Important Information

Amphetamine is a medicine which activates receptors in the brain and increases the activity of a number of neurotransmitters, especially norepinephrine and dopamine.

Amphetamine has been used for a wide variety of conditions. Now, it is mainly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

(ADHD), and, rarely, depression. In the past, it has been used to treat narcolepsy and to help with weight loss, but this is less common now.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is characterized by hyperactivity, irritability, mood instability and attention difficulties. Other of its characteristics include lack of organization, and impulsive behaviors.

It mostly appears in children, but it can continue into adulthood.

Amphetamine reverse some of these symptoms and have been used to improve brain development and enhance nerve growth in children with ADHD.

Long-term treatment with amphetamine-based medication in children appears to prevent unwanted changes in brain function and structure.

Scientists carrying out a review of 20 studies  concluded that this medicine is helpful for people with ADHD.

They found that the brain structures of people who took stimulants such as Amphetamine for ADHD were more likely to resemble the brain structures of people without the condition than to resemble those with ADHD who did not use the drugs.

A review published in Cochrane in 2011 revealed that adults with ADHD might benefit from short-term use of amphetamine, but that they were unlikely to persist with the treatment because of adverse effects. Adults who use mixed amphetamine salts, however, were more likely to continue with the treatment.


Amphetamines can be  used alongside standard antidepressants to treat some types of depression that do not respond to other treatments, especially in people who also experience fatigue and apathy.

In a study which followed 65 patients taking amphetamines alongside normal medication, 38 patients “showed significant improvement, in particular with respect to energy, mood, and psychomotor activity.”

According to the authors, side effects were minimal, and no drug dependency was seen.


A person suffering from  narcolepsy will experience excessive daytime sleepiness and irresistible sleep episodes, called “sleep attacks.”

A person having this condition, strong emotions can trigger a sudden loss of muscle tone, or cataplexy.  It causes a person to collapse and possibly fall down. It also involves frequent and unexpected bouts of sleep.

Amphetamines and amphetamine derivatives can be used in the past to treat narcolepsy.


Amphetamine may produce many side effects, ranging from mild to severe.

Physical side effects include:

  • low or high blood pressure
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon, where there is reduced blood flow to the extremities
  • erectile disfunction, and especially frequent or persistent erections
  • rapid heart rate
  • abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite, nausea, and weight loss
  • acne, rash, hives
  • blurred vision
  • dry mouth
  • teeth grinding
  • nosebleed
  • profuse sweating
  • nasal congestion
  • increased likelihood of seizures for susceptible individuals
  • tics
  • faster, deeper breaths, especially in those with other lung conditions
  • difficulty urinating

It may also have psychological effects.

These include:

  • increased alertness and focus
  • apprehension, anxiety, irritability, and restlessness
  • mood swings
  • insomnia
  • changes in libido
  • grandiosity, or an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance
  • obsessive behaviors

People who follow the prescribed, therapeutic dose are unlikely to experience severe adverse effects.

Report any Side effect to your doctor if it persists.


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