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.

11 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 !

  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,

  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…

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