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Side Effects
Serious

Irregular heartbeat, chest pain, increased blood pressure, skin rash, uncontrollable movements of arms and legs, mental changes, unusual weakness, very high fever. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Mood changes, insomnia, drowsiness, restlessness.
Less Common

Blurred vision, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headache, increased sweating, stomach cramps or pain, nausea or vomiting, changes in sexual desire or decreased sexual ability.
Amphetamine


Drug Class:
Central nervous system stimulant/amphetamine

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: Yes

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Tablets

Why Prescribed
To treat narcolepsy and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults.

How It Works
Amphetamine activates nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to increase motor activity and alertness and lessen drowsiness and fatigue.

Range and Frequency
For narcolepsy-- Adults: 5 to 60 mg a day, one to three times a day; not to exceed 60 mg a day. Teenagers: 5 mg twice a day. Children ages six to 12: 2.5 mg twice a day. For ADHD-- Adults and children age six and older: 5 to 40 mg a day, one to three times a day; not to exceed 40 mg a day. Children ages three to six: 2.5 mg once a day.

Onset of Effect
Variable.

Duration of Action
Variable.

Dietary Advice
Swallow with liquid. May be taken with or without food. Avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as tea, coffee, and some carbonated colas. Avoid acidic foods rich in vitamin C, such as fruit juices and other citrus products. Avoid vitamin C tablets.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Missed Dose
If dosage is once daily, take your missed dose as soon as you remember, unless your bedtime is within the next six hours. If so, do not take the missed dose. Take your next dose at the proper time and resume your regular schedule. Do not double the next dose. If dosage is more than once daily, take your missed dose as soon as you remember, unless the time for your next scheduled dose is within the next two hours. If so, do not take the missed dose. Take your next dose at the proper time and resume your regular schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Take amphetamine as prescribed for the full treatment period, even if you begin to feel better before the scheduled end of therapy. The decision to stop taking the drug should be made by your doctor. The doctor may decrease your dosage gradually to reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms.

Prolonged Use
Amphetamines may be habit-forming, and prolonged use may increase the risk of dependency.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Do not drive or engage in hazardous work until you determine how the medicine affects you.

Alcohol
Avoid alcohol.

Pregnancy
Amphetamine taken during pregnancy may cause premature delivery, low birth weight, and birth defects. Discuss with your doctor the relative risks and benefits of using this drug while pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Amphetamine passes into breast milk; avoid or discontinue use while nursing. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Infants and Children
Long-term amphetamine use by children can affect behavior and growth. Discuss the use of the drug and its relative risks and benefits with your doctor.

Overdose Symptoms
Extreme degrees of restlessness, agitation, bizarre behavior; panic; rapid breathing; confusion; high fever; hallucinations; seizures; coma.

What to Do
Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
The following drugs may interact with amphetamine. Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking tricyclic antidepressants, caffeine, beta-blockers, digitalis drugs, central nervous system stimulants, meperidine, MAO inhibitors, sympathomimetic agents, or thyroid hormones.

Food Interactions
Citrus juices and caffeinated beverages and foods may interact with amphetamine.

Disease Interactions
Caution is advised when taking amphetamine. Consult your doctor if you have any of the following: advanced blood vessel disease, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, severe anxiety, Tourette's syndrome, glaucoma, or a history of drug abuse.

 

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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