|Summary sheet: Amphetamine|
|Common names||Amphetamine, Speed, Adderall, Pep|
|Routes of Administration|
Amphetamine (also known as speed and pep) is a stimulant substance of the phenethylamine chemical class. Its characteristic effects include stimulation, wakefulness, enhanced focus, and euphoria. Amphetamine is considered to be a reference central nervous system stimulant and is the parent compound of a group referred to as substituted amphetamines.
Amphetamine is widely used throughout the world as a prescription medicine for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is also widely used without prescription as an illicit substance for recreational or performance-enhancing purposes.
Although the term "amphetamine" traditionally refers to an equal combination of the two enantiomers levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine, it is frequently used for any mixture of the two or only one of them. The popular prescription drug "Adderall" contains both enantiomers. It is usually taken orally, but can also be insufflated, injected, or administered rectally.
- 1 History and culture
- 2 Chemistry
- 3 Pharmacology
- 4 Subjective effects
- 5 Toxicity and harm potential
- 6 Legal status
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 Literature
- 10 References
History and culture
Amphetamine was first synthesized in Germany in 1887 by the Romanian chemist Lazăr Edeleanu, who named it phenylisopropylamine. However, its pharmacological effects remained unknown until 1927, when it was independently re-synthesized by Gordon Alles and reported to have sympathomimetic properties.
Amphetamine had no medical use until late 1933, when Smith, Kline and French began selling it as a decongestant inhaler under the name Benzedrine. Benzedrine sulfate was introduced 3 years later and was used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, including narcolepsy, obesity, low blood pressure, low libido, and chronic pain, among others.
During World War II, amphetamine and methamphetamine were used extensively by both the Allied and Axis forces for their stimulant and performance-enhancing effects. As its addictive properties became known, governments began to place strict controls on its sale.
Amphetamine is still illegally synthesized and sold on the black market, primarily in European countries. Among European Union (EU) member states, 1.2 million young adults used illicit amphetamine or methamphetamine in 2013. During 2012, approximately 5.9 metric tons of illicit amphetamine were seized within EU member states; the "street price" of illicit amphetamine within the EU ranged from €6–38 per gram during the same period. Outside Europe, the illicit market for amphetamine is much smaller than the market for methamphetamine and MDMA.
Some confusion may arise when discussing 'speed' between those from Europe and North America. In Europe, 'Speed' is almostly ubiquitously known to be a racemic mixture (ie 1:1) of Dextroamphetamine and Levoamphetamine. However, in some parts of America, the word "Speed" is slang for Methamphetamine. It is important to make this distinction if harm reduction advice is being asked, or given, to avoid potentially dangerous advice being given (eg amphetamine sulphate, or European 'Speed' must not be smoked unless it is converted to its freebase form, whereas methamphetamine can).
Amphetamine is composed of a phenethylamine core featuring a phenyl ring bound to an amino (NH2) group through an ethyl chain with an additional methyl substitution at Rα. It can be referred to as a methyl homolog of phenethylamine as it has the same general formula, differing only in the addition of one methyl group. The name 'amphetamine' is a contraction from αlphamethylphenethylamine
In its free base form and at room temperature, amphetamine is a colorless oil.
Amphetamine is a full agonist of the trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1), which is a key regulator of common and trace brain monoamines such as dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline. The agonism of this set of receptors results in the release of increased concentrations of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline in the synaptic cleft. This leads to cognitive and physical stimulation within the user.
The effects listed below are based upon the subjective effects index and personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. The listed effects should be taken with a grain of salt and will rarely (if ever) occur all at once, but heavier doses will increase the chances and are more likely to induce a full range of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely on higher doses and may include serious injury or death.
- Stimulation - Amphetamine is reported to be very energetic and stimulating. It can encourage physical activities such as dancing, socializing, running, or cleaning. The particular style of stimulation which amphetamine produces can be described as forced. This means that, at higher dosages, it becomes difficult or impossible to keep still as jaw clenching, involuntary bodily shakes and vibrations become present, resulting in extreme shaking of the entire body, unsteadiness of the hands, and a general loss of fine motor control. This effect is replaced with mild fatigue and general exhaustion during the offset of the experience.
- Spontaneous physical sensations - The "body high" of amphetamine can be described as a moderate euphoric tingling sensation that encompasses the entire body. This sensation maintains a consistent presence that steadily rises with the onset and hits its limit once the peak has been reached.
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Appetite suppression
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Increased bodily temperature
- Increased perspiration
- Perception of bodily lightness
- Pupil dilation - This effect is experienced only at high dosages and is more prominent on the comedown.
- Stamina enhancement
- Teeth grinding - This component can be considered to be less intense when compared with that of MDMA.
- Temporary erectile dysfunction
The visual effects of amphetamine are usually less consistent and only mildly noticeable at higher dosages. They are somewhat comparable to deliriants and occur more readily in darker areas.
- Drifting (breathing and morphing) - This effect is usually subtle and barely noticeable and only occurs at higher dosages or when combined with cannabis. Commonly this consists of level 1-2 drifting.
- Brightness alteration - Amphetamine can make spaces seem brighter as a result of its pupil dilating effects.
- Transformations - This effect occurs very rarely, and typically only when the user has taken high doses, is coming down, or has been awake for unusually long periods. They are usually very mild when they do occur.
- Analysis enhancement
- Cognitive euphoria
- Compulsive redosing
- Ego inflation
- Focus enhancement - This component is most effective at low to moderate doses as anything higher will usually impair concentration.
- Increased libido
- Increased music appreciation
- Memory enhancement
- Motivation enhancement
- Thought acceleration
- Thought organization
- Time distortion - This can be described as the experience of time speeding up and passing much quicker than it usually would when sober.
The effects which occur during the offset of a stimulant experience generally feel negative and uncomfortable in comparison to the effects which occurred during its peak. This is often referred to as a "comedown" and occurs because of neurotransmitter depletion. Its effects commonly include:
- Anxiety - This can reach severe levels in the hours after the comedown has begun in some users.
- Appetite suppression
- Cognitive fatigue
- Motivation suppression
- Sleep paralysis - Some users note sleep paralysis after consuming amphetamine.
- Dream suppression
- Thought deceleration
- Wakefulness - The insomnia following a repeated series of amphetamine doses can last for longer than a day in some users.
There are currently no anecdotal reports which describe the effects of this compound within our experience index. Additional experience reports can be found here:
Toxicity and harm potential
In rodents and primates, sufficiently high doses of amphetamine causes damage to dopamine neurons, characterized as reduced transporter and receptor function. As of March 2014, there is no evidence that amphetamine is directly neurotoxic in humans. However, high-dose amphetamine can cause indirect neurotoxicity as a result of increased oxidative stress from reactive oxygen species and autoxidation of dopamine.
The LD50 (the dosage required to kill 50% of the test subjects) of amphetamine in rats has been found to be between roughly 15mg and 180mg per kilogram depending on the study. No formal studies in humans have been carried out and the exact toxic dosage is unknown.
It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this substance.
Tolerance and addiction potential
As with other stimulants, the chronic use of amphetamine can be considered moderately addictive with a high potential for abuse and is capable of causing psychological dependence among certain users. When addiction has developed, cravings and withdrawal effects may occur if a person suddenly stops their usage. Addiction is a serious risk with heavy recreational amphetamine use, but is unlikely to arise from typical medical use.
Tolerance to many of the effects of amphetamine develops with prolonged and repeated use. This results in users having to administer increasingly large doses to achieve the same effects. Upon single administration, it takes about 3 - 7 days for the tolerance to be reduced to half and 1 - 2 weeks to be back at baseline (in the absence of further consumption). Amphetamine presents cross-tolerance with all dopaminergic stimulants, meaning that after the consumption of amphetamine all stimulants will have a reduced effect.
After taking amphetamine on a regular basis, some users will become addicted. When the drug is discontinued immediately, the user will experience what has come to be known as a "crash" along with a number of other amphetamine withdrawal symptoms including paranoia, depression, dream potentiation, anxiety, itching, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, an intense craving for more amphetamine or other stimulants, and, in some cases, nausea and vomiting.
Abuse of amphetamine can result in a stimulant psychosis that may present with a variety of symptoms (e.g., paranoia, hallucinations, delusions). A review on treatment for amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine abuse-induced psychosis states that about 5–15% of users fail to recover completely. The same review asserts that, based upon at least one trial, antipsychotic medications effectively resolve the symptoms of acute amphetamine psychosis. Psychosis very rarely arises from therapeutic use.
Although many psychoactive substances are safe on their own, they can become dangerous and even life-threatening when combined with other substances. The list below contains some common potentially dangerous combinations, but may not include all of them. Certain combinations may be safe in low doses of each but still increase the potential risk of death. Independent research should always be done to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe before consumption.
- Stimulants - Amphetamine can be potentially dangerous in combination with other stimulants as it can increase one's heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels.
- Tricyclic antidepressants - Amphetamine may increase the effects of tricyclic antidepressants to dangerous levels.
- 25x-NBOMe - Both the NBOMe series and this compound induce powerful stimulation and their interaction may cause severe side effects. These can include thought loops, seizures, increased blood pressure, vasoconstriction, increased heart rate, and heart failure (in extreme cases).
- Alcohol - It is dangerous to combine alcohol, a depressant, with stimulants due to the risk of excessive intoxication. Stimulants decrease the sedative effect of alcohol which is the main factor most people consider when determining their level of intoxication. Once the stimulant wears off, the effects of alcohol will be significantly increased, leading to intensified disinhibition as well as respiratory depression. If combined, one should strictly limit themselves to only drinking a certain amount of alcohol per hour.
- DXM - This combination may cause increased heart rate and panic attacks.
- MXE - Increased heart rate and blood pressure may occur.
- Tramadol - This combination can increase the risk of seizures.
- MDMA - The neurotoxic effects of MDMA may be increased when combined with amphetamines.
- MAOIs - This combination may increase the amount of neurotransmitters such as dopamine to dangerous or even fatal levels. Examples include syrian rue, banisteriopsis caapi, 2C-T-2, 2C-T-7, αMT, and some antidepressants.
- Cocaine - This combination may increase strain on the heart.
Amphetamine is legally approved for medical purposes worldwide. However, it is a controlled substance and is illegal to sell and possess in most countries without a prescription.
- Austria: Amphetamine is illegal to possess, produce and sell under the SMG (Suchtmittelgesetz Österreich).
- Canada: Amphetamine is a Schedule I drug.
- Germany: Amphetamine is a controlled substance under Anlage 3 of the BtMG.
- Japan: Amphetamine is prohibited.
- South Korea: Amphetamine is banned even for medical purposes.
- Thailand: Amphetamine is classified as a category 1 narcotic in the Thai Narcotic Act of 2012.
- United Kingdom: Amphetamine is considered a Class B drug.
- United States: Amphetamine is a Schedule II controlled substance.
- Amphetamine (Wikipedia)
- Amphetamine (Erowid Vault)
- Amphetamine (Isomer Design)
- Amphetamine (Medicine Plus)
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