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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Dextroamphetamine Sulfate


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Dexedrine and Methamphetamines
Question: What is the difference between amphetamine and methamphetamine? My husband is on probation for a D.U.I. and is sober now. He takes Dexedrine and Zoloft for ADHD and tested positive on a random drug test. They claim that these 2 drugs are not related, and he is in violation of his probation. If this is false, please direct me to a web sight that shows the 2 as the same or possibly a book so we can prove this in court. He stands to do time for this, and he has been sober for almost 4 months now.

Answer: Dexedrine(dextroamphetamine sulfate) is a member of the class of drugs called sympathomimetic drugs. These include many different drugs with slightly different structures and a subgroup of these drugs are amphetamines. Dextroamphetamine is included in this subgroup as is methamphetamines. These are similar drugs and will produce similar effects. The metabolism is similar although differences can be detected by very specific testing. A simple drug screen will usually not detect the subtle differences between these drugs. I would refer you to Goodman and Gilmans The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics (editors Hardman, Molinoff, Ruddon, and Gilman). However, for something this serious you will need an expert in drug testing and a lawyer. Also, you will need to find out how specific the drug testing is. Some drug testing is very specific(and expensive) while some is directed only at large groups of drugs(less expensive). Most drug screens are of the less expensive variety.

Dextroamphetamine Sulfate
Question: I have ADHD. My psychiatrist changed my Dexedrine treatment from 3, 5-mg tablets, every 3-4 hours to 2, 15-mg SR Spansules, every 6 hours. I had been taking the 5-mg tablets at the rate of 50-60 mg per 12-hours. Because of school, I am now taking 2 SR's at 6 am, 2 more at 12:30 PM, and 1 more SR at 6 PM. I weigh 85 kg. The 5-mg tablets were working optimally at the indicated rate, with no side effects. What do you think of the SR Spansules? I prefer the tablets. Please, tell me what you think.

Answer: Most people prefer time release medications for ease of administration. However, there is always the risk that a slower more controlled release will not have the same effect as ìpulseî therapy. If you feel better on the 5 mg tablets, I would convey this to your Psychiatrist. Iím sure they wonít care a great deal as long as the daily milligram dosage is similar.

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