weight. If any problems are found, your doctor may recommend discontinuing treatment.
Some patients report developing a tolerance to Zenzedi after long-term usage. If you notice that your dosage is no longer controlling your symptoms, talk to your doctor to plan a course of action.
Side Effects Associated with Zenzedi
The most common side effects of Zenzedi are as follows: fast heartbeat, tremors, trouble sleeping, stomach upset, dry mouth, decreased appetite, headache, dizziness, and weight loss.
Other serious side effects include: slowed growth in children, seizures, and changes in eyesight. Zenzedi 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, heart attack, and increased blood pressure while taking Zenzedi. Amphetamines 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 Zenzedi.
Also disclose to your physician all mental health issues including any family history of suicide, bipolar illness, or depression. Zenzedi may create new or exacerbate existing behavior problems, aggression, or bipolar illness. It can cause psychotic or manic symptoms in children and teenagers. 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 Zenzedi, 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 Zenzedi.
Zenzedi can rarely lead to life-threatening serotonin syndrome, or toxicity, especially when co-administered with serotonergic agents like MAOIs, 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.
Amphetamines like Zenzedi 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 Adderall, Ritalin, 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 Zenzedi
Store Zenzedi in a secure place out of the reach of children, and at room temperature. Do not share your Zenzedi prescription with anyone, even another person with ADHD. Sharing prescription medication is illegal, and can cause harm.
You should not take Zenzedi if you:
- Have an existing heart condition or hardening of the arteries
- Have high blood pressure
- Have glaucoma
- Have hyperthyroidism
- Are very anxious, tense, or agitated
- Have a history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within 14 days
- Have an allergy to amphetamines, other stimulant medications, or other ingredients in Zenzedi
You should use caution when taking Zenzedi if you have mental problems, seizures, or circulation problems.
If you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, discuss the use of Zenzedi with your doctor. Animal studies indicate a potential risk of fetal harm. Zenzedi is passed through breastmilk, so it is recommended that mothers do not nurse while taking it.
Interactions Associated with Zenzedi
Before taking Zenzedi, discuss all other active prescription medications with your doctor. Zenzedi can have a dangerous, possibly fatal, interaction with antidepressants including MAOIs.
Exercise caution with medicines that are known to interact with amphetamines including lithium, antidepressants like SNRIs or SSRIs, seizure medications, blood pressure medications, stomach acid medications — like antacids — and cold or allergy medicines that contain antihistamines. Even over-the-counter medications may interact with Zenzedi. Speak with your doctor about all other prescription and over-the-counter medications you take.
Share a list of all vitamin or herbal supplements, like St. John’s Wort, and prescription and non-prescription medications you take with the pharmacist when you fill your prescription, and let all doctors and physicians know you are taking Zenzedi before having any surgery or laboratory tests. The above is not a complete list of all possible drug interactions.