Amphetamine can be beneficial, and it can be harmful—it depends on the person using it, whether they’ll use it right or take advantage of it. This drug is a stimulant for the central nervous system. It affects chemicals in the brain, influencing affect impulse control and hyperactivity. Amphetamine is frequently used to treat ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
There are many things we could learn about this drug. Today we’ll be taking the time to explore all these basic facts. Like for example, did you know that there’s a brand of amphetamine called Evekeo, which is also used to treat narcolepsy and obesity?
What is Amphetamine?
Amphetamine exists as two enantiomers: levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Amphetamine on its own refers to a specific chemical which is equal parts of these two enantiomers in their pure amine forms.
The name is a contracted form of alpha-methylphenethylamine. This drug was first discovered in 1887. It has many medical uses, which we will discuss later on.
This prescription drug is tightly controlled in many countries due to the health risks that it could pose for a person if it is not used properly. Recreational use of the drug is illegal, and is mostly associated with the adverse effects of the substance.
The reason people sometimes abuse this drug is because it provides emotional effects such as euphoria. They may even experience an enhanced desire for sex, and improved cognitive control.
Amphetamine serves as the parent compound of its own structural class. This includes substances like MDMA and methamphetamine.
Some countries such as South Korea and Japan have banned the drug completely, even for medical use. Other nations such as Canada, Thailand, Australia, and the United States have it in a restrictive national drug schedule. This allows its use as a form of medical treatment.
As previously mentioned, amphetamine is used to treat ADHD, narcolepsy, obesity, and even depression. Long term exposure to the drug at high doses can cause nerve damage and dependence, leading to a host of adverse effects. For this reason, it is important to follow the doctor’s prescription when it comes to taking this medicine.
Other than treating certain conditions, it could also be used as a performance enhancing drug. When used at therapeutic doses, amphetamine has been shown to make cognitive functions more precise. It also helps improve working memory, long-term memory, alertness, and attention. Some studies have shown that it can also improve the quality of memory retention.
Amphetamine also has beneficial physical effects such as fatigue resistance, and increased muscle strength. Abusing the drug may cause just the opposite: impairing cognitive function and inducing rapid muscle breakdown. Drug addiction is also a serious risk.
When taking amphetamine, be sure to listen carefully to your doctor’s instructions and follow everything. Ask questions if something is unclear. Follow the directions on your prescription label and do not take larger amounts of the drug and do not use it for longer than is needed.
You may take amphetamine with or without food. If it is in oral suspension form, shake it well before you measure a dose. If taking it through a disintegrating tablet, do not swallow whole. Put the medicine in your mouth and allow it to dissolve without chewing.
Skip the dose if you miss it and don’t take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose. Amphetamine overdose could be fatal. Some symptoms of overdose include muscle twitches, rapid breathing, violence, panic, weakness, and restlessness. In worse cases, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, convulsions, or even coma.
Side Effects of Amphetamine
The side effects of this drug will vary from person to person. There is a primary factor involved and that is the amount of amphetamine used. It could also be affected by the frequency of use, particularly for those who take it recreationally.
Recreational use of amphetamine usually involves larger doses than recommended. That is why the adverse effects kick in.
There are physical side effects that come from using amphetamine. This applies even at normal therapeutic doses! Expect hypertension or hypotension, as well as erectile dysfunction (for males, of course).
Other potential side effects are nausea, weight loss, and appetite loss. Excessive sweating, and nosebleed may also happen. Physical side effects are rarely dangerous at pharmaceutical doses. Still, you must contact your doctor if these symptoms persist.
Normal doses can also cause psychological side effects. This includes apprehension, mood swings, insomnia, and wakefulness. Some side effects are beneficial. Users may feel more confident. They may experience improved concentration. Their sense of fatigue may decrease.
Amphetamine overdose can be fatal, so abusing the drug is a bad idea. With appropriate care, the abuser may survive an overdose. Again, the severity of effects will depend upon the dosage and frequency of use.
A person may develop tolerance for the drug, making them crave more and more amphetamine just to get the same euphoric effects. High doses of the drug can cause stimulant psychosis, convulsions and coma.
Addiction may follow upon developing tolerance. This is unlikely to happen with simple long term use of the drug at therapeutic doses. Drug tolerance develops rapidly, only with abuse.
Treatment for amphetamine addiction may involve behavioral treatment and similar programs. To avoid addiction, one must use the drug responsibly. A good rehab facility would be able to address all withdrawal symptoms while gradually reducing a person’s dosage.
With enough support, a person may be able to get over their amphetamine addiction.