Amphetamine chemical structure

IUPAC name:


CAS number
ATC code
Chemical formula C9H13N
Molecular weight 135.2084
Bioavailability  ?
Metabolism  ?
Elimination half life 10-13 Hours
Excretion  ?
Pregnancy category C
Legal status DEA Schedule II (USA)
Delivery Vaporized, Insufflated, Injected, Taken Orally
Indicated for:

Recreational uses:

Other uses:

  • ?
  • CNS Stimulants
  • MAOI use
Side effects:
  • dizziness
  • tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
  • sweating
  • decrease in appetite/weight loss


  • tongue
  • teeth

Atypical sensations:

  • ?


Ear, nose, and throat:

  • ?


  • ?



  • Diarrhea


  • ?


  • ?



  • ?



  • ?

Urogenital and reproductive:

  • ?


  • ?

Amphetamine, also known as speed, 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. Despite this, 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.

The experimental medical use of amphetamines began in the 1920s. It 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 release stores of norepinephrine from nerve endings, which promotes nerve impulse transmission. Amphetamines also prevent the monoamine transporters for dopamine and norepinephrine from moving dopamine and norepinephrine back into the first neuron, which leads to an increased amounts of dopamine in the synaptic cleft between the two neurons. This is called reuptake inhibition, and it is the main cause of the behavioral effects of amphetamine. Other amphetamines may have other modes of action.

Physiological effects

Short-term physiological effects include decreased appetite, increased stamina and physical energy, increased sexual drive/response, involuntary bodily movements, increased perspiration, hyperactivity, jitteriness, nausea, itchy, blotchy or greasy skin, increased heart rate, irregular heart rate, and headaches. Fatigue can often follow the dose's period of effectiveness.

Long-term or overdose effects can include tremor, restlessness, changed sleep patterns, poor skin condition, hyperreflexia, tachypnea, gastrointestinal narrowing, and weakened immune system. 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.

Psychological effects

Short-term psychological effects can include alertness, euphoria, increased concentration, rapid talking, increased confidence, increased social responsiveness, 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 or dependence with accompanying withdrawal symptoms, irritability, confusion, and panic. Chronic and/or extensively continuous use can lead to amphetamine psychosis which causes delusions and paranoia, but this is very uncommon when taken as prescribed.

Medical use

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 as well as other sleeping disorders. It shows a generally high success rate over a large amount of time.

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.

The United States Air Force uses amphetamines (Dexedrine) as stimulants for pilots, calling them "go-pills". After a mission, the Air Force issues a "no-go pill' (Ambien) to help the pilot sleep.

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.

Legal issues

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. Internationally, amphetamine is a Schedule II drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances[1] (

See also


External links

fr:Amphtamine it:Anfetamina ms:Amfetamina nl:Amfetamine pl:Amfetamina ru:Амфетамин fi:Amfetamiini sv:Amfetamin


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