Generic Name: methamphetamine, Oral tablet

Desoxyn

All Brands

  • Desoxyn
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for methamphetamine

Oral tablet
1

Methamphetamine HCl is an oral medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It’s also used to aid in weight loss in people who are obese who haven’t been able to lose weight through other therapies.

2

The recommended starting dose for ADHD is 5 mg taken once or twice per day. The recommended starting dose for obesity is 5 mg taken 30 minutes before each meal.

3

Common side effects include fast heart rate, decreased appetite, tremors, headache, trouble sleeping, dizziness, upset stomach, weight loss, and dry mouth.

4

Methamphetamine HCl is a federally controlled substance. It can be abused and lead to tolerance and dependence. Selling or giving it away is against the law.

5

This drug may increase your risk of potentially fatal heart problems. Tell your doctor if you have any heart problems or defects, high blood pressure, or a family history of these conditions before you start this medication.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Abuse and dependence. Methamphetamine HCl has a high risk for abuse and dependence. It should only be used for weight loss when other treatments haven’t worked. Taking this drug for a long time can lead to dependence and should be avoided if possible. Take it exactly as prescribed and don’t give it to others. Misuse of methamphetamine HCl can cause sudden death and serious heart problems.

Risk of heart problems

Methamphetamine HCI and other central nervous system stimulants may increase your risk of heart problems. These include stroke, heart attack, and sudden death. The risks may be higher for children and teenagers with existing heart problems or defects. Tell your doctor if you have any heart problems or a family history of them. Your doctor may do tests to check your heart before starting you on this medication.

Mental health warning

If you have mental health conditions, methamphetamine HCl may make your symptoms worse. This drug can also cause psychotic or manic symptoms in children and teenagers without a history of these problems. They may have symptoms such as seeing, hearing, or believing things that aren’t real or feeling suspicious. Before you start methamphetamine HCl, tell your doctor if you have any mental health conditions or a family history of suicide, bipolar disease, or depression. Call your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening mental health symptoms.

Risk of circulation problems

Methamphetamine HCl may cause circulation problems in your fingers and toes. This is called peripheral vasculopathy or Raynaud disease. Tell your doctor right away if you have numbness, pain, skin color change, sensitivity to temperature, or any unexplained wounds on your fingers or toes.

Drug Features

Methamphetamine HCI is a controlled substance. It’s available as an oral tablet.

This drug is available in its generic form. Generic drugs often cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Methamphetamine HCl may be used in combination with other therapies, including educational, psychological, and medical treatment programs.

Why It's Used

Methamphetamine HCl is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in people ages 6 years and older. It’s also used to aid in weight loss in people who are obese who have not been able to lose weight through other means.

More Details

How It Works

For ADHD, methamphetamine HCl increases levels of certain brain chemicals that may improve concentration and focus and reduce hyperactivity and impulsiveness. It isn’t known exactly how methamphetamine HCl works to treat obesity.

More Details

Why It's Used

Methamphetamine HCl is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in people ages 6 years and older. It’s also used to aid in weight loss in people who are obese who have not been able to lose weight through other means.

For ADHD, it may help you pay attention better and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

To treat obesity, it’s used for a short amount of time along with a low-calorie diet.

How It Works

For ADHD, methamphetamine HCl increases levels of certain brain chemicals that may improve concentration and focus and reduce hyperactivity and impulsiveness. It isn’t known exactly how methamphetamine HCl works to treat obesity.

Methamphetamine HCl is a central nervous system stimulant. A common effect of this class of medications is appetite loss. This drug may work in your brain to change the way you taste and smell foods. This effect may reduce the number of calories you eat.

SECTION 2 of 4

methamphetamine Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

  • When treating ADHD, the most common side effects that occur with methamphetamine HCl include:

    • fast heart rate
    • decreased appetite
    • involuntary shaking (tremors)
    • headache
    • trouble sleeping
    • dizziness
    • stomach upset
    • weight loss
    • dry mouth
  • When treating obesity, the most common side effects include:

    • fast heart rate
    • involuntary shaking (tremors)
    • headache
    • trouble sleeping
    • dizziness
    • stomach upset
    • dry mouth

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • allergic reactions. Symptoms may include:

    • skin rash
    • itching or hives
    • swelling of your face, lips, or tongue
  • mental health changes. Symptoms may include:

    • hallucinations, loss of contact with reality
    • suicidal thoughts or other mood changes
  • heart problems. Symptoms may include:

    • fast or irregular heart rate
    • chest pain or tightness
    • high blood pressure
    • shortness of breath
  • vision problems. Symptoms may include:

    • changes in eyesight
    • blurred vision
  • neurological problems. Symptoms may include:

    • confusion or trouble speaking or understanding
    • seizures
    • severe headaches
    • trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
    • uncontrolled head, mouth, neck, arm, or leg movements
  • circulation problems, including fingers or toes that feel numb, cool, or painful

  • prolonged or painful erections

  • dark-colored urine

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Methamphetamine HCl does not cause drowsiness.

Mild side effects may disappear within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

methamphetamine May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Methamphetamine HCl can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Examples are:

  • isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • phenelzine (Nardil)
  • tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • selegiline (Emsam, Eldepryl, Zelapar)

Using these medications together can cause very high blood pressure. This can lead to stroke, heart attack, loss of vision, fluid in your lungs, or kidney failure. These events can be fatal. You shouldn’t take methamphetamine HCl with MAOIs or within 14 days after ending MAOI treatment.

Acidifying agents
  • ascorbic acid
  • ammonium chloride
  • methenamine

These drugs can increase the amount of methamphetamine HCl that is removed from your body. This reduces how long the drug stays in your body, which makes it less effective. Your doctor may adjust your dose of methamphetamine HCl if you’re on this medication.

Alkalinizing agents
  • sodium bicarbonate
  • topiramate
  • tromethamine

These drugs can decrease the amount of methamphetamine HCl that is removed from your body. This makes the drug stay in your body longer, which increases its effect. This can cause more side effects. Your doctor may adjust your dose of methamphetamine HCl if you take any of these medications.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • fluoxetine
  • paroxetine

These drugs increase your risk of serotonin syndrome when taken with methamphetamine HCl. Your doctor may adjust your dose of methamphetamine HCl if you’re on one of these drugs.

Drug to treat depression or help you quit smoking
  • burpropion

Taking these drugs together can increase your risk of having a seizure, especially if you have a history of seizures. If you need to take both of these drugs, your doctor will watch you closely and may adjust your doses.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with heart problems

Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, such as methamphetamine HCI, may increase the risk of sudden death, stroke, and heart attack. These events can happen in people with or without existing heart problems. If you have a heart condition, you shouldn’t take this drug. Your doctor may do tests to check for heart issues.

People with high blood pressure and heart rate problems

This drug can increase your blood pressure and heart rate. Tell your doctor if you have any problems with blood pressure, heart rate, or any other heart issue. Your doctor may choose not to give you this drug or you may need to be monitored more closely while taking it.

People with mental health conditions

This drug may make the symptoms of your mental health condition worse. It can also cause psychotic or manic symptoms in children and teenagers without a history of these problems. Tell your doctor if you have any mental health conditions or a family history of suicide, bipolar disease, or depression. Call your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening mental health symptoms.

People with circulation problems

Methamphetamine HCl may cause circulation problems in your fingers and toes. Tell your doctor if you have circulation problems before starting this drug.

People with abuse and dependence problems

Methamphetamine HCl is a federally controlled substance because it can be abused and lead to tolerance and dependence. Tell your doctor if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse before you start this medication.

People with glaucoma

If you have glaucoma, you shouldn’t take methamphetamine HCl. This medication can cause a dangerous increase in the pressure in your eyes.

People with thyroid disorder

If you have a thyroid disease where your hormone levels are too high, you shouldn’t take methamphetamine HCl. This drug can cause an irregular heart rate and other side effects.

People with seizures

Methamphetamine HCl can increase your risk of having seizures. Tell your doctor about your seizure history. If you have a seizure while on this medication, stop taking it right away.

People with Tourette’s syndrome

This drug can worsen the symptoms of tics and Tourette’s syndrome.

Pregnant women

Methamphetamine HCl is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Babies born to mothers who take this drug may be born too early or at a low birth weight.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Methamphetamine HCl should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are nursing

Methamphetamine HCl may pass through breast milk. It can cause serious side effects in a breastfeeding child.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take methamphetamine HCl or breastfeed.

For Seniors

Your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose to prevent too much of this drug from building up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

For Children

  • For treating obesity, the safety and effectiveness of this drug haven’t been established in children younger than 12 years old. 
  • For ADHD, the safety and effectiveness of this drug haven’t been established in children younger than 6 years old.
  • This drug can delay growth in children. If your child isn’t getting taller or gaining weight, their doctor may stop treatment with methamphetamine HCI.  After stopping methamphetamine, growth rate should return to normal. But the child may never make up the growth that was lost while on the medication.
  • Keep methamphetamine HCl out of reach of children. Store it in a locked cabinet.

When to call the doctor

Tell your doctor if you feel like this medicine isn’t working as well anymore. Don’t change the dosage without talking to your doctor first.

Allergies

This drug contains amphetamine, which is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to CNS stimulant medicines, tell your doctor before taking this drug.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take methamphetamine (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 5 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)
  • The starting dose is 5 mg taken once or twice per day.
  • The standard dose is 20–25 mg each day taken in 1 or 2 divided doses.
  • Your doctor may adjust your dose by 5 mg per week until you’re at a dose that relieves your symptoms.
  • There is no known maximum dose per day for this drug.
Child Dosage (ages 6-17 years)
  • The starting dose is 5 mg taken once or twice per day.
  • The usual dose is 20–25 mg each day taken in 1 or 2 divided doses.
  • Your doctor may adjust your dose by 5 mg per week until you’re at a dose that relieves your symptoms.
  • There is no known maximum dose per day for this drug.
Child Dosage (ages 0-5 years)

This drug shouldn’t be used in children younger than 6 years of age.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose to prevent too much of this drug from building up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

Exogenous obesity
Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 5 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)
  • The standard dose is 5 mg taken 30 minutes before each meal for a total of 3 doses per day.
  • You shouldn’t take this drug for more than a few weeks.
Child Dosage (ages 12-17 years)
  • The standard dose is 5 mg taken 30 minutes before each meal for a total of 3 doses per day.
  • You shouldn’t take this medication for more than a few weeks.
Child Dosage (ages 0-11 years)

This drug shouldn’t be used to treat obesity in children younger than 12 years of age.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose to prevent too much of this drug from building up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Methamphetamine HCI comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If You Stop Taking It Suddenly

You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking methamphetamine HCl suddenly. This is more likely if you’ve been taking a high dose for a long time. If you need to stop taking methamphetamine HCl, your doctor will slowly lower your dose.

If You Don't Take It On Schedule

You may not get the full benefits of the drug if you don’t take it as prescribed.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you can. If it’s almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a single dose.

Don’t double the dose to try to catch up. This could result in toxic side effects.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

For ADHD, you may be able to tell the drug is working if you’re able to pay attention better and have decreased impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

For obesity, you may be able to tell it’s working if you lose weight.

Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Drug?

For ADHD, it may be used short term or long term. Your doctor may have you temporarily stop the drug to see if your ADHD symptoms come back. If they don’t, you may be able to stop taking it.

For obesity, this is a short-term drug. You shouldn’t take it for more than a few weeks. If you take the drug for a long time, your tolerance to it may increase and its effects may decrease.

For obesity, take it 30 minutes before each meal

You don’t have to take it with food when treating ADHD.

Take this drug at the right time for best effects

For treating ADHD, if you only take it once per day, take your dose in the morning to avoid insomnia. If you take two doses per day, take your first dose in the morning and your second dose no more than 8 hours later to avoid insomnia.

For obesity, take your dose 30 minutes before each meal.

Store in temperatures below 86°F (30°C)

Don’t freeze this drug.

Keep it away from light and high temperatures.

Note: Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp places.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the original pharmacy prescription label with you when traveling.

Clinical Monitoring

Before you start treatment, your doctor may do:

  • EEG, a test of your brain to check your risk of having seizures
  • EKG, a test of your heart rhythm to check your risk for heart problems
  • mental health evaluation

During treatment, your doctor may check the following to look for side effects:

  • blood pressure
  • heart rate
  • breathing rate
  • weight
  • height in children
  • mental status
  • changes in fingers or toes

Your doctor may also check the following for signs of drug abuse:

  • heart rate
  • breathing rate
  • blood pressure
  • physical appearance
  • sleeplessness
  • personality changes
  • mental status

Your Diet

For obesity, this drug should be used in combination with a low-calorie diet and a weight loss program.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for methamphetamine HCl.

What does the pill look like?

Showing - out of 3

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 29, 2015

Send us your feedback

Thank you.

Your message has been sent.

We're sorry, an error occurred.

We are unable to collect your feedback at this time. However, your feedback is important to us. Please try again later.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

Read This Next

How to Perform Lymphatic Drainage Massage
How to Perform Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Colon Cleanse: What You Need to Know
Colon Cleanse: What You Need to Know
Black Cumin: Which Is Which?
Black Cumin: Which Is Which?
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement