Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergies: Some dextroamphetamine products contain tartrazine, which can cause allergic-type reactions (including bronchial asthma). People who are allergic to salicylates are often allergic to tartrazine. Speak to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: This medication may disguise extreme fatigue, which can impair the ability to perform potentially hazardous activities such as driving or operating machinery. Do not drive or engage in other activities requiring alertness if the medication affects you in this way.
Drug dependence: Abuse of dextroamphetamine is possible by certain individuals. Tolerance, extreme psychological dependence, and severe social disability can occur with abuse of this medication. If you have a history of drug or alcohol dependence, your doctor should carefully monitor your condition while you are using this medication.
Exercise: If you participate in strenuous exercise or activities, consult your doctor before taking dextroamphetamine.
Heart problems: This medication can increase heart rate and blood pressure. It may also increase the risk of sudden death for people with heart problems. If you have a heart problem, including an irregular heartbeat, or a family history of sudden death related to heart disease, your doctor should carefully evaluate you before you start taking this medication, and should closely monitor your condition if you take the medication. This medication should generally not be used by people with known structural heart abnormalities (such as abnormal size, missing or poorly functioning heart valves, or problems with blood vessels connected to the heart).
High blood pressure: Dextroamphetamine may increase blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure or heart problems, talk to your doctor before taking this medication.
Long-term use: If you use this medication for a long period of time, you will need regular heart check-ups by your doctor.
Psychiatric problems: Tell your doctor about any mental health problems you or your child have, or about any family history of bipolar disorder, depression, or suicide. This medication may increase the risk of mental health (psychiatric) problems. Problems include new or worse behaviour and thought problems, bipolar disease, depression, aggressive behaviour, and hostility. Children and adolescents may also experience new psychotic symptoms (e.g., paranoia or hallucinations) or new mania symptoms (e.g., delusions, hyperactivity). If you experience these types of symptoms while taking dextroamphetamine, contact your doctor immediately.
Seizure: Dextroamphetamine may increase the risk of having seizures, particularly if you have had seizures in the past. If you have a history of seizures or a seizure disorder, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Serotonin syndrome: Although rare, severe reactions are possible when dextroamphetamine is combined with other medications that act on serotonin, such as medications used to treat depression, lithium, and certain medications to treat migraines. Symptoms of a reaction may include muscle rigidity and spasms, difficulty moving, and changes in mental state including delirium and agitation. This reaction can potentially be life threatening.
If you are taking medications for the conditions mentioned above, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Stopping the medication: People who abruptly stop taking this medication sometimes experience difficulty sleeping, extreme tiredness, and depression. Check with your doctor before stopping this medication.
Suicidal or agitated behaviour: People taking this medication may feel agitated (restless, anxious, aggressive, emotional, and feeling not like themselves), or they may want to hurt themselves or others. These symptoms may occur at any time during treatment with this medication, although it is seen most commonly at the beginning of treatment or when the dose is increased. If you experience these side effects or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. You should be closely monitored by your doctor for emotional and behavioural changes while taking this medication.
Suppression of growth: Growth suppression (less increase in height or weight than expected) has been reported for children using stimulants such as dextroamphetamine for long periods of time. It is not known if the medication causes the growth suppression. However, children who need long-term therapy should be carefully monitored for growth. Their doctor may also recommend a “drug holiday,” where the medication is not given on weekends or during school holidays.
Vision: Rarely, people taking dextroamphetamine have experienced vision changes. If you notice any changes in your vision, contact your doctor.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: Dextroamphetamine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding. Women taking this medication should not breast-feed.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children less than 6 years of age.