Ferndex : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Ferndex (Dextroamphetamine) can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer time than prescribed by your doctor. If you take too much Ferndex, you may continue to feel a need to take large amounts of the medication, and you may experience unusual changes in your behavior.. You or your caregiver should tell your doctor immediately, if you experience any of the following symptoms: fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat; sweating; dilated pupils; abnormally excited mood; irritability; restlessness; difficulty falling sleeping or staying asleep; hostility; aggression; anxiety; loss of appetite; loss of coordination; uncontrollable movement of a part of the body; flushed skin; vomiting; stomach pain; or thinking about harming or killing oneself or others or planning or trying to do so. Overusing Ferndex may also cause serious heart problems or sudden death.
If you take too much dexmethylphenidate, you may continue to feel a need to take large amounts of the medication, and you may experience unusual changes in your behavior
Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family drinks or has ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, uses or has ever used street drugs, or has overused prescription medications. Your doctor will probably not prescribe Ferndex for you.
Do not stop taking Ferndex without talking to your doctor, especially if you have overused the medication. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually and monitor you carefully during this time. You may experience depression and extreme tiredness if you suddenly stop taking Ferndex after overusing it.
Do not sell, give away, or let anyone else take your medication. Selling or giving away Ferndex is against the law and may harm others. Store Ferndex in a safe place so that no one else can take it accidentally or on purpose. Keep track of how many tablets or capsules are left so you will know if any are missing.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with Ferndex and each time you get more medication. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer’s website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Ferndex (Dextroamphetamine) is used as part of a treatment program to control symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; more difficulty focusing, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet than other people who are the same age) in adults and children. Ferndex is also used to treat narcolepsy (a sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep). Ferndex is in a class of medications called central nervous system stimulants. It works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain.
How should this medicine be used?
Ferndex comes as a liquid, tablet, and an extended-release (long-acting) capsule to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken 2 to 3 times daily with or without food. The extended-release capsule is usually taken once a day with or without food. The liquid is usually taken once or twice daily with or without food. Take Ferndex at around the same time(s) every day. If you are taking Ferndex tablets, take your first dose as soon as you wake up in the morning, and space your doses by 4 to 6 hours. Do not take Ferndex in the evening because it may cause difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Ferndex exactly as directed.
Do not chew or crush the extended-release capsules.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of Ferndex and gradually increase your dose, not more often than once every week.
Your doctor may tell you to stop taking Ferndex from time to time to see if the medication is still needed. Follow these directions carefully.
Other uses for this medicine
Ferndex should not be used to treat excessive tiredness that is not caused by narcolepsy.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking Ferndex,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Ferndex, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Ferndex preparations. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking or receiving the following medications or have stopped taking them in the past 14 days: monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors including isocarboxazid (Marplan), linezolid (Zyvox), methylene blue, phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate). If you stop taking Ferndex, you should wait at least 14 days before you start to take an MAO inhibitor.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: acetazolamide (Diamox); alpha blockers such as alfuzosin (Uroxatral), doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), tamsulosin (Flomax, in Jalyn), and terazosin; ammonium chloride; antacids and other medications for heartburn or ulcers such as omeprazole (Prilosec); antihistamines (medications for colds and allergies); ascorbic acid (Vitamin C); beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran); buspirone; chlorpromazine; diuretics (‘water pills’); fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Subsys, others); guanethidine (Ismelin; no longer available in U.S.); haloperidol (Haldol); lithium (Lithobid); medications for high blood pressure; medications for migraine headaches such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex, in Treximet), and zolmitriptan (Zomig); medications for seizures such as ethosuximide (Zarontin), phenobarbital, and phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); meperidine (Demerol); methenamine (Hiprex, Urex); propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvon-N; no longer available in U.S.); quinidine (in Nuedexta); reserpine; ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, in Symbyax), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Brisdelle, Prozac, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft); serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors such as desvenlafaxine (Khedezla, Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), milnacipran (Savella), and venlafaxine (Effexor); sodium bicarbonate (Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, Soda Mint); sodium phosphate; tramadol; or tricyclic antidepressants (‘mood elevators’) such as desipramine (Norpramin) and protriptyline (Vivactil), Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John’s wort and tryptophan or what nutritional supplements you are taking including glutamic acid (L-glutamine).
- tell your doctor if you have glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye that may cause vision loss), hyperthyroidism (a condition in which you have too much thyroid hormone in your body); feelings of anxiety, tension, or agitation. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take Ferndex.
- tell your doctor if anyone in your family has or has ever had an irregular heartbeat or has died suddenly. Also tell your doctor if you have recently had a heart attack and if you have or have ever had a heart defect, high blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, heart or blood vessel disease, hardening of the arteries, or other heart problems. Your doctor will examine you to see if your heart and blood vessels are healthy. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take Ferndex if you have a heart condition or if there is a high risk that you may develop a heart condition.
- tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had depression, bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited), or mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood), facial or motor tics (repeated uncontrollable movements), verbal tics (repetition of sounds or words that is hard to control) or Tourette’s syndrome (a condition characterized by the need to perform repeated motions or to repeat sounds or words), or has thought about or attempted suicide. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had mental illness, seizures, or an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG; test that measures electrical activity in the brain). If your child is taking Ferndex to treat ADHD, tell your child’s doctor if your child has recently experienced unusual stress.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking Ferndex, call your doctor. Do not breastfeed while taking Ferndex.
- talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking Ferndex if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take Ferndex because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
- you should know that Ferndex may make it difficult for you to perform activities that require alertness or physical coordination. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- you should know that Ferndex should be used as part of a total treatment program for ADHD, which may include counseling and special education. Make sure to follow all of your doctor’s and/or therapist’s instructions.
- you should know that Ferndex may cause sudden death in children and teenagers, especially children and teenagers with heart defects or serious heart problems. This medication also may cause sudden death, heart attack, or stroke in adults, especially adults with heart defects or serious heart problems. Call your or your child’s doctor right away if you or your child has any signs of heart problems while taking this medication including: chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Ferndex may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth
- unpleasant taste
- weight loss
- changes in sex drive or ability
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- excessive tiredness
- slow or difficult speech
- weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
- mood changes
- believing things that are not true
- feeling unusually suspicious of others
- agitation, hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist), fever, sweating, confusion, fast heartbeat, shivering, severe muscle stiffness or twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- abnormal movements
- verbal tics
- changes in vision or blurred vision
- paleness or blue color of fingers or toes
- pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
- unexplained wounds appearing on fingers or toes
Ferndex may cause sudden death in children and teenagers, especially children and teenagers who have heart defects or serious heart problems. This medication also may cause sudden death, heart attack or stroke in adults, especially adults who have heart defects or serious heart problems. Call your doctor right away if you or your child has any signs of heart problems while taking this medication including: chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Ferndex may slow children’s growth or weight gain. Your child’s doctor will watch his or her growth carefully. Talk to your child’s doctor if you have concerns about your child’s growth or weight gain while he or she is taking this medication. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of giving Ferndex to your child.
Ferndex may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
- dark red or cola colored urine
- muscle weakness or aching
- tirednessor weakness
- fast breathing
- aggressive behavior
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- irregular heartbeat
- blurred vision
- upset stomach
- stomach cramps
- coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking Ferndex.
This prescription is not refillable. Be sure to schedule appointments with your doctor on a regular basis so you do not run out of medication.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.