Clinical and oculographic response to Dexedrine in a patient with rod-cone dystrophy, exotropia, and congenital aperiodic alternating nystagmus

Binocul Vis Strabismus Q. 2001;16(4):259-64.


Purpose: We report a child with retinal dystrophy and congenital (a)periodic alternating nystagmus (APAN) who responded immediately with improved visual function and electrooculographic parameters after taking the psychopharmacologic stimulant Dexedrine Spansule (Glaxo-Smith Kline, NC, USA) as part of treatment for his Attention Deficit Disorder.

Design: Interventional case report.

Methods: General ophthalmic, ocular motor and sensorimotor examinations and ocular motility recordings were performed before and after administration of the drug Dexedrine Spansule.

Results: The patient's binocular visual acuity improved only at 1.5 after medicine hours from 20/63 to 20/50, his exotropic deviation decreased from 25 to 10 prism diopters, his stereopsis increased from none to 800 sec/arc and ocular motility recordings showed increased foveation periods and more and lengthened APAN transition/null zones.

Conclusion: For unexplained reasons the stimulant Dexedrine "paradoxically" improved the nystagmus, binocular function and visual acuity in this patient with retinal dystrophy and congenital nystagmus. This observation may be the basis for investigation of a new pharmacological treatment approach to patients with congenital nystagmus or strabismus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Dextroamphetamine / therapeutic use*
  • Dopamine Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Electrooculography
  • Exotropia / complications
  • Exotropia / drug therapy*
  • Eye Movements / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nystagmus, Congenital / complications
  • Nystagmus, Congenital / drug therapy*
  • Retinal Degeneration / complications
  • Retinal Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Vision, Binocular / drug effects
  • Visual Acuity / drug effects


  • Dopamine Agents
  • Dextroamphetamine