The Difference Between Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

If you are wondering what the difference is between amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, you were probably prompted to wonder because of Adderall, which is made up of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It’s a good question. Dextroamphetamine has the word amphetamine in it, so it must be part of the same family, right? And, if it is part of the same family, why are both of them in your Adderall?

It’s good to be curious about what you are putting in your body.

If you are using Adderall as directed by your doctor, then your doctor and your pharmacist are making sure that your medical history shows that the drug will be compatible with your body and other medications you may be taking. You will also visit your doctor and update them on how the drug is working for you. That can help you feel taken care of and informed.

If you are taking Adderall non-medically (without a prescription), you put yourself in danger because you may not understand Adderall’s ingredients or how they interact with your body. You also are not using a prescription amount based on your size and medical history. These are all situations that put you at risk of developing dependence and/or an addiction or overdosing.

Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

Both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are found in the ADHD medication, Adderall.

It’s good to inquire about the difference between amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, but if you are using these drugs recreationally, you have larger concerns. You need to be most interested in how you can cease your non-medical use of these drugs because continued use only puts you at risk. There are safer ways to achieve the benefits you believe Adderall provides.

For help locating a treatment program that can work for you, get help today at 800-816-1059(Who Answers?). Call now.


According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, amphetamine was first synthesized in 1887 by the German chemist L. Edeleano. Initially, the stimulant effects were not recognized. However, by the 1930s, amphetamine was being recommended for a variety of ailments. The drug continued to be popular because it worked, had a low cost, was readily available, and was not supposed to cause addiction—although, the medical professional reporting this at that time were certainly incorrect.

During World War II, troops in a number of countries, including the US, UK, Germany, and Japan used amphetamine to boost their performance.

By the 1960s and 1970s, abuse began to rise and users took to injecting the drug for a more immediate high. Before long, both methamphetamine and crystal meth addictions were on the rise.

How They Work

Amphetamine use causes neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine to be released from the brain’s nerve endings and their reuptake is inhibited, so the neurotransmitters pool around the brain’s synapses. The brain and spinal cord’s nerve cells, once activated by the neurotransmitters, signal increased focus, wakefulness, and improved concentration. These effects are particularly useful for people with a hyperactivity disorder or narcolepsy.

Physiologically, using amphetamine is the same as using cocaine, but cocaine has a much shorter high, lasting generally under an hour. An amphetamine high lasts as long as several hours. Plus, the high can be increased by using other drugs or alcohol with amphetamine. If you are using amphetamines and other drugs or alcohol, you are endangering yourself, and you need to stop as soon as possible.



You may be familiar with dextroamphetamine because you are taking it on its own or because you are taking it in conjunction with amphetamine, as you would if you were using Adderall.

According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), dextroamphetamine is used to treat the symptoms of ADHD (difficulty focusing, remaining still, controlling behaviors, and remaining quiet compared to other people of the same age). It is also prescribed for narcolepsy.

As with amphetamine, the drug was used by troops in World War II and continues to be used by the military today.

Dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine are enantiomers of amphetamine, which means that they are mirror-image compounds of one another. Dextroamphetamine is the stronger of the two.

If you are using amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, or a combination of the two non-medically and you have developed a dependence or an addiction, you can get help from Get help today at 800-816-1059(Who Answers?).