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All about: amphetamine

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Generic Name: amphetamine (am FEH ta mean)
Brand Names:

What is amphetamine?

Amphetamine is a stimulant and an appetite suppressant. It stimulates the central nervous system (nerves and brain) by increasing the amount of certain chemicals in the body. This increases heart rate and blood pressure and decreases appetite, among other effects.

Amphetamine is used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD).

Amphetamine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about amphetamine?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Amphetamine may cause dizziness, blurred vision, or restlessness, and it may hide the symptoms of extreme tiredness. If you experience these effects, avoid hazardous activities. Amphetamine is habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on this medication, and withdrawal effects may occur if you stop taking it suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Talk to your doctor about stopping this medication gradually. Do not crush, chew, or open any "once-daily" amphetamine tablets or capsules. Swallow them whole.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking amphetamine?

Do not take amphetamine if you
  • have heart disease or high blood pressure;

  • have arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries);

  • have hyperthyroidism;

  • have glaucoma;

  • have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), or phenelzine (Nardil) in the last 14 days; or

  • have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • an anxiety disorder;

  • Tourette's syndrome or motor or phonic tics;

  • epilepsy or another seizure disorder; or

  • diabetes.

You may not be able to take amphetamine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Amphetamine is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether it will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take amphetamine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Amphetamine passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Do not take amphetamine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take amphetamine?

Take amphetamine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions , ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Do not take amphetamine in the evening because it may cause insomnia.

Do not crush, chew, or open any "once-daily" (long-acting or sustained-release) amphetamine tablets or capsules. Swallow them whole. Never take more of this medication than is prescribed for you. Too much amphetamine could be dangerous. Amphetamine is habit forming. Physical and psychological dependence and withdrawal effects may occur if it is stopped suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Talk to your doctor about stopping this medication gradually. Store amphetamine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose or if it is already evening, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. A dose taken too late in the day may cause insomnia. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of an amphetamine overdose include restlessness, tremor, rapid breathing, confusion, hallucinations, panic, aggressiveness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, an irregular heartbeat, and seizures.

What should I avoid while taking amphetamine?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Amphetamine may cause dizziness, blurred vision, or restlessness, and it may hide the symptoms of extreme tiredness. If you experience these effects, avoid hazardous activities.

Do not take amphetamine late in the day. A dose taken too late in the day can cause insomnia.

Amphetamine side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking amphetamine and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • an irregular heartbeat or very high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision); or

  • hallucinations, abnormal behavior, or confusion.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take amphetamine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • restlessness or tremor;

  • anxiety or nervousness;

  • headache or dizziness;

  • insomnia;

  • dry mouth or an unpleasant taste in the mouth;

  • diarrhea or constipation; or

  • impotence or changes in sex drive.

Amphetamine is habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on this medication, and withdrawal effects may occur if you stop taking it suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Talk to your doctor about stopping this medication gradually.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect amphetamine?

Do not take amphetamine if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), or phenelzine (Nardil) in the last 14 days.

Before taking amphetamine, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • insulin or another medicine to treat diabetes;

  • guanethidine (Ismelin) or reserpine (Diutensin-R);

  • doxazosin (Cardura), terazosin (Hytrin), prazosin (Minipress), or guanadrel(Hylorel);

  • a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), imipramine (Tofranil), clomipramine (Anafranil), protriptyline (Vivactil), or desipramine (Norpramin)

  • a phenothiazine such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine);

  • lithium (Lithobid, Lithonate, Eskalith, others); or

  • haloperidol (Haldol).

You may not be able to take amphetamine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with amphetamine. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about amphetamine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

An amphetamine salt, amphetamine sulfate, is available generically with a prescription in 5 mg and 10 mg tablets. Other formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.04. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:01:25 PM.

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