Dextroamphetamine is a stimulant marketed under brand names such as Dexedrine, ProCentra, Zenzedi, and in previous branded versions such as Dextrostat. It is also commonly prescribed in combination with amphetamine, under the trade name Adderall. It is used to treat symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. It is also given to people who suffer from narcolepsy.1
Effects of Dextroamphetamine
Dextroamphetamine can create significant physical and psychological dependence in people who use the drug illegally or take it more often or in higher doses than prescribed. 1 Dependence means the brain and body come to rely on the substance for everyday functioning. Abusers can also develop a tolerance and need higher and higher doses to feel the desired effects, driving the development of dependence. 1
People who have been taking dextroamphetamine in large doses or for an extended period of time are at a high risk of withdrawal symptoms. The most common dextroamphetamine withdrawal symptoms are extreme fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Withdrawal may be accompanied by significant mental health issues, such as suicidal thoughts, as well as potentially lethal medical outcomes, including heart attack and stroke. 7
Dextroamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms
Dextroamphetamine withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Vivid dreams.
- Inability to sleep or sleeping more than normal.
- Increased appetite.
- Slow movements.
- Depression. 3
These symptoms will vary depending on the dose, frequency, individual physiology, mental health history, and abuse of other drugs.
How Long Does Dextroamphetamine Withdrawal Last?
Withdrawal symptoms can last from 3 days to 2 weeks, though some people may continue to have symptoms for 1-2 months. 4,5 The timeline for withdrawal symptoms is dependent on several factors. The length of detox can vary based on the amount of the drug in a user’s system and how long someone has been using.
Medications and Dextroamphetamine Withdrawal
Dextroamphetamine withdrawal symptoms can be controlled by coming off of the drug gradually and under the supervision of a healthcare provider. In some cases, the doctor will prescribe a medication to control certain symptoms, such as depression or anxiety. 7 For some people, these symptoms can become so uncomfortable that they start taking the drug again just to feel normal.
People who have been abusing dextroamphetamine or are addicted to the drug may benefit from supervised detoxification before entering addiction treatment and rehabilitation. Dextroamphetamine detox is comparable to detox for other stimulants, such as cocaine. It is often best accomplished by entering an inpatient detox facility that can restrict access to the drug and prescribe medications for withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawing From Dextroamphetamine: Options for Help
Treatment professionals may urge users to stop dextroamphetamine gradually, under medical supervision, to minimize or avoid these types of withdrawal symptoms.2 Inpatient and outpatient treatment options are available for both withdrawal treatment and to help people overcome an addiction to dextroamphetamine. The most common ways people access help from Dextroamphetamine are through inpatient and outpatient treatment.
The detox from dextroamphetamine usually takes 3 to 5 days. But some people may continue to have symptoms, such as fatigue and cravings, for up to 2 months. 4
Inpatient and outpatient options for dextroamphetamine withdrawal treatment are available at hospitals, clinics, and residential care facilities. The option you select will be based upon what level of treatment you need and your schedule.
Detox should be followed by a period of substance abuse education and ongoing behavioral therapy to help identify the reasons for past drug abuse and teach the person new ways of thinking and acting.
Like detox, dextroamphetamine addiction treatment is also available on an inpatient and outpatient basis in facilities that provide short-term and long-term care. Residential treatment for at least 90 days is often recommended for people with multiple addictions or with a history of relapsing. 6
Are There Any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?
Home remedies or natural alternatives are not recommended due to the possibility of relapse and the development of severe depression and suicidal thoughts. A medical provider in a detox program can help ease the discomfort of withdrawal and help relieve cravings for the drug.
. Food and Drug Administration. (2006). Dexedrine.
. Medline Plus. (2016). Dextroamphetamine.
. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.
. SAMHSA. (2010). Protracted Withdrawal.
. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Duration of Treatment.
. SAMHSA. (2015). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.
Dextroamphetamine Information at a Glance Sources
. DrugBank. (n.d.). Dextroamphetamine.
. U.S. Library of Medicine. (2016). Dextroamphetamine.
. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing.
. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Dextrostat.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Prescription Drug Misuse Among College Students.