Desoxyn Abuse & Addiction | Desoxyn Use In Ohio

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on December 10, 2022

Desoxyn is a pharmaceutical version of the street drug methamphetamine. While this prescription drug is an important medical resource when other medications have proven ineffective, Desoxyn is extremely potent with a high potential for misuse and addiction.

While children, adolescents, and adults respond to first line ADHD stimulant treatments like Adderall (amphetamines), Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine), and Ritalin (methylphenidate), a more potent stimulant drug like Deoxyn is sometimes warranted.

What Is Desoxyn?

Desoxyn is a brand-name medication containing methamphetamine hydrochloride, a pharmaceutical version of the infamous street drug crystal meth

This potent CNS stimulant is usually prescribed to manage treatment-resistant cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

It is also sometimes used as a short-term weight loss treatment for certain types of obesity, or to manage the sleep disorder narcolepsy.

Is Desoxyn Still Prescribed?

Desoxyn 5 mg tablets are currently available for medical use, though prescribing physicians use them with caution and dispense them only in cases where other medications have not been suitable.

A generic methamphetamine medication equivalent to Desoxyn is also now available in the United States.

Desoxyn Drug Class

Methamphetamine is, as the name suggests, a drug from the amphetamine class that acts as a potent central nervous system stimulant.

It is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, indicating that it is considered to have a high potential for drug abuse and addiction.

How Desoxyn Works

ADHD is related to chronically low levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. 

Dopamine, a major neurotransmitter, is responsible for feelings of pleasure, reward, and motivation, and low levels (thought to stem from an overabundance of dopamine transporter molecules) can lead to impulsivity, disorganization, poor focus, and fidgeting.

By increasing dopamine levels, prescription stimulant medications are able to normalize the brain function of children, teens, and adults with ADHD. This may even improve overall brain structure in juveniles over periods of time.

Because it contains methamphetamine, a significantly potent amphetamine drug, Desoxyn is able to provide a much greater effect and sometimes eliminate side effects that other individuals experience when using first line ADHD medications.

Effects Of Desoxyn

When used as intended, Desoxyn can improve mental clarity, attention span, self-control, and hyperactive movement in those with ADHD who have struggled with weaker stimulant drugs.

But the medication is also associated with a wide range of common side effects, including:

  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • tachycardia (fast heart rate)
  • hyperventilation (fast breathing rate)
  • hyperthermia (high body temperature)
  • decreased appetite
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • upset stomach
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • weight loss
  • trouble sleeping
  • headache
  • aggressive behavior
  • a euphoric, energetic high (in higher doses)

In addition, a variety of serious side effects may occur, including mood changes, depression, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, twitching, swelling in the lower extremities, weight loss, sexual dysfunction, and vision changes.

Desoxyn Abuse

Healthcare providers go to great lengths to use Desoxyn only when the benefits of the medication outweigh its considerable risks. However, as with all prescription ADHD medications, Desoxyn can be diverted and abused in various ways.

This includes giving or selling the drug to anyone to whom it has not been prescribed, taking the drug in higher doses or more frequently than prescribed, or taking it recreationally in combination with other drugs to increase the overall effects.

If taken in other ways or by other individuals, Desoxyn will act like any other form of methamphetamine and can trigger a euphoric and highly addictive stimulant high.

Signs Of Desoxyn Addiction

Signs of prescription methamphetamine addiction can include:

  • using the drug in larger doses than prescribed
  • drug cravings
  • unstable mood
  • personality changes
  • declining self-care and overall physical and mental condition
  • medication tampering (snorting, plugging, parachuting)
  • drug-seeking behavior (doctor shopping, theft, or ordering pills from fake online pharmacies)
  • experiencing withdrawal symptoms when one’s Desoxyn tablets run out

Desoxyn Overdose

Methamphetamine can be extremely dangerous in situations of overdose, especially when the drug was taken with other drugs of abuse, including alcohol. Sudden death may occur.

Unlike opioids, which are dangerous because they cause respiratory depression, Desoxyn tends to increase physical and mental activity to dangerous levels. This can potentially lead to mental health and cardiovascular complications that may include:

  • agitation, confusion, or psychosis (paranoia and hyperactive, delusional, or aggressive behavior)
  • heart problems including tachycardia (fast heartbeats), arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), or cardiac arrest (heart attack)
  • tremors or convulsions
  • kidney damage
  • chest or stomach pain
  • hyperthermia (overheating)
  • stroke
  • seizures
  • coma

If you suspect a methamphetamine overdose has occurred, immediately call 911.

Other Desoxyn Warnings & Precautions

The medication guide included with Desoxyn lists a number of warnings and precautions, including risks related to:

  • prescription to individuals with a personal or family history of drug abuse
  • use by those preexisting conditions including Tourette’s syndrome/tics, glaucoma, bipolar disorder, heart conditions, and others
  • cardiovascular events
  • psychotic or manic symptoms
  • growth suppression in children/adolescents
  • seizures
  • circulation problems (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
  • serotonin syndrome when used with certain antidepressants or supplements
  • hazardous drug interactions with MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors)
  • vision problems

Prescription Stimulant Addiction Treatment

Prescription stimulant abuse and addiction are harmful practices, especially when it involves severely potent drugs like Desoxyn.

For information on our inpatient addiction recovery services, including medical detoxification and behavioral therapy, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — Drug Fact Sheet: Methamphetamine
  2. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — Desoxyn® (methamphetamine hydrochloride tablets, USP)
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts,a%20heart%20attack%20or%20seizures.
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Methamphetamine

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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