Desoxyn is prescribed to treat two different conditions: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and exogenous obesity (obesity caused by overeating) in people 12 years old or older. This medication falls into the stimulant drug class, increasing the release of certain chemicals in the central nervous system to improve concentration, focus, and impulse control in patients with ADHD or to suppress appetite to help those obese lose weight. This drug shares properties with other stimulants used to treat ADHD, such as Ritalin and Concerta. Because it’s more potent than these other drugs, our rehab center in Chicago is looking at Desoxyn side effects to determine its dangers.
What Is Desoxyn?
Desoxyn is the brand name for methamphetamine hydrochloride. Yes, you read that correctly: methamphetamine (meth).
As we mentioned previously, Desoxyn is a central nervous system stimulant that works by stimulating the release of chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain to help increase the individual’s ability to pay attention, focus on an activity, and control behavioral problems. Additionally, as with stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin, Desoxyn pills also suppress your appetite, which is why it’s used to help people struggling with obesity lose weight.
Desoxyn is usually taken by mouth with or without food as directed by a doctor, usually once or twice every day. During treatment, doctors may occasionally recommend stopping the medication for a short period to determine any changes in behavior and whether the medication is still needed.
While Desoxyn may be taken for longer periods with occasionally stopped sessions for ADHD, it’s only meant as a short-term treatment option for individuals with obesity. Whenever you’re taking any medication, do not take it longer than prescribed.
Taking medication in higher doses than prescribed or longer than directed by a doctor increases your risk of developing a physical dependence on and addiction to the substance. Addiction is a chronic disease that can require care like our Chicago PHP to treat.
Desoxyn Ingredients: Is It Really Methamphetamine?
While we are going through the details on Desoxyn doses and uses, you may be stuck on the fact that it contains methamphetamine. While you may know methamphetamine to be one of the strongest stimulants that produces a high as well as lethal side effects, it also has its medical purposes.
The active ingredient in Desoxyn is methamphetamine hydrochloride (HCL). Although meth can be made illegally in clandestine labs, trafficked, and sold for abuse, it can also be an effective form of care for certain conditions when used correctly in a medical setting.
Like cocaine has medical use as a local anesthetic, methamphetamine HCL is used to treat ADHD, increasing the individual’s ability to pay attention, stay focused on one activity, and control behavioral problems like impulsivity. The drug also acts on chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, which can improve mood and stimulate motivation.
On another note, it is important to point out that Desoxyn is classified as a Schedule II substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that while it has a medical use, it also has a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Stimulant abuse is a growing problem in the United States. Research from June 2019 to May 2020 indicated that 23.2% of drug overdose deaths involved cocaine, and 24.2% involved other stimulants. Additionally, from 2012 to 2018, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths more than tripled.1
Over the same period, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving stimulants like methamphetamine, amphetamine, and methylphenidate increased by a factor of 4.9.2 Another nationwide public survey found that meth was the most common type of substance involved in drug-related emergency department visits, accounting for 33.7% of these visits.3
With this in mind, it’s important that anyone who is taking Desoxyn uses it as directed by the prescribing doctor. Taking higher doses than directed or taking it longer than directed can increase the risk of dependence and addiction, which can create a domino effect of other problems.
Desoxyn can be harmful. In fact, it is prescribed much less often than other stimulants, and one reason for this lower prescription rate is the drug’s adverse side effects. 4
In the short-term, Desoxyn side effects may include:
- Increased wakefulness
- Increased energy and activity levels
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
Methamphetamine stimulates the release of certain chemicals in the brain that improve mood and energy, such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. As a result, some people may abuse Desoxyn to exaggerate and intensify these side effects.
Stimulant abuse is also prevalent among people who want to perform better at school, work, or in sports; to experience a state of euphoria; or to improve symptoms of mental illness like depression. Stimulant abuse is most common among athletes, performers, academic professionals, high school and college students, and older adults.
Ironically, while drugs like Desoxyn and Adderall have reputations for improving academic performance, there is not any evidence showing improvements in performance when these drugs are used by people without ADHD. In fact, people who abuse prescription stimulants tend to have lower grades than people who do not.5
Common Desoxyn Side Effects
Desoxyn use can lead to several potentially harmful side effects, even when the substance is taken as prescribed. When Desoxyn is used excessively or in combination with other substances, side effects can grow in number and severity, as well.
Common side effects of Desoxyn include:
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Stroke or heart attack
- Numbness or cold feeling in the fingers, toes, ears, and nose
- Upset stomach
- Blurred vision
- Skin Rash
- Decreased libido
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Trouble sleeping or insomnia
- Mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts
- Abnormal twitching or shaking
- Frequent, prolonged erections in males
The latter side effects are some of the most serious and rare of Desoxyn. In addition to physical side effects, Desoxyn can also impact the mental stability and state of the user.
Because stimulants interact with the brain’s release of chemicals linked to mood, motivation, and energy, Desoxyn can trigger new psychotic or mood episodes in people with no prior high of mental health problems. This drug can also worsen any existing mental illness or induce major mood episodes in people with bipolar disorder.6
Moreover, as with other medications, but especially stimulants, Desoxyn can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms if it is suddenly stopped after long-term use. Common Desoxyn withdrawals include severe fatigue, sleep problems, and mood changes such as depression.
For this reason, it is important to speak to your doctor if the medication seems to stop working after a while of using it. Your doctor will also help you slowly wean off Desoxyn and prevent withdrawals by slowly lowering your doses.
Undergoing medically supervised detox can also help people who are dependent on stimulants to safely get through withdrawals.
Get Help for Stimulant Abuse Now
Even though prescription medications are given to people by medical professionals, all drugs come with risks. Desoxyn, while effective in treating ADHD and helping people lose weight, can become a dangerous source of addiction if misused. For those who have become addicted to Desoxyn or any other medication, our Banyan Chicago rehab offers prescription drug addiction treatment to help clients recover from addictions to prescribed stimulants, sedatives, narcotics, and more.
Our substance-specific programs are held on various levels of addiction care according to the client’s needs, such as PHP and IOP treatment. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, we can help.
- DEA - Methamphetamine
- NIH - Desoxyn