- PrintArticle Summary
- Signs, Symptoms, and Effects
- Withdrawal Timeline
- Medical Complications
- Find a Detox Center
- Dexedrine Withdrawal Medication and Treatment Programs
- Treatment Options
- Withdrawal Medications
- Tapering Off Dexedrine
- Detoxing Cold Turkey at Home
- Find Detox Programs
Dexedrine is the brand name of a prescription medication that contains dextroamphetamine. It is used to treat narcolepsy and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder by boosting attention, alertness, and energy.1,2,3
If someone uses Dexedrine for an extended period of time or abuses the medication, they can develop tolerance, dependence, and addiction.1,3 Withdrawal symptoms can arise when a person who is dependent or addicted stops taking it.
Signs can include fatigue, increased appetite, irritability, and depression. The timeline for these effects can last up to 2 weeks. Medical risks of withdrawal include heart problems, depression, and psychotic symptoms.
Due to medical and mental health risks, a person who wants to quit Dexedrine should seek professional detoxification.
Signs, Symptoms, and Effects
The most common dextroamphetamine withdrawal symptoms are extreme fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
Withdrawal signs and symptoms begin to emerge as the body adjusts to functioning without Dexedrine.
Withdrawal signs for Dexedrine and other amphetamines include a range of physical and mental health symptoms, such as: 4,5,6
- Low energy and fatigue.
- Strong hunger.
- Jittery reactions.
- Inability to sleep, then long periods of sleep.
- Poor memory.
- Low interest in pleasurable activities.
- Little desire for social interactions.
- Dreams about Dexedrine and substance use.
- Low mood with possible depression.
The onset, intensity, and duration of these effects vary according to:
- The amount of Dexedrine used.
- The frequency of use.
- The duration of use.
- The route of administration (taken orally, snorted, etc.)
- Whether the medication was combined with other substances.
- History of complicated withdrawal or mental health conditions.
Generally, someone who has used low doses of Dexedrine infrequently for a short time will experience less intense withdrawal symptoms that do not last very long. Someone who frequently abused the substance at high doses for long periods will likely have a more uncomfortable or dangerous withdrawal process.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms
As part of what’s known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), some withdrawal symptoms may persist longer than the normal timeframe of Dexedrine withdrawal.
These lingering effects can include problems with executive control in the brain, which impacts:7
- Decision making.
- Problem-solving abilities.
Other signs and symptoms include:
- Mood swings.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Strong cravings. 6
These symptoms can last 1-2 months or longer. 6
Dexedrine withdrawal symptoms can be quite serious and require professional treatment to ensure the person’s safety and well-being. If you are considering addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, call 1-888-935-1318Who Answers? to find options.
|Typical Dexedrine Withdrawal Timeline|
|Time Since Quitting||Symptoms|
|The crash (few hours to a day after quitting)||People who abuse stimulants such as Dexedrine tend to use them in binges.4,5 When the binge ends, the user goes through a “crash” as the drug’s effects wear off. Symptoms can appear within a few hours or up to one day following the last use of Dexedrine.6 During this time, the user will often be unable to sleep and appear jittery.4|
|24 hours to 5 days after last use||As withdrawal continues, the person will become very tired, hungry, and thirsty. In this stage, the person will require large meal portions, plenty of fluids, and a calm environment to rest.5|
|5 days to 2 weeks after last use||Dexedrine withdrawal signs usually last from 3 to 5 days. But they can last as long as 2 weeks.6,7 The symptoms of protracted withdrawal, when present, can last 1-2 months or longer.7|
The medical risk of Dexedrine withdrawal is low. But as a result of prolonged stimulant abuse, some individuals in withdrawal may experience:5
- Cardiac problems, which may develop in some users due to the cardiotoxic effects of Dexedrine on the heart and cardiovascular system. Potential issues include ischemia (poor blood flow to the heart), infarction (heart attack), or stroke.
- Seizures, which are rare, but have been known to occur during stimulant withdrawal.
Some people may become so depressed that they harm themselves or attempt suicide.
The largest medical risks of Dexedrine withdrawal are severe depression, agitation, and psychotic symptoms. These effects can be more intense and prevalent in people with a previous mental health history.4,5,6
Some people may become so depressed that they harm themselves or attempt suicide. Other people may become disconnected from reality during detoxification and experience hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. These symptoms may trigger violence and aggression toward others.
Other problems such as poor sleep, headaches, and anxiety may be treated with prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Due to the potential for dangerous mental and physical health complications, Dexedrine withdrawal should always be taken seriously and treated by a professional.
Find a Detox Center
Read next: Dexedrine Withdrawal Medications and Help
. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2015). Dexedrine.
. U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. (2016). Dextroamphetamine.
. National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. (2016). Prescription Stimulant Medications (Amphetamines).
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2001). Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders: Quick Guide for Clinicians.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.
. World Health Organization. (2009). Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Setting.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2010). Protracted Withdrawal.
. National Institute of Health. (2010). The Brain: Understanding Neurobiology.
Dexedrine Withdrawal Medication and Treatment Programs
Dexedrine, also known by its generic name dextroamphetamine, is a prescription stimulant medication intended to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.1 Some users may abuse the drug to enhance its pleasurable effects or to stay awake and study or work.
Detoxing cold turkey can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, and relapse.
Dexedrine abusers may develop a dependence on the drug, which occurs when the body goes through physiological changes after taking the drug for a period of time.2 Dependence can cause users to experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit or cut down.2 Symptoms may include depression, low energy, and sleeping problems.2
Detox centers and other withdrawal treatment programs help Dexedrine users safely go through withdrawal. These programs may prescribe medications to help treat anxiety, depression, and sleep problems. Medical providers may also slowly taper users off Dexedrine to reduce the intensity of symptoms. Detoxing cold turkey can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, and relapse.
Need Help for Dexedrine Withdrawal?
Dexedrine withdrawal treatment can provide the structure and support to begin recovering from stimulant addiction. Treatment can take place in a number of therapeutic settings.
Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Treatment
Withdrawal treatment centers provide inpatient or outpatient care that is aimed at eliminating cravings for alcohol and drugs so that rehabilitation treatment can begin.
- Detoxification centers allow users to withdraw from Dexedrine while staying in a drug-free facility. Detox programs are staffed with medical and mental health professionals who are able to monitor a person’s withdrawal symptoms 24 hours a day. When detox is complete, the person can transition to inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment for additional support.
- Inpatient detox and recovery programs provide both withdrawal treatment and temporary housing. Like detoxification centers, inpatient programs are able to closely monitor withdrawal symptoms throughout the day. However, inpatient programs also provide addiction treatment in the form of group, individual, and family therapy after the user has detoxed. Luxury and executive inpatient programs offer high-end features such as swimming, horseback riding, and private rooms as well as Internet-connected workspaces.
- Outpatient detox and recovery programs also provide help for people going through withdrawal. Outpatient treatment offers therapy and medications to treat withdrawal symptoms, but these services are provided on a less frequent basis than other forms of treatment. Outpatient programs do not offer housing or 24-hour care.
There are currently no medications with FDA approval to specifically treat Dexedrine withdrawal. However, doctors may treat Dexedrine withdrawal with the same medications used to treat withdrawal from cocaine.4 These medications may help relieve some of the symptoms of withdrawal and reduce the risk of relapse.
Medications that may be used to treat Dexedrine withdrawal include:
- Sleep medications such as the antihistamines Benadryl and hydroxyzine (brand name Vistaril), and the antidepressant trazodone (brand name Desyrel) may be used to treat insomnia during withdrawal.3
- Mirtazapine (brand name Remeron), an antidepressant, has been shown to reduce anxiety during withdrawal.3,5
- Modafinil (brand name Provigil), a medication that promotes wakefulness, is under review as a possible treatment for cocaine dependence and has been shown to improve abstinence in cocaine-dependent subjects.3,6
Medications are one important aspect of Dexedrine withdrawal treatment. In addition to medications, effective treatment involves support, education, and lifestyle changes.3
Tapering Off Dexedrine
Attempting to taper without professional help or treatment can result in more severe withdrawal symptoms.
Doctors may gradually taper users off of Dexedrine, rather than stopping the drug all at once.2 Tapering involves slowly decreasing the dose to ease the withdrawal process and reduce the likelihood of severe depression and fatigue.1 Medical professionals may develop a taper schedule depending on how much of the drug was being used, as well as a person’s body weight, height, and overall health.
Medical professionals consider many factors when developing a taper. Attempting to taper without professional help or treatment can result in more severe withdrawal symptoms, physical discomfort, and possible relapse. The safest way to taper off of Dexedrine is to consult with a healthcare provider.
Detoxing Cold Turkey at Home
Dexedrine withdrawal is generally not life-threatening. But it increases the risk of psychological problems. People withdrawing from Dexedrine may experience depression and suicidal thoughts.3 Treatment programs are able to monitor these symptoms and provide medications and therapy as needed.
Detoxing without the support of a structured treatment program may also increase the risk of a relapse. Many users in withdrawal have cravings, or strong urges to use the drug. The treatment provides a drug-free environment and helps teach tools to cope with cravings. Without the support of treatment, users may be at higher risk of acting on their cravings.
Find Detox Programs
. MedlinePlus. (2016). Dextroamphetamine.
. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Misuse of prescription drugs.
. 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.
. Srisurapanont, M., Jarusuraisin, N., & Kittirattanapaiboon, P. (2001). Treatment for amphetamine withdrawal. The Cochrane Library.
. Kongsakon, R., Papadopoulos, K. I., &Saguansiritham, R. (2005). Mirtazapine in amphetamine detoxification: A placebo-controlled pilot study. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 20(5), 253-256.
. 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.