View Full Version : Dex and intense exercise? Please help

08-25-15, 07:41 PM
Ok. Not sure where to begin. I'm a little overwhelmed by all the info on this site and I didn't find what I was looking for. I'm also sort of overwhelmed by... my question. Lots of moving parts here. I'll do my best to write this out coherently.

I am prescribed Dexedrine IR 50mg / day. However, it's rare that I take the full dose. 20mg was too low, but 50 feels too high. I go between 20 and 40 per day, and very occasionally I'll do 50 when I really need to focus.

That's my dosage / use profile.

I have been extremely active almost my whole life. Always involved in hard core weight lifting and cage fighting and crazy stuff like that.

I took about 6 months off from all of this right around the time of my diagnosis and around the time I started the meds before I settled on dex. So, I have no baseline point of reference for its effects on me when I am in good shape.

I've been easing back into things for about a month or two now. I find that I get massively fatigued, particularly when doing intense strength work like weight lifting or wrestling. It's difficult to even describe. My vision starts going dark and I need to take a knee or sit down lest I collapse. It's a feeling of over-exertion, as if I am really running the engine too hot and it's about to break.

More factors / clues -

I find I also sweat intensely during these bouts.

My heart beats very fast, but I'm unable to determine whether it's beating faster than it would have without dex.

This happens even when I haven't taken any dex for 6 hours or more that day. It does not seem to matter when I've taken the dex or even the dosage, really.

It has been incredibly hot and humid here lately, which I believe may be a contributing factor.

I feel as though I may have asthma. It's possible that I've always had it and didn't know. But I do notice that I I feel tightness in my chest, marked shortness of breath, and I cough quite a bit after these exercise bouts. I don't know if I've always had this, or if the dex could be causing it. Or even if this is the reason.

It's also possible that I have PFO (a hole in the wall between heart ventricles). I've learned recently that I have about a 50% of having it. Seeing a cardiologist this Friday about it. Not sure how this would fit into all this, if at all, however.

Sorry for the length. Any insights? Any good resources for learning about dexedrine? I find a lot of conflicting info out there and have a hard time making heads or tails of it all.

08-25-15, 11:51 PM
Dex will make you sweat more intensely. Keep hydrated and electrolyted.

Dex will dehydrate you. Keep hydrated and electrolyted.

Dex has the potential to raise your heart rate, but this is not guaranteed.

I know Dex alters my body’s use of carbs as fuel for muscle. I can’t say exactly how, but readings of blood glucose tell me so. (yes, I am diabetic). I have had times when I have exerted myself that Dex seems to alleviate fatigue, and sometimes the other way around.

I have a PFO (patent foramen ovale). Until you speak with your cardiologist and decide on a plan of action (if any) I would advise you take a break from doing any lifting. That kind of exertion puts you at a risk of a stroke because lifting will open the PFO and promote bloodflow through it, which can allow a leg-sourced embolus to go directly to your brain.

Ask me how I know. Yep, I had a stroke in my 30s from lifting a weight (and I was just carrying a heavy load of groceries).

That all said, I asked my doctor about exercise and Dex, and he said I am free to do whatever I like with the exception of weight lifting which requires the use of a Valsalva maneuver. That’s fine with me, as I don’t enjoy that sort of lifting anyway.

Closure of the PFO will allow resumption of all activities, and has the potential to offer a performance benefit with lifting and other heavy-exertion activities because you will no longer have the chance to dilute fully-oxygenated blood with oxygen-poor blood under load - the time you need the pure stuff the most!

well wishes,

08-26-15, 02:14 AM
Gah... I don't want to get sidetracked, but this PFO thing is a lot to chew on, as well. I just recently found out I might have it. I've had horrible migraines with aura for my whole life. I've seen maybe a dozen migraine "experts". None of them pointed out to me that people who suffer from migraine with aura have a 50% chance of having a PFO. I am beyond angry about the sheer incompetence and total lack of professional pride I see from the medical profession across the board. 35 years I also suffered from a TEXTBOOK case of ADHD, and none of these "experts" ever caught it.

I digress, but, I almost feel my face get flushed when I think about it. Nope, let's not point out to this guy who we know engages in intense weight lifting that he might have a stroke in his mid-30's (which I am now) because he may have a hole in his heart. And guess what! Extreme weight lifting can and does open PFOs even further! Nope. Let's just have him pop medications that are known to cause brain damage (Topamax) and don't help much anyway. They're just trash, the lot of them.

Sorry. I just recently had the realization after three decades of naivete that I can't trust any of these *******s and need to rely on my own investigation. I have other examples. I'm upset.

In any case, there seems to be a lot of conflicting info out there regarding PFO. I'm not even sure where to begin with that, either. A part of me hopes I don't have it, because I don't want to have to make the decision to have the catheter put in. The procedure sounds hideous and I don't look forward to taking another 6 months off of training. Not to mention some of the horrible side effects I hear that closure of the PFO can have.

In any case, looks like I derailed the thread. I am still very interested in any other info anyone may have regarding dex and exercise. It's night time, and I definitely feel I have some asthma right now - wheezing and coughing for no good reason.

08-26-15, 04:08 AM
Yes - I seemed to acquire aspects of hyperthyroidism with Dexedrine.

Of note - eyes popping out, could feel the heart beating, 'speed' like unrelenting energy.

'amphetamine' and hyperthyroidism have an intuitive kinda' connection.

Check out wikiP/hyperthyroid and see if you can recognize any of the kidna' patterns you're personally experiencing.

08-26-15, 04:12 AM
Taken from an Internet forum (google for source)
- don't think we're allowed to include URLs to other fora.

Four patients had high serum thyroxine (T4) concentrations during periods of heavy amphetamine abuse. After amphetamine was withdrawn, serum T4 returned to normal. Administration of amphetamine to monkeys induced a rise in serum T4; in this model the high T4 level appeared to be caused by increased serum thyrotropin. The mechanism of this effect is unclear but is presumably mediated via the hypothalamus. Awareness of transient hyperthyroxinemia due to amphetamine may allow the physician to avoid confusion with true thyrotoxicosis.

From: Morley et al., Ann Intern Med. 93 (1980)

08-26-15, 04:09 PM
Hmm. Very interesting. There are a lot of moving parts here, so it's hard to accurately figure out what is causing what. But, yes, if I look at the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, I would say that I have many of them.

Intolerance to heat - Maybe. Tough to say, but, probably so. I'm always intolerant of heat in general, and it's been hot and humid here lately, but it "feels" worse lately.

Fatigue - yes. I have a terrible, terrible time waking up in the morning lately, and this feeling of fatigue has a tendency to last throughout the day.

Weight loss - definitely. Weight loss that I can't account for at all. I generally hover around 200 pounds. I haven't made any changes to my diet - in fact, if anything, I'm eating more junk lately as I attempt to pack some muscle back on that I lost during my time off from training. I'm down to 192 and looking lean.

Excessive thirst and urination - yes to both

More frequent bowel movements - yes

Eye-popping - I don't know what to make of this, but I often find myself sort of involuntarily holding my eyes wide open when I'm on dex. I had wondered about it, but I am not sure if it's just some kind of tick associated with amphetamine or if it's the "eye-popping" of hyperthyroidism. It doesn't always happen, but does seem to happen when I am taking relatively more dex than usual.

Trouble sleeping - maybe. I mean, yes, I am having trouble sleeping, but, I often have trouble sleeping, particularly during summer. So I am not sure this is attributable to dex or hyperthyroidism.

Very interesting. Thanks for pointing this out.

08-28-15, 12:15 AM
I can't really exercise on Dex (at least nothing intense). Walking is fine, but anything beyond that... Not really. One time I tried playing volleyball on Dex and I felt like I was running out of breath much faster than usual. I checked my heart rate and IT WAS NORMAL for intense exercise (155 bpm ish). It was so strange... I also tried running on Dex, but 10-15 minutes in I heard this strange squeaking sound coming out of my chest, so I stopped running (even though I felt fine). Honestly I don't know what that squeaky sound was, but it was pretty scary and it stopped as soon as I stopped running.. I've never had this happen off meds.

I wish I knew why I can't work out on Dex, because my ADHD still affects me when I play sports. I just don't exercise on Dexedrine, ever.

I have thyroid problems, but they're definitely not related to Dexedrine (they started long before I switched to Dexedrine). I was definitely not hyperthyroid when the above happened (My T4 was actually close to the LOW end of the normal range), so high T4 levels may not be the cause of these problems. But if you think your thyroid could be causing these issues, you can always ask your doctor to check it when you're on Dexedrine and see if it's actually making you hyperthyroid (btw, they probably won't check your T4 level unless you explicitly ask for it).

Also, have you tried wearing a heart rate monitor (or simply checking your pulse) when you're exercising on Dexedrine? (just to check if your heart rate is actually higher than normal) I tried it and found that my heart rate is about 10 bpm higher on Dex than it is off Dex during exercise, which still doesn't explain the exercise intolerance issues I experience on this medication.

Btw, you mentioned that you're seeing a cardiologist soon. You may want to mention your symptoms and the fact that you're on Dexedrine. I don't mean to scare you or anything, but Dexedrine and stimulants in general can be dangerous for people with heart problems. So if you do a hole in your heart you may want to triple check that stimulants are safe enough for you.