Dexedrine Withdrawal Signs, Symptoms, and Timeline
Dexedrine is the brand name of a prescription medication that contains dextroamphetamine. It is used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD.
Takeaways from this article:
Dexedrine withdrawal symptoms
Dexedrine withdrawal timeline
Dexedrine health risks
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.
Dexedrine Withdrawal Symptoms & Timeline
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 are listed below: 4,5,6
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 memory, decision making, and problem-solving abilities.7 Other signs and symptoms include anxiety, mood swings, trouble sleeping, strong cravings.6 These symptoms can last 1-2 months or longer. 6
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.