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.

18 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 !

    • 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 : )

  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,

    • 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.

  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…

  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.

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