Amphetamines are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants which are categorized into a group of synthetic psychoactive drugs.
This collective group of amphetamines usually includes amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine.
In general, amphetamine is made up of two distinct compounds: pure dextroamphetamine and pure levoamphetamine.
This drug can increase your ability to pay attention and help to stay focused on a particular activity. It may also help you to organize your tasks and improve listening skills. Moreover, the behavioral problems can be controlled by amphetamine therapy.
Medications containing amphetamines are widely prescribed to treat a neurological disorder caused by the brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally which is termed as narcolepsy.
The main features of narcolepsy are fatigue and cataplexy. The disease is also often associated with sudden sleep attacks, dream-like hallucinations, insomnia, and a condition called sleep paralysis.
Amphetamine also works to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by decreasing restlessness and increasing attention in children and adults who are overactive and cannot concentrate for very long.
In addition, this medicine is also used for weight reduction in obese patients. This drug is available in the following dosage forms such as suspension (extended release) and tablet.
You can get this medicine only with a doctor's prescription.
2 What to Know Before Using
If you are about to start a drug therapy, the risk-benefit ratio of the drug should be considered first. This is a decision that your doctor will make with your active participation.
There are some important factors such as drug interactions, metabolic impairment, hypersensitivity reaction, pregnancy, lactation etc. which may alter the desired therapeutic effects of the drug.
Sometimes the presence of other health disorders affects the beneficial effects of this medicine and even may cause serious complications.
Make sure you mention your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Moreover, certain drugs should not be used concurrently with such medications. It is always recommended to consult with your doctor if you are in need of some other medications for another health problem in order to avoid unwanted serious drug interactions.
Besides, you should not use any of the following drugs while you are receiving amphetamine therapy:
Medicines should be used exactly following the directions given by the physicians. The dosages of your daily drug administration and the duration of drug therapy usually depend on the particular health problem for which you are taking the medicine.
That’s why; the therapeutic dose may vary with patient’s condition or requirement. However, it is best to take this medicine when you wake up in the morning. You may take this medicine with or without food.
Adults and children of 6 years of age and older should be treated with 5 mg once or twice daily. The doctor may increase the dose if needed. However, the dose must not be exceeded beyond 40 mg per day.
Children 3 to 5 years of age should be treated with 2.5 mg once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed.
Use is not recommended for those children younger than 3 years of age.
Adults and children of 12 years of age and older should be treated with 10 mg once a day, in the morning. The dose may be increased but not more than 60 mg per day.
Children of 6 to 11 years of age should be treated with a single dose of 5 mg in a day, in the morning.
Use and dose must be determined by a doctor in case of children younger than 6 years of age.
For weight loss:
Adults and children of 12 years of age and older are usually treated with 5 to 10 milligrams per day, taken 30 to 60 minutes before each meal. The dose may be increased but usually not more than 30 mg per day.
Use is not recommended in children below 12 years of age.
You should take this medicine in time until the prescribed course is finished. If you miss any dose of this medicine, you should take it as soon as possible.
But if it is time for your next dose, then you should skip the missed dose and go back to your regular treatment schedule. You should store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
All kinds of medicines should be kept out of the reach of children. Further, outdated medicine should be disposed of by an appropriate way.
4 Precautions to Take
Regular visits are recommended to make sure this medicine is working properly or not while you are receiving this drug therapy.
In addition, following guidelines are recommended to carry out while you are undergoing amphetamine therapy:
You should not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days in order to avoid serious heart or blood vessel problems.
You should check with your doctor right away if you feel chest pain or difficulty in breathing while taking this medicine.
If any unusual changes in behavior (e.g. hostility, agitation, irritability, etc.) take place, you should contact your doctor immediately.
As this medicine may cause growth retardation, it is needed to keep track of your child's height and weight.
You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine.
Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert.
Certain medications that increase stomach or urine alkalinity, such as sodium bicarbonate, acetazolamide, and some thiazide diuretics should not be used while undergoing amphetamine therapy.
5 Potential Side Effects
There are some unwanted side-effects associated with each drug that usually do not need medical attention.
These side-effects usually go away during the treatment episode as your body adjusts to the medicine. Your healthcare professional may advise you about the ways how to prevent or reduce those unwanted side-effects.
Sometimes you may need to consult with the doctor if you feel any of the following serious toxic effects:
A false sense of well-being, dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision and other vision problems are reported in some individuals.
Amphetamines are drugs of abuse and are capable of producing marked psychological but little or no physical dependence.
High doses produce euphoria, restlessness, insomnia, aggression, panic, marked excitement which may progress to mental confusion, delirium, hallucinations and an acute psychotic state.
Peripheral component of toxicity includes rise in blood pressure, palpitation, arrhythmias, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and vascular collapse.
Repeated use is more likely to produce long-lasting behavioral abnormalities; psychosis may be precipitated.
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