Dextroamphetamine vs. Adderall: What’s the Difference?

Dextroamphetamine¬†and Adderall are two different stimulant medications. According to CESAR, “The collective group of amphetamines includes amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine.” While there are many similarities between the two drug types, there are several key differences that should be understood by any individual taking one or the other.

Brand vs. Generic

Dextroamphetamine is a generic drug that is sometimes used in combination with other substances to treat ADHD, narcolepsy, and other medical conditions. Its brand names include ProCentra and Dexedrine (NLM). Adderall is a brand name drug that contains both dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It is used to treat the same types of conditions, as both drugs cause alertness, increased energy, and more focused concentration.

Because Adderall is a brand name drug, it often has more name recognition with users. In addition, it is the combination of two stimulant substances where dextroamphetamine is only one.

Side Effects

Both drugs have been known to cause potential side effects in users, especially those who take more than they were prescribed. These side effects may include:

  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia

A person’s heart rate can also be increased as well as their blood pressure if they take either of these drugs. In abuse situations, taking extremely high doses can lead to the possibility of seizure, heart attack, or stroke.

While both drugs can cause dangerous effects, Adderall is the combination of two drugs which often causes it to create more intense side effects in users. More individuals have complained of problematic side effects from Adderall use, even when they were not currently abusing the drug.

Adderall is also more likely to cause Raynaud phenomenon “a problem with blood circulation in [the user’s] fingers and toes” as well as “slowed growth” in preadolescent users (NLM). Dextroamphetamine on its own may cause an unpleasant taste in the mouth, which is usually less intense than the symptoms specifically caused by Adderall. The brand combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, however, is more likely to cause diarrhea while dextroamphetamine on its own has a tendency to cause either diarrhea or constipation, depending on the user.

Effectiveness of the Drugs

adderall effects

Adderall is understood to be slightly more effective.

Adderall has been known to be slightly more effective in the treatment of ADHD, according to patients. In many cases, individuals who have taken both prefer Adderall because it can be stronger and its effects more intense. These include both its positive and negative effects, but many individuals choose Adderall over dextroamphetamine because of its strength.

This may be partly due to name recognition, but many individuals claim to have received more beneficial results when taking Adderall. Still, it is important to consult with a doctor in every case and to listen to their opinion of which medication may be better for you.

There are many differences between Adderall and dextroamphetamine, but the latter medication is an ingredient within the former. Therefore, they also have many aspects in common. While you may prefer to start a treatment regimen with one type of drug, it is always beneficial to discuss the possibilities with your doctor before deciding.