Compare Dexedrine vs. Adderall

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Dexedrine
(Dextroamphetamine)

Adderall
(Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine)

Helps you stay awake and focus. Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) is an effective and cheap medication used to treat ADHD, but it can be habit-forming and is not used for long-term treatment.Helps you focus and stay alert. Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that's available as a generic, but it's a stimulant, so it can cause insomnia and other side effects.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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5.9523809523809526Dexedrine
Reviews for Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine)
90%
of people say Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) is worth it
76%
say it works well
24%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine)
74%
16% vs. Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine)
53%
23% vs. Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine)
16%
+8% vs. Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine)
Side effects
DexedrineAdderall

We haven’t found good data for Dexedrine side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Dexedrine »

The Adderall FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Adderall side effects »
How it works
DexedrineAdderall
Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) is a stimulant. It treats narcolepsy and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by increasing norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain.Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) is an amphetamine stimulant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works for ADHD, but it increases norepinephrine and dopamine activity in the brain, which affects attention and behavior.
Type of medication
DexedrineAdderall
StimulantPrescription only
StimulantPrescription only
Available as
DexedrineAdderall
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
DexedrineAdderall
Risk factors for serious side effects
DexedrineAdderall
  • History of heart problems
  • History of drug abuse
  • History of psychotic episodes
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • Children
  • History of seizures
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Breastfeeding
  • Use of MAO inhibitors
Detailed Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) risks & warnings »
  • History of heart problems
  • History of drug abuse
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • History of high blood pressure
  • History of psychotic episodes
  • History of Bipolar Disorder
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Children ages 7 to 10
Detailed Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
DexedrineAdderall
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
Food
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
  • Take your last dose before early afternoon, otherwise you won't be able to sleep.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
Weight
  • Appetite suppression can occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children who started the medication before they started puberty. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
  • Appetite suppression may occur. In clinical studies, long-term treatment with stimulants similar to Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) caused a temporary slowing of growth rate (both height and weight) in children ages seven to ten years. Doctors should monitor children's growth during treatment.
Upsides and benefits
DexedrineAdderall
  • Recommended as a first-choice medication to treat ADHD in both adults and children.
  • Available as a generic, so it is cheaper than other medications used to treat ADHD.
  • Available in an immediate release and extended release form, which allows for once or twice a day dosing.
  • First-choice medication to treat ADHD.
  • Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) is used in combination with counseling or other non-drug therapies to treat ADHD.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Available in both immediate and extended release forms.
  • The capsules can be opened, mixed in a spoonful of applesauce, and swallowed if you can't swallow the whole capsules.
Downsides and risks
DexedrineAdderall
  • Fruit juice lowers the amount of Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) that gets into your body.
  • If you want to stop taking Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine), you have to talk to your doctor since stopping cold turkey can cause withdrawal symptoms.
  • Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) is usually not used long-term since it can be habit-forming.
  • Has to be taken in the morning and early afternoon, otherwise it can cause insomnia.
  • It's a controlled medication and should be locked up to prevent potential abuse.
  • Not safe for people with a history of heart problems.
  • For schooled-aged children, the second dose will likely need to be given at school.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DexedrineAdderall
  • Take your last dose before early afternoon, otherwise you won't be able to sleep.
  • Don't take with fruit juice or vitamin C, because they'll lower the amount of Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) that gets into your body.
  • Can affect your concentration, so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
  • If you've been taking Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) for a while and decide to stop it, you'll experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop it too fast.
  • Can cause reduced appetite, insomnia, and restlessness.
  • Can cause blurry vision, loss of appetite, weight loss, headache, dry mouth, or anxious feelings.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or drugs.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping, so don't take it too close to bedtime.
  • If using the extended-release version, the first dose is best taken right after waking up in the morning.
  • Capsules can be opened and sprinkled on applesauce, which can then be swallowed without chewing.
Learn more
More about DexedrineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about AdderallSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert