and 500-milligram suppositories, and in injectable form (25 milligrams per milliliter in a
(3) Theophylline (Theo-dur, Elixophyllin). This xanthine derivative is
used for the symptomatic relief of asthma because of its bronchial dilation effect.
Theolair is but only one of many anhydrous theophylline products in use today. The
side effects usually associated with the use of the drug are nausea, vomiting, and
nervousness. The patient should be told to take theophylline with food. The drug is
usually administered in a dosage of 3 to 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. It is
supplied in various dosage forms (elixir, tablets, capsules, and sprinkles).
b. The Amphetamines. Many health care professionals are concerned about
the abuse/misuse of the amphetamines. These Schedule II medications certainly have
been abused in the past. Today, physicians and pharmacists cooperate to ensure
these drugs are wisely used for medically acceptable purposes. Amphetamines act
pharmacologically to produce two primary effects. One, they increase an individual's
state of alertness. Two, they elevate a person's mood. Now, several agents will be
discussed. The particular use(s) for each agent will be presented.
(1) Methylphenidate (Ritalin). Methylphenidate (Ritalin) is used to treat
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), formerly known as minimal brain
dysfunction, and narcolepsy. Observed abnormalities in ADHD include impulsiveness,
short attention span, purposeless hyperactivity, emotional overreactivity, coordination
and learning deficits, distractibility, and deficits in the perception of space, form,
movement, and time. Since the first clinical sign seen with ADHD is purposeless
hyperactivity, the terms hyperkinetic and hyperkinesia are sometimes used in place of
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Narcolepsy can be defined as an
inability to stay awake. The most common side effect associated with this agent is
nervousness. Methylphenidate is a Schedule II drug (Note R). The usual dosage of
methylphenidate is 20 to 30 milligrams daily in divided doses. It is supplied in the form
of 5 milligram, 10 milligram, and 20-milligram tablets.
(2) Dextroamphetamine sulfate (Dexedrine). Dextroamphetamine was
once prescribed as an anoretic (an appetite depressant) for many years. Recently, it
has been found that dextroamphetamine's inhibitory effect on the appetite lasts only for
four or five weeks. This finding, coupled with its increased abuse, has drastically
reduced the quantity of the prescriptions for this drug. This agent is not used in the
military for the inhibition of appetite. It is used only for the treatment of attention deficity
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Most military and civilian physicians
believe that exercise and the restriction of food (caloric) intake is the method of choice
for weight reduction. The most common side effects associated with
dextroamphetamine are nervousness and headaches. This drug has a very high abuse
potential. It is controlled as a Schedule II (Note R) item. Dextroamphetamine is
supplied in 5-milligram tablets, 10- and 15-milligram capsules.