Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Far, far too many question marks in the tables on the right. More information about amphetamine abuse and more historical/detailed information (related information on the meth- and dextro- variants, the difference beween amphetamine and other similar substances such as phentermine or Ritalin, etc.) Should be more like the Methamphetamine page and should feature a more prominent link to this page for abuse information.
| IUPAC name: |
| CAS number |
| ATC code |
|Elimination half life||10-13 Hours|
|Legal status||DEA Schedule II (USA)|
|Delivery||Vaporized, Insufflated, Injected, Taken Orally|
Amphetamine is a synthetic drug originally studied (and still used) as an appetite suppressant. It was first synthesized in 1887 by the German Chemist L. Edeleano , which he called "phenylisopropylamine." Amphetamine and its derivatives (amphetamines) are part of a broader class of compounds called phenethylamines.
Amphetamine is a synthetic stimulant used to suppress the appetite, control weight, and treat disorders including narcolepsy and ADHD. It is also used recreationally and for performance enhancement. These uses are illegal in most countries. It is a commonly abused drug. Amphetamine can be snorted, taken orally, smoked, or injected.
When the drug is snorted, smoked or injected, the effects can be felt within a few minutes, but the duration is usually lessened compared to oral administration. When taken orally, the effects of the drug tend to feel "smoother" and are generally longer-lasting.
Amphetamine was first synthesized in 1887. The experimental medical use of amphetamines began in the 1920s. It was was introduced in most of the world in the form of the pharmaceutical Benzedrine in the late 1920s. First marketed in 1932 by the U.S. Army Air Corps in Britain during World War II. After decades of reports of abuse, the FDA banned Benzedrine inhalers and limited amphetamines to prescription use in 1959, but illegal use became common.
Chronic amphetamine use can cause severe psychological dependence. Long-term use can result in extreme exhaustion and malnutrition.
Amphetamines relase stores of norepinephrine from nerve endings, thus promoting nerve impulse transmission. The behavioral effects of amphetamine itself comes from its action on the monoamine transporter DAT (dopamine transporter) which leads to an increase in the amount of dopamine in the synaptic cleft. Other amphetamines may have other modes of action.
Short-term physiological effects include decreased hunger, increased stamina and physical energy, increased sexual drive/response, increased social responsiveness, involuntary bodily movements, increased perspiration, hyperactivity, nausea, itchy, blotchy or greasy skin, and headaches.
Long-term or overdose effects can include tremor, restlessness, changed sleep patterns, poor skin condition, hyperreflexia, tachypnea, lowered immune system effectiveness. Fatigue and depression can follow the excitement stage. Erectile dysfunction, heart problems, stroke, and liver, kidney and lung damage can result from prolonged use. When snorted, amphetamine can lead to a deterioration of the lining of the nostrils.
Short-term psychological effects can include euphoria, increased concentration, rapid talking, increased confidence, nystagmus (eye wiggles), hallucinations, and loss of REM sleep (dreaming) the night after use.
Long term psychological effects can include insomnia, mental states resembling schizophrenia, aggressiveness, addiction with accompanying withdrawal symptoms, irritability, confusion, and panic. Chronic use can lead to amphetamine psychosis which causes delusions and paranoia. But this is very uncommon when taken as perscribed.
Like Ritalin, amphetamine is one of the standard treatments of ADHD. Its effects on ADHD is improved impulse control, improved concentration, decreased sensory overstimulation and decreased irritability. This results in an overall calming effect.
When used within the recommended doses, side effects like loss of appetite appear only initially.
Amphetamines are also a standard treatment for narcolepsy.
Amphetamines are sometimes used to augment anti-depressant therapy in treatment-resistant depression.
Medical use for weight loss is still approved in some countries, but is regarded as obsolete in the United States.
Performance enhancing use
Amphetamine is usually not used by athletes whose sport involves extreme cardiovascular workout, as methamphetamine and amphetamine put a great deal of stress on the heart.
Amphetamines have recently become popular among factory workers whose jobs require automatic, repetitive tasks. It is for this reason that they are sometimes labeled a "redneck drug". They are also abused by white collar workers trying to stay alert during long hours of multitasking.
In the United Kingdom, amphetamines are regarded as Class B drugs. The maximum penalty for unauthorised possession is three months imprisonment and a £2,500 fine.
In the United States, amphetamine and methamphetamine are Schedule II controlled drugs, classified as a CNS (Central Nervous System) Stimulant. A Schedule II drug is classified as one that: has a high potential for abuse, has a currently accepted medical use and is used under severe restrictions, and has a high possibility of severe psychological and physiological dependence.
- Uncle Fester (author)
- Clandestine chemistry
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