Precautions and Warnings With Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine
There are several precautions and warnings with amphetamine and dextroamphetamine to be aware of, including potential allergic reactions, drug interactions, and the safety of taking the medication while pregnant or breastfeeding. Before taking this drug, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any health conditions, such as heart problems, high blood pressure, or any kind of mental illness.
Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?Prior to taking amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall®), you should talk with your healthcare provider if you have:
- Heart problems of any kind
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Mental illness, including bipolar disorder and psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder)
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Tourette syndrome
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
- Glaucoma (a condition of the eye)
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
It's important to also tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, antacids, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Warnings and PrecautionsPatients taking this drug should keep the following warnings and precautions in mind:
- Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine).
- Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Discuss the safety of this drug with your healthcare provider before using amphetamine and dextroamphetamine during pregnancy (see Adderall and Pregnancy for more information).
- Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider. He or she can decide whether you should or should not take amphetamine and dextroamphetamine while breastfeeding.
- Amphetamines (including amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) are often abused. Taking amphetamines for long periods of time can lead to a dependence on amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (see Adderall Abuse for more information). Because this drug is often abused, there are special rules for prescribing amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (see Adderall: A Controlled Substance for more information).
- In people with psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder), amphetamine and dextroamphetamine can worsen psychotic symptoms, such as thought disorders and behavior problems.
- There have been reports of sudden death in children and adults with heart problems who were taking normal doses of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. If you or your child has heart problems, discuss whether amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is appropriate in your situation. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you or your child develops any chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.
- Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. In most cases, the increase is small and does not cause problems. However, there is a higher risk for an increase in blood pressure and heart rate for people who already have high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, certain irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or who have recently had a heart attack.
- Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine can also worsen tics that are caused by Tourette syndrome. Tell your healthcare provider if you (or your child) have Tourette syndrome before starting this drug.
- There have been reports of priapism in people taking ADHD medications, including this one. This side effect is an abnormally long-lasting, painful erection and can cause serious, permanent damage to the penis. It can occur in males of any age. Young boys might not recognize this side effect, and males of any age might be hesitant to seek parental or medical attention, due to embarrassment. Prompt treatment is necessary to avoid damage.
Be especially on the lookout for this side effect whenever the dosage is increased or during a drug "holiday" or any other time when the drug is stopped.
- Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine can cause a temporary slowing of growth and a decreased weight gain in children. This slowing of growth is usually small (less that an inch and less than two pounds), and children usually catch up to within normal limits in time. Your child's growth should be monitored while he or she is taking amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.
- Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine may affect your ability to perform tasks that require complete concentration, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. It is recommended that you discuss this with your healthcare provider.