Dextrostat: A Patient’s Guide

How Does it Work?

Dextrostat

Dextrostat is classified as a central nervous system stimulant. It is not really known how this drug works. However, scientists believe that it increases the flow of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. These chemicals are responsible for carrying signals between neurons and when there is an increase, a person's ability to focus over longer periods of time is increased as more messages are carried back and forth between nerve cells.

Controversial Use of Stimulants

There has always been controversy over using central nervous stimulants as part of a treatment plan for ADHD in children. One argument is that they have the potential for abuse. Taking them for prolonged periods of time, even when used exactly as prescribed, can result in dependence in some people. Drugs classified as central nervous system stimulants are schedule II drugs under regulations set forth by the United State Federal Government.

They also have the potential to suppress appetite which has some parents concerned that their child will be unable to eat a sustainable diet.

There is a risk that the long term use of amphetamines may cause behavioral problems and stunted growth. As the medication is supposed to help treat behavioral issues many parents wonder about the possibility of creating additional problems for their children. This is something that parents and health care providers will have to discuss on an individual basis when creating an ADHD treatment plan for a child.

A further risk is that this type of drug may cause abnormal movements and tics. For some children, these may become permanent even when the drug is stopped.

Potential Benefits and Effectiveness

The effectiveness of dextrostat and its benefits will depend to some extent on the patient. If the drug is working as it should, the patient should be experiencing benefits such as:

  • A longer attention span
  • Not being distracted as easily
  • Less hyperactivity
  • Not being as impulsive or not impulsive at all
  • Less frequent mood changes or mood reactions

Prescribing Guidelines

Dextrostat is prescribed to both adults and children with short attention spans, emotional lability, distractibility, hyperactivity and impulsivity. This medication is generally prescribed along with educational, social and psychological therapies.

Side Effects and Warnings

The more common side effects may include headache, dry mouth, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lower sex drive, insomnia, uncontrollable shaking of body parts, unpleasant taste, constipation or weight loss. Patients should alert their doctors if these persist or worsen.

Serious emergency symptoms include pounding or fast heartbeat, chest pain, slow or difficult speech, dizziness or faintness, seizures, hallucinations, aggressive or hostile behavior, verbal tics, hives, shortness of breath, excessive tiredness, arm or leg numbness or weakness, mood changes, feeling abnormally suspicious of others, abnormally excited or frenzied mood, abnormal movements, blurry vision or vision changes.

This medication can interact with others. These include blood pressure medications, allergy or cold medications, chlorpromazine, haloperidol, methenamine, propoxyphene, antacids, antidepressants, diuretics, acetazolamide, ethosuximide, lithium, phenytoin, MAO inhibitors, reserpine, stomach acid reducers and sodium bicarbonate.

Contraindications include congenital heart defects, heart disease, arteriosclerosis, glaucoma, history of alcohol or drug abuse, high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, severe anxiety, recent heart attack, mental illness or psychiatric disorder, epilepsy or seizure disorders, heart failure or heart rhythm disorders, depression, Tourette's syndrome or tics or certain allergies.

NB: The content of this article is for information purposes and is not intended to replace sound medical advice and opinion.

Resources

PubMed Health. (2010). Dextroamphetamine. Retrieved on April 27, 2011 from PubMed Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000310/

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2006). Dextrostat (dextroamphetamine sulfate) Tablet. Retrieved on April 27, 2011 from the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Photo Credits

Shiny Brain: artM – sxc.hu