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Levoamphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

Levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine: two drugs with different chemical compositions but belonging to the same amphetamine class. These medications are commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

But which one is the right choice? Many individuals find themselves at a crossroads, unsure which way to turn.

Differences between Levoamphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

Levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine may sound similar, but they have some key differences. Let’s dive into the dissimilarities between these two substances.

Contains Different Isomers

The main difference lies in the composition of these drugs. Levoamphetamine contains both the levo isomer and the dextro isomer, whereas dextroamphetamine only contains the dextro isomer.

Isomers are molecules with the same chemical formula but different arrangements.

Effects on the Central Nervous System

Due to their distinct chemical structures, levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine have different effects on the central nervous system (CNS). The levo isomer in levoamphetamine has more peripheral effects compared to dextroamphetamine.

This means that levoamphetamine may impact areas outside of the CNS, such as blood vessels and muscles, to a greater extent than its counterpart.

Peripheral Effects

Levoamphetamine’s peripheral effects can lead to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and constriction of blood vessels. These effects may be desirable in certain medical conditions like hypotension or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

On the other hand, dextroamphetamine primarily acts within the CNS, resulting in increased focus, alertness, and improved cognitive function.

Clinical Applications

Medical applications include using levoamphetamine to treat ADHD symptoms, leveraging its capacity to enhance focus and attention. Dextroamphetamine, prescribed for ADHD and also employed in narcolepsy treatment.

Effectiveness in Treating Minimal Brain Dysfunction: Levoamphetamine vs Dextroamphetamine

Both levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine have shown effectiveness in treating minimal brain dysfunction (MBD). Studies suggest that dextroamphetamine may be more effective than levoamphetamine in improving cognitive function in MBD patients. However, individual responses to each drug may vary.

Levoamphetamine’s Effectiveness in Treating MBD

Levoamphetamine is beneficial for individuals with minimal brain dysfunction. It is known to increase alertness, attention, and focus, which can help improve cognitive abilities. Many patients have reported positive results when taking therapeutic doses of levoamphetamine for the treatment of MBD.


  • Enhances alertness and attention

  • Improves focus and concentration

  • Helps manage symptoms of minimal brain dysfunction


  • Individual responses may vary

  • Potential side effects such as increased heart rate or blood pressure

Dextroamphetamine’s Effectiveness in Treating MBD

Studies have indicated that dextroamphetamine may be more effective than levoamphetamine in treating minimal brain dysfunction. It has shown promising results in improving cognitive function and reducing symptoms associated with MBD.

Uses and Applications of Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

Amphetamine compounds like levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine are used to treat ADHD, enhancing focus and managing hyperactivity. They’re also prescribed for narcolepsy, aiding daytime alertness.

In obesity treatment, they act as appetite suppressants under medical supervision. Additionally, these compounds may alleviate certain depressive disorders by boosting mood and energy levels. The mechanism involves increasing dopamine levels in the brain, improving cognitive function and alertness.

It’s crucial to remember that while amphetamines have legitimate medical uses when taken as prescribed by a healthcare professional, they also carry risks if misused or abused.

They belong to a class of drugs known as psychostimulants or stimulants and are classified as Schedule II substances due to their potential for addiction.

Comparing the Pharmacological Properties of Levoamphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

Higher Affinity for Norepinephrine Receptors

Levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine are two different forms of amphetamine compounds. One key difference between them lies in their pharmacological properties. Levoamphetamines have a higher affinity for norepinephrine receptors compared to dextroamphetamines.

This means that levoamphetamines have a stronger effect on norepinephrine release in the brain, which can impact various physiological processes.

Stronger Effect on Dopamine Release

On the other hand, dextroamphetamines have a stronger effect on dopamine release compared to levoamphetamines. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with reward, motivation, and pleasure.

The increased dopamine activity caused by dextroamphetamine can lead to heightened feelings of euphoria and increased focus.

Differences in Pharmacokinetics

Another important distinction between these medications lies in their pharmacokinetics, or how they are absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and eliminated by the body. Levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine differ in their rates of absorption and metabolism, which affects their duration of action.

Levoamphetamine has a slower rate of absorption compared to dextroamphetamine. As a result, it takes longer for levoamphetamine to reach its peak concentration in the bloodstream but also has a longer duration of action once it does so.

Dextroamphetamine, on the other hand, is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches its peak concentration more quickly but has a shorter duration of action.

Exploring the Efficacy of Levoamphetamine and Dextroamphetamine in Cognitive Enhancement

Both levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine have been extensively studied for their potential cognitive-enhancing effects. While they belong to the same class of drugs, amphetamines, some differences in their pharmacological properties may impact their efficacy.

Dextroamphetamine: Consistent Positive Results

Dextroamphetamine has consistently shown positive results in improving attention, focus, and working memory. Studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in enhancing cognitive performance, particularly in individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

By increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain, dextroamphetamine helps to regulate attention and impulse control.


  • Improves attention, focus, and working memory.

  • Enhances cognitive performance.

  • Regulates attention and impulse control.

Levoamphetamine: Milder Cognitive Enhancement

On the other hand, levoamphetamine may have a milder cognitive-enhancing effect compared to dextroamphetamine. It is believed to primarily act as a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor rather than directly affecting dopamine levels. This difference in mechanism of action could contribute to its potentially lesser impact on cognitive function.


  • It may provide mild cognitive enhancement.

  • It acts as a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.

While both medications can be effective for cognitive enhancement purposes, it is important to note that individual responses may vary. Factors such as dosage, extended-release formulations, and timing of administration throughout the day can also influence their effectiveness.

Key Insights on Levoamphetamine vs Dextroamphetamine

We delved into the efficacy of both substances in cognitive enhancement.

Now that you have a better understanding of these two amphetamines, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body chemistry is unique. While some individuals may respond better to levoamphetamine, others may find dextroamphetamine more effective for their needs.

It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances.

If you’re considering using either levoamphetamine or dextroamphetamine for medical purposes or cognitive enhancement, it’s essential to prioritize your health and safety.

Remember to follow prescribed dosages and heed any precautions provided by healthcare professionals. Always stay informed about potential side effects and reach out to your doctor if you have any concerns.


Are levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine available over the counter?

No, both levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine are prescription medications. They are classified as controlled substances due to their potential for abuse and misuse.

Can these medications be used for weight loss?

The FDA has not approved levoamphetamine or dextroamphetamine for weight loss purposes, despite their potential to suppress appetite as a side effect. Utilizing them solely for weight loss without medical supervision can pose risks.

Are there any natural alternatives to these medications?

There are no natural alternatives that replicate the effects of amphetamines like levoamphetamine or dextroamphetamine with the same level of potency or reliability. However, lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and stress reduction techniques can contribute to overall well-being.

Can these medications be addictive?

Yes, both levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine have the potential for addiction and dependence. It’s crucial to use them only as a healthcare professional prescribes and follow their instructions carefully.

Are there any long-term effects associated with these medications?

Long-term use of amphetamines can have various effects on the body, including cardiovascular problems, psychiatric disorders, and potential neurotoxicity. Regular monitoring by a healthcare professional is essential when using these medications for an extended period.

Shazzy Sheraz

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