Dextroamphetamine: Therapeutic use
Last modified: Saturday, 30. May 2009 - 3:18 pm
Amphetamines such as dextroamphetamine sulfate (Dexedrine), amphetamine and dextroamphetamine sulfate combinations (Adderall), and methamphetamine hydrochloride (Desoxyl) are standard therapies in the treatment of ADHD. Although it’s not completely understood how it works, when used as part of a comprehensive treatment program, the stimulant can help improve symptoms of poor concentration, hyperactivity, and dis-tractibility for many children with ADHD. Other components of an effective treatment program for ADHD include family counseling, behavioral therapy, and a customized educational curriculum.
One of the oldest uses for dextroamphetamines is in the treatment of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by constant daytime fatigue and sleepiness, with a disturbance in nighttime REM sleep (the period of sleep when dreams occur). During the day or other periods of time when they would normaly be awake, people with narcolepsy often experience sudden episodes of REM sleep. They may also suffer from sleep paralysis and/or cataplexy, an abrupt, total loss of muscle control. Central nervous system stimulants like dextroamphetamine help to relieve these symptoms.
In the 1970s, both Dexedrine and another dextroamphetamine sulfate formula called Obetrol were approved for use as anti-obesity drugs. However, the manufacturer (Rexar) was bought by a new company (Richwood pharmaceuticals) who resubmitted the drug to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It was relabeled as a treatment for ADHD only and reintroduced in 1996 as Adderall. As of 2002, none of the dextroamphetamine drugs on the U.S. market were labeled for use as an appetite suppressant or weight loss aid (although Desoxyl, or methamphetamine hydrochloride, is approved for the treatment of obesity).