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.


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The usage of medications often 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.

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.  

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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