Aim:  Dexamphetamine has 3 main uses in adult psychiatry.

  1. To supplement the benefits obtained from antidepressants;
  2. To overcome chronic exhaustion or excessive need for sleep (which can sometimes occur as a side effect of the needed dose of antidepressants; and
  3. To treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (the medication si widely used in children for this reason).

 

Mechanism of Action:  This medication increases the availability and the release of chemicals in the brain known as neurotransmitters, whose balance controls depression.

 

Dosage:  It is important to use the lowest dose possible so that the production of brain neurotransmitters can keep up with the extra supply demanded by the use of Dexamphetamine.  High doses of Dexamphetamine run the risk of transient benefit followed by a worsening of symptoms, due to exhaustion of the supply of neurotransmitters.  For most people, 3 to 6 tablets per day is the best dose.

 

Timing of Medication:  As this medication is strongly energising it must be taken in the morning and perhaps also at lunchtime in a lower dose.  The effects usually last 4 to 6 hours approximately.  Before or after food does not matter.  Taking the medication late in the afternoon or at night will probably interfere with your sleep.

 

Addiction:  High dose and prolonged use run the risk of addiction.  Do not try to increase the dose without discussing this with your doctor.  From time to time, we will reduce and try to stop the medication for a few days, provided your symptoms are tolerable with this tactic. Note that this medication is considerably different to methamphetamine (ice).

 

Side Effects:  You may experience some, or none, of the following:

  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Agitation, anxiety, irritability, mood swings.
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure, palpitations, dizziness.
  • Jaw clenching and grinding teeth.
  • Loss of appetite, hands shaking, sexual problems.
  • Rare: – Addiction, paranoid feelings, psychotic symptoms, convulsions.

 

Legal Controls:  A Department of Health permit allowing the medication to be prescribed for you is usually compulsory in most countries.  Your doctor and the Department of Health will monitor the number of tablets you are prescribed.

 

This information is intended to improve your knowledge of the treatment you are receiving.  Any further points can be discussed at your next consultation with your doctor.

 

Important Disclaimer:  This site is medical information only, and is not to be taken as diagnosis, advice or treatment, which can only be decided by your own doctor.

44 thoughts on “Dexamphetamine

  1. glenn says:

    do they ? Iam on 5-5-3 per day l had double deep depression and adhd l don’t have any depression now ! 3 so years wasted on trying antidepression drugs that make you eat and sleep all the time overweight and dietb 2 ….96kgs to now 77kgs in 6months !

    • Adrian Forrest says:

      Hi Glen hope you are travelling well. Been a while but are you still taking Dex or a stimulant for your depression. Is it a mono therapy or augmented ? I have treatment resistant depression and after 2 decades of being a lab rat I am over it and looking for alternatives . Note also have had ECT and TMS . Cheers

      • Miff says:

        I tried lots of antidepressants, augmented with quetiapine, tried ECT unilateral then bilateral. Then started Dex. It felt like I woke up for the first time in more than a decade. My thoughts and feelings suddenly lost that slow and blurry feeling that comes with a severe depressive episode. I could talk where before I was silent. I was reactive to my environment , feeling a broader range of emotions. It was TERRIFYING, and increased my anxiety/panic symptoms for a while, so I was glad I started it as an inpatient and had 3 weeks on it before going home. But I also knew it was good. I was able to get more out of therapy. I lost 10kg and had to closely monitor my diet and take up regular weight training to make sure I had enough nutrients and muscle bulk (never in my life did regular exercise before) it is the best thing I’ve done for my mood and quality of life after dozens of psych hospital admissions, I have been pretty well for more than 18 months now. For me it was well worth trying. Good luck!

        • April Wireman says:

          Miff, God Bless you I am so happy the DEX has heled you. It sounds like you have been through a really rough period and now your back. Reading your comment really touched my heart. May an angel continue to keep looking over you and keep the depression away, I myself have suffered from deep depression, and like you said when it goes away you feel like you woke up and realized you missed so much. You are in my prayers that your depression will stay away.

    • john says:

      Hi there Colleen, I had severe depression and panic disorder. My psychiatrist tried 9 different antidepressants with no much difference. He then tried something different. He prescribed Dexamphetamine 5 mg along with Mirtazapine for sleep. OMG huge difference. No depression, agraphobia almost gone and panic disorder under control. It’s a little overwhelming at first but had made a huge difference and the difference came within about 1.5 weeks. So to answer your question yes, it definitley helped me : )

      • Adrian Forrest says:

        Hi John hope you are going well and happy new year and thanks for your post .I am crippled with MDD at the moment having been suffering for over 2 decades with no substantial relief . Have been studying stimulants as a guy I was in hospital last year and has great results and training for a half marathon at 60yo . You rarely do that when your majorly depressed. Anyway at 58yo life is flashing by my eyes . No quality of life entertaining the “ golden years” . I am also on Metazapan pm and 300 mg wellbutan ( off Kable zyban) curios to no of the stimulants are still working and what type it is eg Dex ect . Also what is the augmentation medication other than mataz. Sorry if a lot of questions but talking to end users is sometimes more intuitive than the “ Pros “ thanks mate . Cheers

        • M says:

          Hi Adrian (and Colleen). Adrian, after reading your comment I wanted to share my experience with you. I have been diagnosed with MDD, EDD, anxiety, mild PTSD and on the spectrum of ADD and BPD. I have been on countless meds since the age of 16 with minimal improvement -from a variety of antidepressants, anxiolytics, mood stabilisers, anti psychotics, Ritalin and I have undergone years (on and off) of CBT and DBT. I am now almost 27 (so a decade later) and about 4 weeks ago I was prescribed Dex. I am already on a small cocktail of meds, but the addition of Dex has changed my life. To best describe it, I feel like my soul has finally come alive whereas before I was a shell of a human on “autopilot”, alternating between feeling numb to all emotions, massive lows or huge mood swings. I am now able to feel a wider range of emotions (both good and bad) but I feel balanced enough to sit with them and work through them without unhealthy coping mechanisms. I feel calmer, my sleep cycle has completely regulated itself, I easily stick to (and even crave) routine and I have even been able to resume my studies. Of course I have my bad days, but I am human after all! I wish you all the best on your path to finding relief and I hope my insight can be of some help.

    • Caz says:

      I Have beenen prescribed dex dor depression and it has no effect at at and 2 take 60mg for some reason some medications dont work or have an opposite reacton

  2. Jason Koval says:

    Colleen, I havn’t noticed anxiety going away. I do have loss of appetite which is good because dex also fights impulses like binge eating. I’ve been on forms of dexamphetamine or close to 11 years since I was 22. I’ve gone periods without, and my overall life outlook was worse(not terrible) and when I Re started medication (10mg capsules sustained release 1-6 daily) I saw overall quality of life go up. So for depression I can see how it would work even though I’m not depressed before or after, I was diagnose with ADHD as an adult and have been on 10mg capsules for 11 years, I did try Vyvanse, which I thought worked really well and really curbed my impulses for binge eating. I hope this helps! 🙂

  3. Bradley says:

    What is it like to ween of dex eventually? I don’t want it to be a problem unbearable.
    And will i be taking this for the rest of my life?

  4. Sandro says:

    Today was my first day on dex. I’ve been suffering major depression disorder with psychotic features for 4 years on and off. I’ve been in hospital for a week now and after today can see glimpses of light and positivity in my mind

    • RZ Reader says:

      Have been on Concerta / Ritlan for 5 years for ADHD side effects with depression and anger… had a major decline into depression and started lexapro…. helpeed depression but hate the side effects… have stopped Concerta and Lexapro and started on Dex… 5MG 3 times a day…. 2 weeks and everything is great. Depression gone, ADHD / Focus good, Libido good,

      • Adrian Forrest says:

        Hi RZ reader thanks for your post way back when . I am curious on how you are travelling with the stimulants. If you are still taking it , is it a mono therapy or augmented with something else . Sorry for all the questions but desperately trying to get some sort of quality of life . Cheers

    • Daniel Gibbons says:

      I’m surprised they gave you dex with psychotic features as psychosis is apparently from too much dopamine and dex raises dopamine.

      • Liam says:

        Dexamphetamine’s reverse transport mechanism through TAAR1 has anti-psychotic properties at therapeutic doses. Naturally this feature can be overridden with higher doses, but 5-10mg per dose shouldn’t cause psychosis with the pharmacology of dexamphetamine.

    • Adrian Forrest says:

      Hi Sandro I know it’s been a while since you’re post but how is the stimulants going re your recovery. I am thinking about talking to my psyc doc re starting this therapy. I am diagnosed MDD and probably undiagnosed ADD ?? Thanks

  5. Luke Parry says:

    Why is it an antidepressant I’ve been taking them for my anxiety and depression but it is making me more anxious and depressed I’ve seen many doctors and all they do is increase dosage I’m now on the highest dosage of 12 a day i can’t handle it i don’t want to take them anymore it’s making me feel more anxious and more depressed please what can I do

    • Angela says:

      I get the exact same affect, my anxiety is worse, I feel depressed and I’m always on edge, it fills my personality so much but it helps me at work to focus, I stopped taking them for 6 weeks and loved being fun and bubbly and happy again but I hate when I take them my anxiety shoots through the roof, I don’t know if this is normal or what is going on but it’s ruin my relationship…

      • kylie says:

        Dexy is for some and not for others…I was on Zoloft for many years for depression, but still struggled with the black dog while on Zoloft…I tried Dexies 12 years ago after my son was diagnosed with ADHD (also think I am ADHD but wasn’t known of in my time as a child and was advised I woudln’t be able to get prescribed dexies)…the dexies worked awesome for me…so maybe depends IF you are depressed or ADHD…think I need to try and get on them permanently now but not too sure how…

        • Christopher says:

          If you have evidence of childhood distractability/hyperactivity/attention issues (i.e. ADD/ADHD symptoms), that can be used as evidence in leiu of having started as a child.

    • Anita Player says:

      That seems like a very strange thing for your doctor to do, maybe once, just to see if there was any improvement, but if symptoms increased- immediately take the person off them, NOT bump them up to a realy high dose, they should only do that if your showing definate signs of improvement. I can see how the medication may help with depression, but anxiety? I could see it making a person more anxious and jittery (even a person who doesn’t normaly suffer with those symptoms.
      And please remember, you don’t HAVE to take them- no one can make you! You’re the only person in the world who knows exactly how those tablets make you feel, and if they make you feel worse or bad in any way—Stop Them!- tell your doctor you want to try something else, it’s your right and your perogative, and if he doesn’t like it (and some don’t like their opinions questioned), go to another doctor. Just a little joke to make you feel better about all this- “What is the difference between God and a doctor? Answer- God doesn’t think he’s a doctor” 🤣. Good luck.
      Anita.

  6. Suzie says:

    Wow – Interesting (maybe worrying?) comments from a lot of people here. I truly believe each drug can have a different effect for each individual.
    When I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety 9 years ago, the psychiatrist immediately tried all sorts of different drugs, higher doses, etc, and also many sessions of electro-convulsive therapy. I’ve been on 6 x Dexamphetamine plus 300mg Venlafaxine per day for 6 or 7 years now but he recently added 30mg Lumix to the mix, which he suggests should increase effects of the other two drugs, and it has certainly made me more awake and aware. I think doctors can only work on trial and error based on what they see and hear from their patient so … it’s up to YOU to really communicate to your doctor whether you’re feeling better or worse. I know it’s yet another struggle but you have to keep on working at it until you have the life your want. Good luck with getting and feeling better!!!
    PS: I found my dog was the best thing to keep me going and to make me feel happier. 😉

  7. Nulla says:

    Have pts from 5years of age.. Drinking and smoking at 14years.then cannibs at 16 smack and speed at 18..not much smack got on methadone and was on it For 20to25years…got down to 8ml form 100ml..8ml to hard for to long… Got on subtext. It was like magic.. Involved in a car accident.. Done my back and whiplash my neck and now I am on 4ml of sunshine.. Because of trauma i was in no state to go to primary school but went any way and stared out the window a lot… No concertraction ..had a son at 41years..they(school and doctors) picked up his adhd ….ritilan no good for him… He didn’t like it.. That’s the only drug they tried on him.. He is on no medication… Mum thinks l have add.. I think it is because of the trauma.. Can’t concentrate.. Have problems reading… Doctor thinks i have add.. I think I have add symptoms because of trauma.. Doctor put me on dex a few years ago.. I think it has been beneficial in my situation.. Was on vyvanse for a week or two but to strong for me.. I am now 57

  8. Jj1234 says:

    Omg, really suffering with the anti depressants I’ve been prescribed atm. Lexapro: weight gain, zonked out, acne, less sexual function. literally days spent in bed. I must also add it did help with unwanted disturbing thoughts but at a cost.
    Zoloft: less side effects, still felt a bit wired and shrinking ahem “violet” syndrome.
    Luvoxamine: first day was great. Somehow the effect has gone down and starting to have negative side effects. Very hard to continue. I know an amphetamine would work for me but getting this through to a doctor is very hard in Qld.

    • Miriam Conroy says:

      Mimzy says:
      Ask your doctor for an ADHD med for concentration and depression on a trial basis. Vyvanse worked for me for several years, but am at highest dosage now, and would like my doctor to add dexedrine. He’s a good listener and has empathy, so am hopeful the answer on Monday is YES! If I were you, I would prepare to change doctors, and keep on, until you find one that listens.

  9. Myzz Harper says:

    Numbers of those with depression in Austraia are huge. We are voiceless guinea pigs. Treatment for mental health is underfunded, an ad hoc affair with apparent little coordination between the States. Phsychiatrists are simply glorified overpaid pharmascists. My own admits to being powerless and voiceless against the might of both the pharmaceutical companies, changing fashion withing phsychiatry itself and a Government who is extremely conservative, has destroyed our health care system and who’s focus is on commercializing all services within the country. I am 60 I am educated and I am a depressive on Dec and Pristiq. It is a roller coaster of mysery with little hope of improvmeant. I have tried so hard for so long to get off of Pristiq. I have reduced slowly with micro scales over 2 years but get to an impossible to tolerate discontinuation syndrome at about 30 mg. A syndrome that was denied for many years. I am trapped on medication I should not need as I took them post separation after dissolution of 30 year marriage. That was 12 years ago. I am clearly over that trauma but are now depressed and anxious because of medication. No help, no advocacy. Too worn out now.

  10. Shayne Carey says:

    I tried so many antidepressants for the last 20 years and though some worked i was just always flat, had limited libido and significant weight gain. Last year my doctor tried zayban as an alternative with lamotrigine. This was great and it’s a long time since I’ve felt this good a lot of the side effects disappeared ( very pleased about my libido. ) The only thing I’ve noticed is I can get emotional at the smallest thing. But I’m happy to accept that. We’ve recently added Dex as the next step and I have confidence in my doctor that this will only add to my wellbeing. So far so good!

  11. Hermes Tree says:

    i have suffered from chronic, treatment resistant depression for 15 years. I have been prescribed nearly every second generation antidepressant, some first generation; most atypical antipsychotics, some typical, first gen; most popular benzodiazepines as well as a host of unusual, unconventional drugs in the treatment of depression. Antidepressants, as they are made today are based on a theory of depression which remains unproven; they have, without exception, been hopeless in treatment my illness. similar are the Antipsychotics… Dexamphetamine has been a saving grace. It must be remembered that dexies are simply a licit, pill form of speed – exactly the same chemical, the only difference being that dexamphetamine is enantiomerically pure. funny how the usefulness of a drug is determined not by its actual medical usefulness, but by our interpretation of certain drug effects… The world of psychiatric medicine is foul, and it is killing us, literally. please stand up to the authors of your mental health by becoming your own, it will help all of us.

  12. Ross Shaw says:

    I have been prescribed dexamphetamine by my psychiatrist. Two 5 mg a day. I’m also on mirtazapine 45mg . I am 71 years of age and am a little frightened of the dexs. Only taken for a couple of days. I can’t really say if their was an improvement or not. Have been suffering from lack of energy and high anxiety. Do you think I should give them more of a chance.
    Thanking you.

    • Chantelle L says:

      Hey Ross

      I’ve been prescribed this medication for over 10yrs now [for narcolepsy] – I’m happy to discuss with you some, if that’ll help ease your concerns?

    • Steve says:

      Hi Ross, I am looking at a trial of doing this, also a bit scared about it, can you offer any update as to how you went with it please ?

  13. Rebecca says:

    Hi guys I am a 40 yo woman. I have been on lexapro for 8 years anxiety and depression and dexies for 2 years. I was diagnosed adhd at 38 years old. I mostly have from 2-6 per day. I have a history of trauma in my family of origin.
    My older siblings are all affected too, the oldest has depression and high functioning autistism, the second down had schizophrenia and adhd, other one has Moderate autism and adhd.
    I am wondering if I have a reaction to my dexies that makes me energetic at first and then sad and emotional pain, can that be an indication of cyclothymia or bipolar?
    Research suggests that people with siblings with schizophrenia have a 4 fold increased chance than normal population to have bipolar.
    I guess I will chat with my new psychiatrist when I go to him but I was just wondering if anyone had any links to research on the reactions to dexies being an indicator of underlying bipolar?

  14. Patrick says:

    Hi I’m a 50 yo male who has been on Effexor for over 20 years – mostly at the dosage of 300mg. While it has “stabilised” my mental state, I am in an “in-between” state , rarely happy but not bursting into tears.

    I’ve investigated online what “other options” are available and have self medicated with Direct Current Stimulation (which worked well).

    On a side note I had an operation a year ago and after a week or so I felt 1000% better (emotionally), first time in decades I was happy, energetic, coping well with stress and anxiety, wanted to exercise and was able to wake up and get out of bed at 6:30 am. I then realised it most likely could have been due to the anaesthesia.

    Has anyone had experience with this. I tried to get on a trial but was oversubscribed.

    Back to my current situation (the operation experience) got me thinking that there has to be a better situation with my current medication. After seeing and talking to a psychiatrist (explaining I could have undiagnosed autism) about my extreme tiredness, he decided to give me dexamphetamine (starting 5mg). It would really well for the first weeks (?) but after a gap of a week or two (due to a script delay) the effect has wained.

    I’m now taking 4 x 5 mg in the morning (with not too much effect) and still 300 mg of Effexor, after discussions he want to increase the Effexor by 75mg.

    Has anyone else had this experience with dexa and treatment resistance depression?

    Can anyone also recommend a good psyc in Sydney?

    Thanks

  15. Anne says:

    Dex saved my life. Only taking 3 in the morning now, along with my cocktail of other drugs, but I was lucky I found a doctor who sent me for spect tests which confirmed my bipolar diagnosis. Shit happens, but if you are prepared to keep asking questions and have a good GP (and psychologist and psychiatrist) you will reach a stage where you can live a “normal” life, also cut out the dead wood in your life, some people just like to see you suffer, you need positive reinforcement around you, wishing you ALL the best on your journey.

  16. Mike says:

    Hi guys,

    My situation is a little different to those here but I still would appreciate an opinion.

    I have been living with HIV for 32 years now. Had a brilliant career as a registered nurse until I suffered an acquired brain injury in 2003 secondary to untreated HIV. The outcome of the brain injury was the development of Bipolar Affective Disorder.

    Prior to the brain injury I was on antidepressants on and off since my late teens.

    I’m now on Na Valproate, quetiapine and duloxatine.

    For the last decade I’ve felt like I’ve been swimming through a fog and get exhausted after a few hours of being at work. The fatigue has left me unable to work. I’m also a single father but hardly effective given I’m bed 16+ hours a day or more.

    I recall a patient I had when I worked in mental health. He had HIV and was on dexamphetamines for his fatigue.

    Given my complex medical history is stimulants such as these worth a try or given the bipolar a blanket no?

    My current Psychiatist who is a HIV and other infectious diseases specialist is totally against it. He was also highly resistant to antidepressants with Bipolar but given my depression became a significant issue he relented on that.

    Thanks folks

    • Rebecca says:

      I have read that the bipolar needs to be stabilised first and then the adhd meds can be slowly introduced.Perhaps you can suggest this to your psych? It’s so hard living with mental health stuff and you have HIV too. We live in an age where HIV is luckily treatable. Is that right? Hugs dude. Stay safe from Covid

  17. Anon says:

    Hi,

    I was diagnosed yesterday at 22 with ADHD and told that my major depression, extreme anxiety, and insomnia are possibly secondary to my ADHD, and if the ADHD could be treated then hopefully the depression and anxiety could be treated at the same time. I’ve been put on dexies 5mg and told I can take between 1-2 three times a day and have been given catapres to sleep afterwards. Today is my second day taking it and so far I haven’t taken more than 3 in a day but I’m finding that if I unfocus on something I start to feel anxiety overwhelm me and have to immediately find something to refocus on (usually my phone or tv or read something). I’m hoping that this is just a settling in period and that it’s just my body getting used to the dexies. Has anyone else experienced this before?
    Thanks!

    • Shane says:

      How’d you go from then on?
      I’m 25, Just started them today,
      Told to take between 1-12 5mg daily,
      Started with 4 this morning at 7am, Then 1 more at 9am as felt nothing. 1 more 1030am, still felt next to nothing ,
      Come lunchtime (1pm)
      Dropped 6, And instant change in mental state about 30-40min later,
      Happiest iv ever felt, became aware of how all over the place I was,
      Felt on another planet, The ‘high’ dropped back to the normal everyday mood I’d say around 11pm,
      But I’m feeling that I literally cant sleep (1240am)

      I’m assuming a few restless nights ahead,
      (Luckily I own a business so iv always got things to do)

      But just wondering a rough idea of what to expect,

      I tried Vyvanse over the last 6 weeks, all the way up to 80mg, But it did nothing for me except make me agitated all day every day.

      The happiness and self awareness Iv been feeling is actually amazing

  18. Stephen Quinn says:

    Back in 1995 I was first put on dexedrine by GP but he started doing a script a month at a time and that was 25mg day but of course I’d go back for another script after a fortnight.It always made me feel so alive no depression nothing.My dose started rising to 75mg 100mg 125mg 150mg day finally I was put on 175mg day 31 pills or 217 pills on a weekly script.My tolorance had gone through the roof but I was extremely happy.Then out of blue my script was stopped after seventeen years and since I was younger I’ve had antidepressants but never ever done a thing in vanlafexine Prozac mertrix sertraline now useless.I also have ADHD as well as depression and i should be getting dexedrine again the nhs makes me so angry.Ive got phycologist but crap and I’m on now 25mg diazipam zopiclone amisulpride levetiracetam zapain more.I despretly need help I’m lost in UK stevmanchester@msn.com thx

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