Highlights for amphetamine

  1. Amphetamine oral tablet is available as brand-name drugs. It’s not available as a generic drug. Brand names: Evekeo, Adzenys XR-ODT.
  2. Amphetamine comes in three forms: oral tablet, extended-release orally disintegrating tablet, and extended-release oral liquid.
  3. Amphetamine oral tablet is used to treat narcolepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obesity.

Important warnings

FDA warnings

  • This drug has black box warnings. These are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Black box warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
  • Risk of misuse warning: Taking this drug for a long period of time may lead to drug dependence and addiction. Use caution when taking amphetamine if you’ve ever had substance addiction problems or a family history of addiction.
  • Sudden death or heart problems warning: Taking this drug incorrectly may lead to sudden death or serious heart problems. These problems include increased blood pressure and heart rate, stroke, and heart attack.

Other warnings

  • Slowed children's growth warning: This drug may cause a child’s growth to slow down. Children should have their height and weight checked by their doctor during treatment. If they aren’t growing in height or gaining any weight, treatment with this drug may need to be stopped. After stopping this drug, growth rate should return to normal. However, the child may never make up the growth that was lost while on the medication.
  • Clouded judgment warning: This drug may impair or cloud your judgment. Use caution while driving, using heavy machinery, or doing other risky tasks while taking this drug.

What is amphetamine?

Amphetamine is a prescription drug It comes as an oral tablet and extended-release orally disintegrating tablet, as well as an extended-release oral liquid.

Amphetamine oral tablet is not available as a generic drug. The oral tablet is only available as the brand-name drug Evekeo. The extended-release orally disintegrating tablet is only available as the brand-name drug Adzenys XR-ODT.

Amphetamine is a controlled substance. This is because it has a high potential for misuse. Never give this drug to anyone else. Selling or giving it away is against the law.

Why it's used

Amphetamine is used to treat people with:

How it works

Amphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant. It isn’t fully understood how it works for narcolepsy, ADHD, or weight loss.

Amphetamine side effects

Amphetamine oral tablet doesn’t cause drowsiness, but it can cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The more common side effects that can occur with amphetamine include:

  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • trouble sleeping
  • decreased appetite
  • unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • nervousness
  • dizziness
  • sexual dysfunction
  • vomiting
  • itching
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • dry mouth
  • weight loss
  • mood swings

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Heart problems that can result in sudden death, including stroke, heart attack, and increased blood pressure. Symptoms can include:
    • weakness in one part or side of your body
    • slurred speech
    • pain in your chest, left arm, jaw, or between your shoulders
  • Mental health problems such as:
    • new or worsened behavior and thought problems
    • new or worsened bipolar illness
    • new or worsened aggressive behavior or hostility
  • New psychotic symptoms in children and teenagers who have psychiatric problems. These can include:
    • hearing voices
    • seeing things that aren’t real
    • believing things that aren’t true
    • being suspicious
    • feeling overexcited
  • Circulation problems. Symptoms can include:
    • fingers or toes that feel numb, cool, or painful
    • fingers or toes that change color from pale, to blue, to red
    • unexplained wounds on your fingers or toes

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we can not 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.

Amphetamine may interact with other medications

Amphetamine oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with amphetamine are listed below.

Stomach acid drugs

When taken with amphetamine, drugs that decrease stomach acid, such as antacids, may increase the level of amphetamine in your body. This may increase your risk of side effects of amphetamine. Examples of these drugs include:

  • proton pump inhibitors such as:
    • omeprazole
    • esomeprazole
  • H2 receptor antagonists such as:
    • ranitidine
    • famotidine

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)

The combination of amphetamine and a TCA can increase blood pressure and risk of heart problems. Examples of TCAs include:

  • amitriptyline
  • clomipramine
  • desipramine
  • doxepin
  • imipramine
  • nortriptyline
  • protriptyline
  • trimipramine

Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants

When taken with amphetamine, these medications can prevent your body from processing amphetamine correctly. This may cause levels of amphetamine to increase in your body. This may increase your risk of extremely high blood pressure, chest pain, severe headache, and high body temperature. Amphetamine should never be taken within 14 days of using an MAOI antidepressant.

Examples of MAOIs include:

  • isocarboxazid
  • phenelzine
  • tranylcypromine
  • selegiline

Antipsychotic drugs

Taking amphetamine with these medications may decrease the effects of amphetamine, which means it may not work as well. Examples of these drugs include:

  • chlorpromazine
  • haloperidol

Blood pressure drugs

Taking amphetamine with these drugs may reduce their blood pressure-lowering effects.

Examples of these drugs include:

  • angiotensin II receptor blockers such as:
    • losartan
    • valsartan
    • irbesartan
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as:
    • enalapril
    • lisinopril
  • diuretics such as:
    • hydrochlorothiazide
    • furosemide

Seizure drugs

Taking amphetamine with these drugs may decrease the effect of seizure medications, which may increase your risk of seizures. Examples of these drugs include:

  • phenytoin
  • phenobarbital

Serotonergic drugs

Taking these drugs with amphetamine may increase your risk of serotonin syndrome, which can be fatal. If you take any of these drugs, your doctor will start you on a lowered dosage of amphetamine and monitor you for signs of serotonin syndrome. Symptoms of this condition can include agitation, sweating, muscle twitches, and confusion.

Examples of serotonergic drugs include:

  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine and sertraline
  • serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as duloxetine and venlafaxine
  • TCAs such as amitriptyline and clomipramine
  • MAOIs such as selegiline and phenelzine
  • the opioids fentanyl and tramadol
  • the anxiolytic buspirone
  • triptans
  • lithium
  • tryptophan
  • St. John’s wort

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we can not 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.

Amphetamine warnings

This drug comes with several warnings.

Allergy warning

This drug can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • hives,
  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat and tongue

If you develop these symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For people with heart problems: People with serious heart problems may be at risk for sudden death when taking usual doses of this drug. They shouldn’t take this drug.

This drug may increase blood pressure and heart rate. If you have high blood pressure, heart failure, a history of recent heart attack, or an irregular or abnormal heart beat, you and your doctor should discuss if this drug is safe for you. If you decide to take it, use this drug with extreme caution.

For people with psychiatric disorders: If you or your child already has a psychotic disorder and take this drug, symptoms of behavior problems and thought disorders may get worse.

If you or your child already has bipolar disorder, there’s an increased risk of having a mixed or manic episode when taking this drug.

For people with anxiety or agitation: If you or your child tends to be very anxious, tense, or agitated, don’t use this drug. It can worsen these symptoms.

For people with a history of drug abuse: If you or your child has a history of abuse, don’t use this drug. It can be highly addictive.

For people with seizures: If you or your child has a history of seizures, don’t use this drug. It may increase the risk of having a seizure.

For people with circulation problems: These problems include peripheral vasculopathy and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Amphetamine may damage tissue in your or your child’s fingers and toes. This may cause a feeling of numbness, pain, or cold. Fingers and toes may also change colors from pale, to blue, to red. You and your doctor should monitor your fingers and toes for any of these symptoms. If things worsen, your doctor may decide to decrease the dosage, stop the medication, or refer you to a specialist.

For people with hyperthyroidism: If you or your child has been diagnosed with overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), don’t take this drug. It can make hyperthyroidism worse and cause symptoms such as an increased or abnormal heartbeat.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: This drug 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.

Some infants born to mothers who are dependent on amphetamine during pregnancy have shown an increased risk of being born premature, having a low birth weight, or showing symptoms of withdrawal.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.

For women who are breastfeeding: This drug may pass into breast milk and can cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Tell your doctor if you’re breastfeeding. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this drug. You should not breastfeed while taking this drug.

For children: This drug is safe and effective for children ages 3 to 17 years when used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Long-term safety and effectiveness of this drug in children are not well-established.

How to take amphetamine

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
  • the severity of your condition
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Dosage for narcolepsy

Brand: Evekeo

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 5 mg and 10 mg

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Typical dosage: 5 to 60 mg per day in divided doses based on your body’s response.
  • Dosage timing: Take the first dose when you wake up and any additional doses (5 or 10 mg) every 4 to 6 hours.

Child dosage (ages 12 to 17 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 10 mg per day.
  • Dosage increases: The dosage may increase every week by 10 mg until the desired response is met.

Child dosage (ages 6 to 12 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 5 mg per day.
  • Dosage increases: The dose may increase every week by 5 mg until the desired response is met.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 5 years)

A safe and effective dose hasn’t been established for this age group.

Dosage for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Brand: Evekeo

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 5 mg and 10 mg

Brand: Adzenys XR-ODT

  • Form: extended release orally disintegrating tablet
  • Strengths: 3.1 mg, 6.3 mg, 9.4 mg, 12.5 mg, 15.7 mg, and 18.8 mg

Oral tablet

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

No dosage is available for this age range.

Child dosage (ages 6 to 17 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 5 mg once or twice per day.
  • Dosage increases: The dose may increase every week by 5 mg until the desired response is met.
  • Maximum dosage: Only in rare cases will it be necessary to exceed a total of 40 mg per day.
  • Dosage timing: Take the first dose when you wake up and any additional doses (1 to 2 doses) every four to six hours.

Child dosage (ages 3 to 5 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 2.5 mg per day.
  • Dosage increases: The dose may increase every week by 2.5 mg until the desired response has been met.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 2 years)

The oral tablet isn’t recommended for children under 3 years of age.

Extended-release orally disintegrating tablet

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Typical dosage: 12.5 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 13 to 17 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 6.3 mg per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your child’s dosage every week by 3.1 or 6.3 mg until the desired response is met.
  • Maximum dosage: 12.5 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 6 to 12 years)

  • Typical starting dosage: 6.3 mg per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your child’s dosage every week by 3.1 or 6.3 mg until the desired response is met.
  • Maximum dosage: 18.8 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 5 years)

A safe and effective dosage of this drug has not been established for children under 6 years old.

Dosage warnings

For treating ADHD, when possible, your doctor may try to stop the drug occasionally to determine if you still need to be on it. If the behavioral symptoms return, you may need to continue therapy for the time being.

Dosage for obesity

Brand: Evekeo

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 5 mg and 10 mg

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Typical dosage: Up to 30 mg per day. Take it in divided doses of 5 to 10 mg.
  • Dosage timing: Take your dose about 30 to 60 minutes before meals.

Child dosage (ages 12 to 17 years)

  • Typical dosage: Up to 30 mg per day. Take it in divided doses of 5 to 10 mg.
  • Dosage timing: Take your dose about 30 to 60 minutes before meals.

Child dosage (ages 0 to 11 years)

Amphetamine is not recommended for this use in children under 12 years old.

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

Take as directed

Amphetamine oral tablet is used for short-term or long-term treatment, depending on the condition being treated. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed by your doctor.

If you stop or miss doses: If you stop taking this drug, miss doses, or don’t take it on schedule, you may experience more symptoms caused by your condition. If you’ve been taking high doses of this drug for a long time and stop it suddenly, you may experience withdrawal. Symptoms can include extreme tiredness or fatigue, mood changes, sleep changes, or restlessness.

If you take too much: If you take too much of this drug, you may experience:

  • restlessness
  • muscle pain
  • weakness
  • fast breathing
  • fast heart rate
  • confusion
  • high or low blood pressure
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

More severe problems include convulsions (seizures) and coma, which can be deadly.

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. However, if it’s just a few hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one on schedule.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working: For narcolepsy, you should notice reduced sleep disturbances.

For ADHD, you should notice improved mental and behavioral effects, such as increased attention and decreased impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

In treating overweight and obesity, you should notice a decrease in your appetite.

Important considerations for taking amphetamine

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes amphetamine for you.

General

  • You can take this drug with or without food.
  • You should take the dose when you wake up in the morning. Taking this drug at night may cause trouble sleeping.
  • You can cut or crush the oral tablet.

Storage

  • Store at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Don’t freeze this medication.
  • Store this drug away from light and high temperatures.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
  • After you remove the orally disintegrating tablets from the carton they come in, store the blister packages in the rigid, plastic travel case.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is not refillable. You or your pharmacy will have to contact your doctor for a new prescription if you need this medication refilled.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t harm your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

This drug can cause serious heart problems or make existing heart problems worse. Your doctor may check your blood pressure and heart rate regularly during treatment with this drug.

Using this drug for a long time may slow a child’s growth or keep them from gaining weight. Your child’s doctor may monitor your child’s height and weight during treatment with this drug.

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 other drug options that may work for you.

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 here in 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.