The term amphetamines is often used broadly to represent the artificial classes of central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, including amphetamine, methamphetamine, the designer drugs MDMA (ecstasy) and MDA, and other designer drugs. These substances are similar in chemistry and also have generally similar effects on users. Prescription and illicit forms of amphetamine are discussed below. Methamphetamine and the designer drugs are discussed on separate pages.
- Deoxynorephedrine, Desoxynorephedrine, Dexamphetamine, Dextroamphetamine
- Drug Class:
- Anorectic, CNS Stimulant
- Brand Names:
- Adderall, Adzenys, Dexedrine, Dyanavel, Evekeo
- Street Names:
- Beans, Bennies, Black Beauties, Christmas Trees, Dexies, Double Trouble, Pep Pills, Speed, Uppers
- Drug Testing:
- AMP One Step Amphetamine Drug Test
Amphetamine, commonly referred to as speed, was first marketed in the 1930s as Benzedrine in an over-the-counter inhaler to treat nasal congestion. By 1937, amphetamine was available by prescription in tablet form. During World War II, amphetamine was widely used to keep soldiers alert and both dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and methamphetamine (Methedrine) became readily available. Currently, amphetamine is prescribed for treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy (attacks of uncontrollable sleepiness), and obesity, under the brand names of Adderall and Dexedrine (or their generic equivalents). Because amphetamines increase alertness, energy, and a sense of well-being, they are sometimes used illicitly by truck drivers, shift workers, students, and athletes. They are also commonly misused as appetite suppressants. Amphetamines are found in a wide variety of shapes and forms and also have a wide variety of sources. Thus, even experienced users may be unable to tell which drug they have actually taken.
Amphetamines are found in both prescription form and in illicitly manufactured forms. Prescription amphetamines are usually found in the form of tablets or capsules, in a variety of shapes and colors. Prescription amphetamines can be found on the street, in addition to illicit amphetamine. This form of the drug has a higher potential for misuse and addiction than the prescription forms. Illicit amphetamine is found in varied colors, but is normally a white crystalline powder that is sniffed. It is also commonly converted to a liquid form and injected.
Under normal conditions in the 24-hour urine, approximately 30% of an amphetamine dose is excreted as unchanged amphetamine, 16% to 28% as hippuric acid, 4% as benzoylglucuronide, 2% to 4% as conjugated p-hydroxyamphetamine, 2% as norephedrine, 0.9% as phenylacetone, and 0.3% as conjugated p-hydroxynorephedrine. These figures can vary significantly as a result of differences in urine pH.