Dextroamphetamine Withdrawal Medication and Treatment
Dextroamphetamine is a prescription stimulant drug used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. 1 It is also available under the brand names Dexedrine and ProCentra. 1 Stimulants such as dextroamphetamine can be habit-forming, and users may experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to cut down or quit. 1,2
Detox programs help people safely get through withdrawal. Treatment providers may administer medications to reduce discomfort and treat symptoms such as depression and insomnia. They may also develop a taper to slowly wean users off of dextroamphetamine. In some instances, detoxing from dextroamphetamine without professional treatment can pose serious risks, including depression, heart problems, and stroke. Seeking help for dextroamphetamine withdrawal can ensure a safer detox process.
Treatment Options for Dextroamphetamine Withdrawal
Drug withdrawal treatment centers include hospitals as well as residential rehabilitation centers. Dextroamphetamine withdrawal treatment may take place in one of the following settings:
- Detoxification centers provide 24-hour care for users during withdrawal, typically 5 to 10 days. Detox centers carefully monitor withdrawal symptoms, administer medications and other treatments to reduce pain and ensure safety, and refer people to other treatment programs after detox is complete.
- Inpatient detox and rehab programs offer 24-hour treatment for withdrawal. Similar to detox centers, inpatient programs supervise and treat withdrawal symptoms until detox is complete. However, inpatient programs also offer therapy and support after withdrawal to improve abstinence and reduce the risk of a relapse. High-end inpatient/residential treatment options include luxury and executive
- Outpatient detox and rehab programs provide withdrawal treatment for a set number of hours each week. Like other forms of treatment, outpatient programs monitor withdrawal symptoms, prescribe medications, and offer support. But they do not provide 24-hour medical care since the user does not live at the facility. Partial hospitalization programs, or PHPs, typically offer treatment for 4 to 6 hours per day, 5 days per week. Intensive outpatient programs, or IOP, provide treatment for 2 to 4 hours per day, 2 or more days per week.
Some medications have been shown to help with specific symptoms of withdrawal. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any medications to treat withdrawal from stimulants such as dextroamphetamine. 2 However, some medications have been shown to help with specific symptoms of withdrawal.
- Modafinil is being investigated as a treatment for cocaine detox and may reduce the risk of a relapse. 2,3
- Mirtazapine may help alleviate depression from stimulant withdrawal. 2,4
- Antidepressants, including imipramine, reboxetine (not approved for use in the U.S.), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine, may also help treat depression during withdrawal.2,4
Some users have trouble sleeping during dextroamphetamine withdrawal. In some cases, physicians or other healthcare providers may prescribe medications such as Benadryl, trazodone, and hydroxyzine (Vistaril) to help recovering users get some rest. 2
Tapering Off Dextroamphetamine
In some cases, tapering off of stimulants such as dextroamphetamine may be the first step in the detox process. 5 Tapering, which involves slowly decreasing the dose over a period of time, can ease withdrawal symptoms. Tapering off of dextroamphetamine can be a safe and effective method for detoxing when monitored by a healthcare provider.
Detoxing Cold Turkey at Home
Detoxing cold turkey without professional care can pose serious risks. Though stimulant withdrawal is rarely life-threatening, it can cause medical and psychological problems that may be harmful if not properly treated.
- Depression. One significant danger of amphetamine withdrawal is the risk for depression. 2 Some dextroamphetamine users may experience severe depression with accompanying suicidal thoughts. It is important that these individuals be monitored closely to reduce the risk of acting on these thoughts.
- Heart problems. Detoxing from dextroamphetamine may also be complicated by issues such as heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrhythmia. 2 Detoxing at home can make it more difficult to get proper medical treatment for these conditions.
- Relapse. Detoxing cold turkey at home can also increase the risk of a relapse. Stimulant withdrawal can cause cravings to use the drug, which can be difficult to manage without the structure of a treatment program. Detoxing at home can increase the chances that a person fails to manage the craving, resulting in a relapse.
Detoxing in a professional treatment program greatly increases the chance that the withdrawal process is safe and comfortable. Detox programs are staffed with medical and mental health professionals qualified to monitor and treat withdrawal symptoms and prevent serious complications.
. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016). MedlinePlus, Dextroamphetamine.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Detoxification and substance abuse treatment. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 45. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 15-4131. Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
. Ballon, J. S., & Feifel, D. (2006). A systematic review of modafinil: Potential clinical uses and mechanisms of action. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 67(4), 554-566.
. Kitanaka, J., Kitanaka, N., & Takemura, M. (2008). Neurochemical consequences of dysphoric state during amphetamine withdrawal in animal models: A review. Neurochemical Research, 33(1), 204-219.
. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Misuse of prescription drugs.