Dextroamphetamine vs Adderall: Difference and Comparison

In ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), a person is affected by this condition in childhood or adolescence. This can last up to adulthood and in adulthood, it can be initially diagnosed.

The usage of medications includes the treatment of ADHD.   

Dextroamphetamine and Adderall are two of the most approved medications that are classified as CNS (Central Nervous System) stimulants.

The condition ADHD can be treated by these two medications of CNS stimulants. These two drugs aim to affect the brain’s neurotransmitters. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Dextroamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
  2. Adderall is a combination drug containing dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, used for similar purposes as dextroamphetamine.
  3. Medical professionals decide which medication to prescribe based on the patient’s specific condition and the potential for side effects.

Dextroamphetamine vs Adderall 

Dextroamphetamine is a prescription medicine that is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder. It is for central nervous system stimulants. Adderall is a medicine that works as a stimulant for the central nervous system for treating ADHD.

Dextroamphetamine vs Adderall

Dextroamphetamine is a prescription medicine for central nervous system stimulants.  It is used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) as well as the condition of narcolepsy (a sleep disorder).

For the total treatment program of Dextroamphetamine, it should be used as a part of it. It is a CII (federally controlled substance) due to its dependence. 

Adderall also works as a CNS stimulant in the treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It is available in several strengths in both extended-release capsules and immediate-release tablets.

By the DEA it is considered a schedule II narcotic because of its availability by prescription only and abuse potential. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDextroamphetamineAdderall
InterpretationGeneric version of the stimulant Dexedrine’s central nervous system.Trade name of two combined drugs consisting of salts of amphetamine.
Brand nameDexedrine is the brand name for dextroamphetamine Adderall is the brand name of amphetamine
Contains Amphetamine and d-amphetamine (most potent form) D-amphetamine (salts) and I- amphetamine (ratio 3 to 1)
Standard Dosage 5mg once or twice daily and can be titrated up to 40mg/day 5mg once or twice daily and can be titrated up to 60mg/day
Available inTablets, extended-release capsules, and spansules (sustained-release capsules) Extended-release capsules, and tablets

What is Dextroamphetamine? 

Dextroamphetamine works as a central nervous system stimulant.

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Nerves and chemicals in the brain that constitute impulse control and hyperactivity are affected by it.

It is used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy. Dextroamphetamine is a drug of abuse because it is habit-forming.  

If the patient, unfortunately, missed the dose and remembered it soon, then take it as soon as possible. But if it is late and almost Evening, then it’s better to skip it.

To make up for the missed dose, there is no need to take extra medicine. It will be fatal if the patient overdoses on dextroamphetamine. It is better to call the poison helpline number or seek emergency medical attention.  

There is a prescription label given on Dextroamphetamine that must follow all directions. This medicine is sometimes taken two- or three times a day.

It may impair reactions or think that it is better not to intake in case you require to be alert. Taking vitamin C or drinking fruit juices should be avoided at the time you take Dextroamphetamine.  

Never share Dextroamphetamine with another person because it is habit-forming. It is against the law to sell or give away this medicine. Regular doctor visits are required to check the progress while using Dextroamphetamine.

It is better to keep track of this medicine due to its addiction. Make sure this medicine without a prescription or improperly not be taken. 

What is Adderall? 

Adderall is also one of the prescription medications that contains mainly two drugs, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

Stimulant is its class of medications. Just like dextroamphetamine, it is also most commonly used in the treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and the treatment of narcolepsy.  

In the long term, it is safe to use Adderall only if doctor-recommended dosages are taken. For several people, common side effects may decrease with time, but for others, it may not.

In case Adderall is abused or misused, it can lead to psychological and physical dependence in the long term. Serious side effects can be caused by inappropriate usage.  

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Amphetamine/ dextroamphetamine salts are the generic name for Adderall in both the capsule and tablet. Generally, generic drugs cost less as compared to the brand-name version.

Adderall XR Extended-release oral capsule and Adderall oral tablet are both valuable in their generic forms.  

Adderall Is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to treat certain conditions, mainly for two conditions, namely ADHD (alternative depreciate hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy.

But sometimes, Adderall is used for conditions that the FDA does not mention. According to studies, Adderall can decrease ADHD symptoms, which’s why it is preferred over Dextroamphetamine. 


Main Differences Between Dextroamphetamine and Adderall 

  1. According to studies, Dextroamphetamine fails to reduce the symptoms of ADHD symptoms. On the other hand, Adderall can decrease ADHD symptoms.  
  2. Dextroamphetamine raises the production of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine in the brain. On the flip side, Adderall increases norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain.  
  3. Dextroamphetamine dosage ranges from 5 MG to 60 MG/day for adults and children; 2.5 MG to 40 MG/day is preferred. Whereas in Adderall, the maximum dose is 40 MG to 60 MG/day for adults, and 2.5 MG to 40 MG/day is the maximum for children.  
  4. A few of the possible side effects of Dextroamphetamine are nausea, constipation, weight loss, diarrhoea, nervousness, etc. In contrast, side effects of Adderall include uneven heartbeats, anxiety, shortness of breath, chest pain, anxiety, etc.  
  5. Drugs that interact with Dextroamphetamine in children are antacids, seizure medicines, blood pressure medicines, etc. But stomach acid medicines, blood thinner medicines, anti-depression medicines, etc., are the drugs that interact with Adderall in children. 
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Last Updated : 23 August, 2023

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11 thoughts on “Dextroamphetamine vs Adderall: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The detailed comparison table is very informative and helps to clarify the distinctions between Dextroamphetamine and Adderall. It’s important for patients to be aware of the differences and potential effects of these medications.

    • Indeed, understanding the distinctions between these medications can be crucial in making informed decisions about ADHD treatment. It’s critical for individuals to consult medical professionals before pursuing any medication.

  2. The article provides clear insights into the individual mechanisms of dextroamphetamine and Adderall, and their effects on neurotransmitters in the brain. This nuanced understanding is crucial for patients and medical professionals alike.

    • Absolutely, acquiring a deep understanding of how these medications work can facilitate more effective treatment strategies for individuals with ADHD. The emphasis on safety and potential for misuse is also essential.

  3. This article provides a comprehensive overview of ADHD treatment with dextroamphetamine and Adderall, highlighting the importance of medical professional guidance in medication selection and dosage.

  4. The article presents valuable insights into the potential differences and safety considerations associated with dextroamphetamine and Adderall. This level of detail enhances the discourse on ADHD treatment.

  5. The comparative analysis of dextroamphetamine and Adderall in terms of their effects on neurotransmitters and treatment efficacy brings an intellectual depth to the discussion. It’s crucial information for those navigating ADHD treatment options.

    • Absolutely, the article goes beyond surface-level assessments and delves into the core mechanisms of these medications. A commendable approach to addressing such a complex topic.

  6. The detailed descriptions of dextroamphetamine and Adderall offer a valuable resource for those seeking reliable information on ADHD medications. It’s commendable how this article covers both benefits and potential risks.

  7. It’s fascinating to see the differences between dextroamphetamine and Adderall, and how they handle ADHD in different ways. It’s also interesting to note the potential for side effects and the importance of taking the correct dosages.

  8. The discussion on the potential risks and side effects of both dextroamphetamine and Adderall adds an important dimension to the conversation about ADHD treatment. Patients need to be aware of the potential negative outcomes as well.


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