Dextroamphetamine (also known as dextroamphetamine sulfate, dexamphetamine, dexedrine, Dexampex, Ferndex, Oxydess II, Robese, Spancap #1, and, informally, Dex), a stereoisomer of amphetamine, is an indirect-acting stimulant that releases norepinephrine from nerve terminals, thus promoting nerve impulse transmission. It increases motor activity and mental alertness, and reduces drowsiness and a sense of fatigue, decreasing motor restlessness and improves one's ability to pay attention. The drug comes in 5 mg and 10 mg tablets, or tabs.
Its only accepted indications are for children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or well-established narcolepsy, generally where non-pharmacological measures have proved insufficient. In some localities it has replaced Ritalin as the first-choice pharmacological treatment of ADHD, of which it is considered an effective treatment. Dexedrine is contraindicated for patients with a history of substance abuse.
Certain studies have been performed regarding possible alternate use for antidepressant treatment for HIV patients with depression and debilitating fatigue, early stage physiotherapy for severe stroke victims and treatment for those with methamphetamine (speed) addiction.
Possible adverse effects of dexamphetamine include insomnia, reduced appetite, dependence, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, and euphoria that may be followed by fatigue and depression. There may be dryness of mouth, abdominal cramps, headache, dizziness, tremor, sweating, palpitations, increased or sometimes decreased blood pressure and altered libido. The Physician's 1991 Drug Handbook reports: "Symptoms of overdose include restlessness, tremor, hyperreflexia, tachypnea, confusion, aggressiveness, hallucinations, and panic."
There have also been reports of growth retardation of children with long-term use, although this effect can be reduced by using drug-free periods.
Dexedrine and literature
- Steven Watson, in The Birth of the Beat Generation (2002), reports that Jack Kerouac died in 1967 "addicted to Johnny Walker Red and Dexedrine."  (http://archives.waiting-forthe-sun.net/Pages/ArtisticInfluences/Beats/BeatBios/kerouac_bio.html)