Rapid Rx Quiz: Stimulants

Mary L. Windle, PharmD


October 03, 2022

Of the various ADHD medications, the most common adverse event is loss of appetite, which occurs in about 20% of pediatric patients for most drugs. Postmarketing reports for amphetamine and dextroamphetamine use have described impotence as well as frequent or prolonged erections and changes in libido.

Other common adverse events associated with amphetamine or dextroamphetamine use include:

  • Headache

  • Insomnia

  • Abdominal pain

  • Weight loss

  • Anxiety

  • Vomiting

  • Nervousness

  • Tachycardia

  • Fever

  • Nausea

  • Infection

  • Emotional lability

  • Dizziness

  • Diarrhea

  • Fatigue

  • Dry mouth

  • Dyspepsia

Postmarketing reports have also described palpitations and isolated reports of cardiomyopathy associated with chronic amphetamine use. Psychotic episodes have been reported at recommended doses, as well as overstimulation, restlessness, irritability, euphoria, dyskinesia, dysphoria, depression, tremor, tics, aggression, anger, logorrhea, dermatillomania, paresthesia (including formication), and bruxism. Blurred vision and mydriasis have been described. Gastrointestinal concerns include an unpleasant taste, constipation, intestinal ischemia, dryness of the mouth, diarrhea, anorexia, and weight loss. Dermatologic concerns include urticaria, rash, alopecia, and hypersensitivity reactions (including angioedema and anaphylaxis). Serious skin rashes include Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Raynaud phenomenon and rhabdomyolysis have also been described.

Learn more about amphetamine/dextroamphetamine.


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