Amphetamines are non-catecholamine, sympathomimetic amines with central nervous system (CNS) stimulant activity. Dexamphetamine stimulates both alpha and beta-adrenergic receptors. Peripheral actions include elevation of systolic and diastolic blood pressures and weak bronchodilator and respiratory stimulant action. It has pronounced stimulation of the central cortex and the respiratory and vasomotor centers. It increases motor activity, mental, wakefulness and produces euphoria.
The exact mechanism of action has not been established, however, in animals, amphetamines facilitate the action of dopamine and noradrenaline by blocking re-uptake from the synapse, inhibit the action of monoamine oxidase (MAO), and facilitate the release of catecholamine's. There is no specific evidence which clearly establishes the mechanism whereby amphetamines produce mental and behavioural effects in children, nor conclusive evidence regarding how these effects relate to the condition of the central nervous system.
Tolerance, and dependence of the amphetamine type develop on repeated administration of dexamphetamine.
Dexedrine may be used as an integral component of a treatment program, typically in combination with psychological, educational, or social measures for a stabilizing effect in children exhibiting the following behavioral syndrome: moderate-to-severe distractibility, short attention span, hyperactivity, emotional liability, and impulsivity.