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Dexedrine is a central nervous system stimulant prescribed primarily to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is a brand name for the parent drug Dextroamphetamine. This drug stimulates physical and cognitive processes by increasing dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin levels in the brain. These three neurotransmitters control;
- brain functioning
It is abused as a cognition enhancer, euphoriant and aphrodisiac. Tolerance develops quickly, leading to addiction among many recreational users.
Physical Side Effects
This and other amphetamines enhance analgesic effects of opioids such as Vicodin and Oxycontin. Although it causes tachycardia in some people, a study from 2011 found no correlation between heart attack or stroke and the doctor-prescribed use of Dexedrine for medical purposes. However, people with heart or circulatory disease should not use it.
Severity of the side effects vary among individuals, depending on their age, weight, metabolic rate and body chemistry. Possible side effects include:
- Rapid heart beat
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Erectile dysfunction
- Blurry vision
- Dry mouth
- Nasal congestion
- Muscle tics
Normal doses will increase alertness, increase energy, improve concentration and produce a slight sense of euphoria and self-confidence. When abused, it may cause:
- Obsessive behavior
- Delusional thinking
Addicts abusing the drug for more than one year may suffer chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, severe anxiety, anorexia nervosa, seizures, kidney and or liver problems and psychotic episodes.
Compared to Adderall
Adderall contains 75 percent dextroamphetamine and 25 percent Levoamphetamine. Levoamphetamine induces stronger peripheral and cardiovascular effects than Dexedrine, Adderall tends to increase severity of Dexedrine’s side effects, particularly rapid heart beat, restlessness and insomnia.
Both are prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy, however Ritalin contains Methylphenidate. Methylphenidate is a CNS stimulant that could cause worsening of depression, bipolar disorder or psychotic disorder in people diagnosed with one of these mental illnesses. In addition, Ritalin may discolor toes and fingers due to impeding circulation to the extremities in people with circulatory issues. In some cases, Ritalin may interfere with normal growth of teenagers and children.
Vyvanse is another drug prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy containing this drug and lisdexamfetamine. Listed as a Schedule II controlled substance by the U.S. DEA, lisdexamfetamine has a high potential for dependence and abuse. It may damage the heart and may slow growth among children if weight loss is substantial.
Currently, no pharmacological treatment for addiction to this drug exist. Behavioral treatment is indicated following a medical detoxification that involves cognitive behavioral therapy, life skills counseling and adjunct aerobic exercise programs to improve the outcome of Dexedrine and most psychostimulant addiction treatment. Research indicates that aerobic exercise appears to reduce reinstatement of cravings and drug-seeking behavior while decreasing dopamine levels in the brain.