HeadMeds gives young people in the United Kingdom general information about medication. HeadMeds does not give you medical advice. Please talk to your Doctor or anyone else who is supporting you about your own situation because everyone is different. Please read more important details about our site.

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Dexamfetamine

Return to Dexamfetamine overview
  1. Use and Action
  2. Warnings and side effects
  3. Sex, drink, weight and everything else
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Dexamfetamine does not mix well with alcohol

  • If you drink alcohol when you are taking dexamfetamine, it can make the effect of the dexamfetamine greater and you could get side-effects like you have taken too much of it. High blood pressure and increased heart rate could happen and become dangerous
  • If you decide to drink alcohol, drink only small amounts and see how it affects you and make sure you are with friends to help you if you need it.
  • Remember that some foods also contain alcohol.

Do not drive or ride a bike just after you start taking dexamfetamine

  • Taking dexamfetamine may give you blurred vision, make you feel dizzy, make it difficult to concentrate or affect your focus when you start taking it.
  • It may be best to stop doing things like driving a car, riding a bike, or anything else that needs a lot of focus for the first few days, until you know how it affects you.
  • Do not worry - most people do these things as normal while taking dexamfetamine.

 

  • There is now a ‘drug driving’ offence where someone driving dangerously, who has taken dexamfetamine, could be arrested.
  • It is important to stick to the dose on the prescription, and to check that you can drive safely while taking it.
  • You may also have to prove that you have been given dexamfetamine on prescription, so you could keep your repeat prescription slip or get a letter to explain it from your doctor.

Dexamfetamine is a banned substance in sport, and will give a positive drugs test

  • Dexamfetamine is a stimulant, and this makes it a banned substance in sport.
  • If you play sport to a high level, and want to compete where testing will happen, you will need to go back to your doctor to discuss other ways of managing your ADHD.

Dexamfetamine can affect your weight

  • A side-effect of dexamfetamine is to make you want to eat less, and this might result in weight loss.
  • It is very difficult to know how it will affect each person who takes it.
  • Talk to your doctor about this if it worries you.

Dexamfetamine can affect your growth

  • Your doctor will check your weight and height at least every 6 months
  • If you are not growing as fast as your friends, the doctor may stop the dexamfetamine for a while to let your growth recover.
  • Talk to your doctor about this if it worries you.

Dexamfetamine can affect your sleep

  • Dexamfetamine can keep you awake, as it is a stimulant.
  • Talk to your doctor about this if it worries you.

Let your family and friends know you are taking dexamfetamine so they can support you and help you look out for side effects

  • The side-effects of dexamfetamine might put a strain on your friendships and relationships, especially in the first few days of taking it.
  • You may become more nervous, irritable or aggressive, for example.
  • These side-effects should get better after a few days.
  • After a few weeks you should be getting the good effects of dexamfetamine, and that should improve your relationships in itself.
  • It might actually be a great idea to choose a good friend to tell about your medicine when you start taking it. (Or - even better - to take a friend with you to the doctor before you start taking the medicine!)
  • They could look at the medicine leaflet, or at this website. They could then help you to understand whether the medicine changes your behaviour, or gives you side-effects (sometimes it is hard for us to see it ourselves).

Dexamfetamine can have side-effects that might affect your sex life

Some of the possible side effects of dexamfetamine could affect how you feel about yourself and your sex life. These include:

  • You may have a lower sex drive or lose pleasure in having sex
  • Men may not be able to get an erection (get hard)
  • If you lose weight, or get other physical side-effects like mild hair loss, you may just not feel as sexy as before.

These effects should pass after the first couple of weeks. If they do not, and this is a problem for you, go back to the doctor and see what other treatment you could try.

We do not know whether dexamfetamine affects human fertility

• There is nothing to suggest that dexamfetamine affects the fertility of men or women

Do not take dexamfetamine if you are trying to get pregnant. We do not know how dexamfetamine affects a developing baby. Dexamfetamine can be passed to the baby in breastmilk.

  • You should use good contraception when you are taking dexamfetamine.
  • If you and your partner are trying to have a baby, you should go back to the doctor for another medicine.
  • We know very little about its effects on a developing baby, but studies suggest that amphetamines do not increase the risk of malformations.
  • Amfetamines have been linked to other pregnancy problems such as anaemia, and still birth
  • You may be more likely to need a Caesarean section when it is time to have your baby. 
  • If you do become pregnant while you are on dexamfetamine, you should carry on taking the medicine and go back to your doctor as soon as possible, to see if you should change or stop your medicine.
  • Remember, babies do better with well mums
  • If you agree with your doctor to carry on taking dexamfetamine, you should tell your midwife that you are taking it.
  • Dexamfetamine can be passed to the baby in breastmilk. Your baby will get about a twentieth of your dose and most sources will say not to breastfeed.
  • Talk to your doctor or midwife about your feeding options.

Be careful if you are also using street drugs

  • Dexamfetamine is dangerous to take with cocaine or ecstasy or other amphetamines. This is because they are all stimulants, and may together put too much pressure on your heart and the blood vessels in your brain.
  • Mixing methadone with dexamfetamine can cause serious heart problems and may trigger the serotonin syndrome
  • Dexamfetamine may add to the pain killing effects of heroin. You might hurt yourself and not feel enough pain to get help
  • We have found no information about mixing dexamfetamine with cannabis or other street drugs.

Dexamfetamine is also known as a street drug

  • Dexamfetamine is a stimulant, so some people want to use it as a drug to get high.
  • People taking dexamfetamine from their doctor can be targeted at school and bullied to give away or sell their medicine.
  • If someone is asking you to give away or sell your medicine, please ask your parent, teacher or doctor to help you.
  • Remember that dexamfetamine has serious side-effects. Do not give or sell your tablets to anyone else – they may become very ill.

Reference Sources

Search www.medicines.org.uk to find patient information leaflets and prescribing information on dexamfetamine. Tablets and liquid are listed by brand. The SmPC lists all the inactive ingredients in the product so you can check against any allergies. If you are still unsure about this then speak to your pharmacist.

  • British National Formulary (BNF) and British National Formulary for children. Download the BNF/BNFC app (blue background) on to your mobile device. No longer available for public access via the web
  • Taylor D, Barnes T, Young A. Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry, 13th edition. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, May 2018. ISBN: 978-1-119-44260-8
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Medicines Ethics and Practice (42nd edition). London: RPS, 2018. Standards for pharmacists to work to. It is not a free publication
  • World Anti Doping Agency WADA Prohibited List https://www.wada-ama.org/en/resources/science-medicine/prohibited-list-documents
  • Choiceandmedication; an independent source of information on many mental health conditions and their medicines with easy to read fact sheets www.choiceandmedication.org Personal subscriptions to download the app available for £1 per month (with proportionate discounts for longer periods) but your local mental health Trust may subscribe and provide information sheets for free.
  • Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPS). Information sheets on drugs in pregnancy http://www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/
  • Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Information on drugs in breastfeeding https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/lactmed.htm 
  • NICE Guidance NG 87. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis and management March 2018 https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG87