Also Known As: Dextroamphetamine, Dexedrine, d-amphetamine, dexamphetamine, dexamfetamine
Dextroamphetamine is the dextrorotatory, or "right-handed", stereoisomer of the amphetamine molecule. The amphetamine molecule has two stereoisomers; levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Names for dextroamphetamine include d-amphetamine, dexamphetamine, dexamfetamine, and (S)-(+)-amphetamine, with brand names to include Dexedrine and Dextrostat.
The dextroamphetamine salts constitute around 75% of the ADHD drug Adderall. Dextroamphetamine is also an active metabolite of the prodrug lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), as well as of several older N-substituted amphetamine prodrugs used as anorectics, such as clobenzorex (Asenlix), benzphetamine (Didrex), and amphetaminil (Aponeuron).
The U.S. Air Force uses dextroamphetamine as one of its "go pills", given to pilots on long missions to help them remain focused and alert. The Tarnak Farm incident was linked by media reports to the use of this drug on long term fatigued pilots. The military did not accept this explanation, citing the lack of similar incidents. Newer stimulant medications or awakeness promoting agents with different side effect profiles, such as modafinil are being investigated and sometimes issued for this reason.
During the Vietnam War, Special Units of the US Military, such as MACV-SOG, were issued dextroamphetamine tablets. Due to the threat of misuse, these tablets were given to the Commanding Officer of the unit, and given out when needed.
Though such use remains out of the mainstream, dextroamphetamine has been successfully applied in the treatment of certain categories of depression as well as other psychiatric syndromes. Such alternate uses include reduction of fatigue in cancer patients, antidepressant treatment for HIV patients with depression and debilitating fatigue, and early stage physiotherapy for severe stroke victims. If physical therapy patients take dextroamphetamine while they practice their movements for rehabilitation, they may learn to move much faster than without dextroamphetamine, and in practice sessions with shorter lengths.