Difference Between Dextroamphetamine and Adderall

In ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) a person gets 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 which 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. 

Dextroamphetamine vs Adderall 

The difference between the drug Dextroamphetamine and Adderall is that dextroamphetamine consists of amphetamine and D-amphetamine in their potent form. While Adderall consists of D-amphetamine (salts) and I-amphetamine (ratio of 3 to 1). Dextroamphetamine is available in tablets, extended-release capsules, and spansules (sustained-release capsules). On the other hand, Adderall is available in extended-release capsules and tablets.  

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 DEA it is considered a schedule II narcotic as 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 remember it soon, then take it as much 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 overdose 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 then 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 a 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 which contains mainly two drugs like 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 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 long term. Serious side effects can be led 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 FDA (Food and drug administration) to treat certain conditions. Majorly for the two conditions namely ADHD (alternative depreciate hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy.

But sometimes Adderall is used for conditions that are not mentioned by the FDA. According to studies, Adderall can decrease ADHD symptoms that’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, diarrhea, nervousness, etc. While 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. 


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811900906104
  2. https://www.jmir.org/2013/4/e62
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