Dextroamphetamine: A Chemical Perspective on its Properties and Applications
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Dextroamphetamine: A Chemical Perspective on its Properties and Applications


Dextroamphetamine, a central nervous system stimulant belonging to the amphetamine class of compounds, plays a significant role in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Exploring its chemical properties is essential for understanding its pharmacological actions and therapeutic uses.

Chemical Identity:

  • Chemical Name: Dextroamphetamine
  • Molecular Formula: C9H13NO2
  • Chemical Structure:
  • Synonyms: D-amphetamine, Dexedrine, Adderall

Physical Properties:

  • Appearance: Dextroamphetamine typically presents as a white to off-white crystalline powder or solid.
  • Melting Point: The melting point of dextroamphetamine falls within the range of approximately 169-173°C.
  • Boiling Point: Dextroamphetamine decomposes upon heating, and a precise boiling point is challenging to determine.
  • Solubility: It is sparingly soluble in water but dissolves readily in organic solvents such as ethanol and acetone.

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Chemical Properties:

  • Stability: Dextroamphetamine is relatively stable under ambient conditions but may undergo degradation upon exposure to heat, light, or acidic or basic environments.
  • Reactivity: It undergoes various chemical transformations, including reduction, oxidation, and formation of amine derivatives.
  • Acid-Base Behavior: Dextroamphetamine exhibits basic properties due to the presence of an amine group in its molecular structure.

Pharmacological Effects:

  • Stimulant Activity: Dextroamphetamine acts as a potent central nervous system stimulant, increasing alertness, concentration, and energy levels.
  • Therapeutic Uses: It is prescribed for the treatment of ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity, among other medical conditions.
  • Potential for Abuse: Dextroamphetamine has a high potential for abuse and dependence, necessitating careful monitoring and regulation of its use.

Safety Considerations:

  • Side Effects: Common side effects of dextroamphetamine include insomnia, loss of appetite, and elevated heart rate.
  • Risk of Misuse: Misuse of dextroamphetamine can lead to addiction, tolerance, and serious cardiovascular complications.
  • Regulatory Control: Dextroamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in many countries due to its high abuse potential and associated risks.


Dextroamphetamine represents a valuable medication in the treatment of ADHD, narcolepsy, and other medical conditions. However, its potent stimulant effects and potential for misuse underscore the importance of responsible prescribing practices and public education regarding its risks and benefits. Further research into its pharmacological mechanisms and therapeutic applications is warranted to optimize its clinical utility while minimizing potential harms.

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