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Dexedrine for Weight Loss

author image Leigh Wittman
Leigh Wittman has been writing professionally since 2007. She writes primarily on health, career advice, outdoor pursuits and travel for various websites. Wittman is a licensed nurse and studied nursing at Arizona State University.
Dexedrine for Weight Loss
Close up of woman weighing herself. Photo Credit: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

The mechanism behind weight loss is simple: If you eat less and move more, you'll lose weight. In practice, however, weight loss is quite challenging. If you are struggling to lose weight, you may be looking for any and all assistance available to you, including prescription weight loss aids such as Dexedrine. Learning about weight loss and Dexedrine can help you to determine the best weight loss method for you. Always consult your physician prior to taking any medication or embarking on a weight loss plan.

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Science of Weight Loss

A calorie is a unit of energy. Anything your body uses for fuel, including food and body fat, contains calories. Body fat contains 3,500 calories per pound. Therefore, you must burn 3,500 more calories than you consume to lose 1 lb. of fat. If you eat 500 to 1,000 calories less per day than your body burns, you can expect to lose 1 to 2 lb. per week.

About Dexedrine

Dexedrine is the trade name for dextroamphetamine, a prescription psychostimulant medication. Dexedrine is primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, although it is sometimes used off-label as a weight loss aid due to its potent side effect of appetite loss. Other common side effects include headache, dry mouth, insomnia, restlessness, diarrhea, constipation and changes in libido.

Dexedrine for Weight Loss

Dexedrine is sometimes prescribed to be used as an appetite suppressant. When Dexedrine is prescribed for this purpose it is typically only for a short period of time, lasting no more than 12 weeks, partially because the longer you take Dexedrine the more your body builds a tolerance to its effects and the side effect of appetite loss diminishes. Furthermore, because Dexedrine is habit forming, taking it as a weight loss aid for longer than 12 weeks increases your risk of developing an addiction to this medication, according to "Focus on Nursing Pharmacology."


Because Dexedrine is only a short-term weight loss aid its use is controversial in the medical community, according to "Handbook of Obesity Treatment." Once you stop taking the Dexedrine, your appetite will return and you will have to rely on your knowledge and desire to eat a balanced diet to maintain your weight loss. If you and your doctor decide that Dexedrine may be a beneficial jump start to your weight loss, focus on building healthy habits while on the medication so that you can rely on your new lifestyle to continue your weight loss success.

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  • "Focus on Nursing Pharmacology"; Amy Morrison Karch; 2009
  • "Davis's Drug Guide for Nurses"; Judi Deglin, et al.; 2010
  • "Handbook of Obesity Treatment"; Thomas A. Wadden PhD, et al.; 2004
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