Sleep Home > Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine Uses

The primary uses of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine include treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Although amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is a stimulant, it can have a calming effect when used in the doses prescribed to treat ADHD. On the other hand, when the drug is prescribed in higher doses, it can cause a stimulating effect to help treat narcolepsy. Some off-label amphetamine and dextroamphetamine uses include treating depression and helping with weight loss.

Uses of Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine: An Overview

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall®) is a prescription medicine. Specific amphetamine and dextroamphetamine uses include:
 
  • Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Treatment of narcolepsy.
     

Using Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine for ADHD

ADHD is a condition that involves difficulty paying attention, sitting still, and controlling behavior. In ADHD, these problems are worse than expected for a typical child of the same age. Usually, the ADHD symptoms must be present before the age of seven to qualify as ADHD. The symptoms must also affect the work, school, or social life in a negative way to qualify as ADHD (see ADHD and School and Relationships and ADHD for more information).
 
Although ADHD is generally thought of as a problem in children, teenagers and adults can also have ADHD. Diagnosing ADHD in adults is different than diagnosing ADHD in children.
 
Any behavioral change involves a well-balanced ADHD treatment plan, including social, educational, and mental therapy (see Behavior Therapy for ADHD). If lifestyle changes alone are not effective in changing ADHD behavior, ADHD medications, such as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, may be necessary.
 
Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is a stimulant, although it can have the opposite effects from what would be expected of a stimulant. While stimulants (like caffeine) can cause hyperactivity, when used at doses for ADHD, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine usually has a calming effect. While the exact way amphetamine and dextroamphetamine produces a calming effect is not known, it is known that amphetamine and dextroamphetamine affects chemicals in the brain.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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