In detail

Amphetamines, therapeutic uses and their side effects

Amphetamines, therapeutic uses and their side effects


  • 1 What are amphetamines?
  • 2 Clinical use of amphetamines
  • 3 Is the consumption of amphetamines dangerous?
  • 4 Short-term effects of amphetamines
  • 5 side effects
  • 6 minor side effects
  • 7 Long-term effects of amphetamines
  • 8 Amphetamine overdose
  • 9 Amphetamine dependence
  • 10 Symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal

What are amphetamines?

Amphetamines are a central nervous system stimulant They affect chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

Clinical use of amphetamines

Stimulant medications (such as methylphenidate and amphetamines) are often prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The psychostimulant medications the levels of dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter associated with the memory, the Attention, pleasure and movement, among others. The therapeutic effects of stimulants are achieved through slow but steady increases in dopamine, similar to those produced naturally by the brain. The doses prescribed by doctors are low at first, and are gradually increased until a therapeutic effect is achieved. However, when taken in doses or by non-prescribed routes, stimulants can increase dopamine in the brain quickly and highly amplified, as do most other drugs of abuse, disrupting normal communication between the cells in the brain. brain, producing euphoria and increasing the risk of addiction.

Another common use of amphetamines is for the treatment of narcolepsy, a neurological disease in which there are irresistible and pathological sleep accesses in which the person who suffers them can fall asleep at any time of the day and anywhere.

While amphetamines have clinical use as we have just seen, their potential for abuse and dependence is very high. Even legitimate use can become addiction. Prescription amphetamines are gaining popularity as recreational drugs, often due to their euphoric and energetic effects.

Is the consumption of amphetamines dangerous?

When they have been prescribed and medical guidelines are strictly followed, there is no need to be a danger in the temporary and controlled consumption of amphetamines.

However, high doses produce a surge of energy and euphoria throughout the body. If the person wishes to reproduce these effects and takes amphetamines without control and increasing the doses, the following may occur:

  • The body generates a tolerance to the drug
  • More and more amphetamine is required to get the same feeling of euphoria.

Some consumers looking for a more powerful effect may crush and snort or inject amphetamine to achieve it more quickly. And this, of course, represents a great danger.

Short-term effects of amphetamines

Amphetamines can be addictive due to the effects they produce. How stimulants, which act on the central nervous system generate the following symptoms:

  • Faster reaction times
  • Feelings of more energy
  • Less sleep
  • Increased attention and concentration
  • Feelings of euphoria

Those who seek the feelings described above, can take amphetamines in larger doses than prescribed or abuse them. Nevertheless, The effects of amphetamine use are not all positive. In fact, the abuse of these drugs results in a number of negative side effects.

Side effects

Side effects of amphetamine use can vary from mild to very serious, and may include:

  • Palpitations
  • Arrhythmias
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Sickness
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Severe anxiety
  • Lack of appetite
  • Teeth grinding
  • Dizziness
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hypertension
  • Increase in body temperature

It is important to keep in mind that high blood pressure, increased heart rate and irregular heart rhythm can trigger dangerous cardiovascular effects, which could be fatal.

The mixture of amphetamines with alcohol it is especially dangerous, since drugs work in contradictory ways on the central nervous system. In general, the alcohol depresses a series of processes in the body, while amphetamines work in the opposite direction, stimulating. The result of this could cause a series of dire health consequences, such as fatal cardiac arrhythmias.

Minor side effects

Some of the side effects that may occur with amphetamines do not need medical attention. If we are taking amphetamines due to medical treatment, we should know that as our body adapts to it, throughout the treatment these side effects usually disappear. If any of the following effects continue, we should consult our doctor:

Slight side effects of amphetamines:

  • Difficulty for bowel movement
  • Dry mouth
  • Unpleasant taste
  • Redness of the skin
  • Hives, hives, itching or skin rash
  • Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • Inability to have or maintain an erection

Long-term effects of amphetamines

In the long term, the consumption of amphetamines can generate much more serious effects on our health, such as those named below:

  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Violent behavior
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory problems
  • Loss of coordination
  • Obsessive behavior
  • Compulsive drug search behavior

Amphetamine overdose

Long-term use of amphetamines also exposes users to an increased risk of overdose, which can be fatal. The overdose symptoms of amphetamines include:

  • Dangerously high blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Heart attacks or other serious cardiac events

The effects of amphetamines can be extremely serious. If someone you know has any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, you should seek medical help immediately.

Amphetamine dependence

Frequent and long-term use of amphetamines can lead to dependence. Dependency thresholds are different for each person., which makes it difficult to determine the duration or amount of specific drug use that an addiction would develop in each individual.

While amphetamines are often considered "smart drugs" or "study drugs" because they can improve academic performance, the truth is that both their side effects and dependence can be especially dangerous, as rapid tolerance occurs. Tolerance to amphetamines or any other drug or medication means that whoever consumes them will need to consume higher doses each time to feel the same effects. And the use of high doses of amphetamines exposes users to very serious effects both in the short and long term, including overdose and death.

Symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal

Treatment of amphetamine withdrawal can be a difficult process. Amphetamine withdrawal often produces a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of panic
  • Nightmares
  • Increased appetite
  • Drowsiness or increased sleep duration
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Violent behavior
  • Depression severe
  • Thoughts suicidal

While these symptoms are uncomfortable and difficult to manage, they can be overcome. The treatment of amphetamine withdrawal does not require detoxification, but a monitoring of the patient's symptoms by clinical staff.