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I am a newbie at chemistry and wondering what the key difference between dexedrine and methamphetamine HCL is. I know that methamphetamine has an extra methyl group compared to Adderall. But what about dexedrine?

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    $\begingroup$ Read this Wikipedia article. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ I have read these articles....I want an intuitive explanation. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 22:24

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Adderall

Adderall is a drug(trade name) that contains a combination of four salts of amphetamine (equal parts racemic amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which produces a (3:1) ratio between dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine, the two enantiomers of amphetamine).

Racemic amphetamine: levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine respectively. Notice the dash-wedge notation. The methyl group is pointing away from the reader in the former structure and is pointing towards the reader in the latter structure.

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Enantiomeric amphetamine: chiral molecules that have a mirror orientation of one another. See this question.

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Dexedrine

Dexedrine is the trade name for dextroamphetamine

Methamphetamine

It is a drug similar in structure but has an extra methyl group (So, primary amine becomes secondary amine).

enter image description here

Also, do note that a simple change in the drug structure can change the potency.

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The difference is that it is not the same molecule (group $ \ce {NH_2} $ for one, group $ \ce {NH-CH_3} $ for the other) so not the same properties.

amphetamine metamphetamine

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    $\begingroup$ The N-Methyl is important because it changes the metabolism profile $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Waylander: So would you say that methamphetamine and adderall are more similar to each other compared to Dexedrine and Methamphetamine? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 22:14
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    $\begingroup$ No - Adderall contains the 2 enantiomers of ampthetamine, dexedrine is a single isomer. Neither contain methampthetamine. $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Waylander: But methamphetamine and adderall feel.subjectively similar. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ A general principal in medicinal chemistry - a small change can make a huge difference $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 17:22

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