Module 2: Basic Pharmacology of Controlled Drugs and Substances

Lesson 1

Psychostimulants/amphetamines – Indications

Common Indications, Dosage and Route of Stimulants
Drug Indication Dosage
Dexamphetamine ADHD, narcolepsy, exogenous obesity Adult: 10 mg PO daily, may increase by 10 mg increments q week to max of 30 mg/day. Give individual doses at 4-6 h intervals

Ages 3-5 give 2.5 mg/day, increase by 2.5 mg daily at weekly intervals to range of 0.1 mg-0.5 mg/kg/day. Give in morning.

Ages >5 years give 5 mg 1-2 times/day, may increase in 5 mg increments weekly to maximum of 40 mg/day, usual range 0.1 mg-0.5 mg/kg/day

Methamphetamine ADHD, narcolepsy, exogenous obesity Adults and children >12 years give 5 mg 1-2 times/day, may increase at 5 mg increments weekly to max of 25mg/day, may be twice daily dosing or SR once daily.
SR dose is 10-15 mg in morning.
Methylphenidate ADHD, narcolepsy Adults: 20-30 mg/day in 2-3 divided doses to max of 60 mg/day

Children >6 years give 5 mg bid with increase of 5 mg increments at weekly intervals to max of 60 mg/day. Stop drug if no improvement in 4 weeks.

All ages: SR tabs taken in morning may be supplemented with afternoon regular tablets if needed. If insomnia is present give regular tablet no later than 6 pm.

Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance (CADDRA), 2010, 2016; Edmunds & Mayhew, 2014.


  • Canadian Pharmacists Association. (2014). E-Therapeutics. Ottawa: Author.
  • Edmunds, M.W. & Mayhew, M.S. (2014). Pharmacology for the Primary Care Provider (4th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby