Generic Name: methamphetamine (METH-am-FET-a-meen)
Brand Name: Desoxyn
Methamphetamine has a high risk for abuse. Long-term use of methamphetamine may lead to dependence. Use methamphetamine only as prescribed and do not share it with others.
Methamphetamine is used for:
Treating attention deficit disorders with hyperactivity in children. It is also used on short-term basis (ie, a few weeks) in combination with other treatments to treat obesity. Methamphetamine may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant. The exact way it works is unknown. It controls the release of certain chemicals in the brain that affect mood, behavior, and appetite.
Do NOT use methamphetamine if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in methamphetamine
- you have anorexia, symptomatic heart disease, moderate to severe high blood pressure, narrowing of your arteries, glaucoma, uncontrolled high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid, or a history of drug or substance abuse, or you are agitated
- you are taking guanethidine or you have taken furazolidone or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using methamphetamine:
Some medical conditions may interact with methamphetamine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of mental or mood problems, heart problems, the blood disease porphyria, seizures, or high blood pressure
- if you have circulation problems in your hands or feet (eg, Raynaud phenomenon, thromboangiitis obliterans)
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with methamphetamine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Furazolidone, MAOI (eg, phenelzine), or urinary alkalinizers (eg, sodium bicarbonate) because side effects, including increased blood pressure, dizziness, and decreased heart rate, may occur
- Phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine) because they may decrease methamphetamine's effectiveness
- Insulin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (eg, fluoxetine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by methamphetamine
- Guanethidine because its effectiveness may be decreased by methamphetamine
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if methamphetamine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use methamphetamine:
Use methamphetamine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Methamphetamine comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get methamphetamine refilled.
- Take methamphetamine by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
- Take methamphetamine 10 to 14 hours before bedtime unless your doctor tells you differently.
- If you miss a dose of methamphetamine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use methamphetamine.
Important safety information:
- Methamphetamine may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use methamphetamine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or take for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
- Methamphetamine may cause sleeplessness. Do not take methamphetamine late in the day.
- Avoid large amounts of food or drink that have caffeine (eg, coffee, tea, cocoa, cola, chocolate). Caffeine can increase the side effects of methamphetamine.
- Methamphetamine may cause circulation problems in the hands and feet. Tell your doctor if you have any numbness, pain, tingling, cold feeling, or skin color change (eg, from pale to blue or red) in your hands or feet. Call your doctor right away if you have any unexplained sores or wounds on your fingers or toes.
- Check the labels on all your medicines (eg, cough-and-cold products, diet aids) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your heart rate or blood pressure. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of these products.
- Diabetes patients - Methamphetamine may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take methamphetamine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Methamphetamine may interfere with certain lab tests, including corticosteroid levels. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking methamphetamine.
- Methamphetamine may affect growth rate in CHILDREN and teenagers in some cases. They may need regular growth checks while they take methamphetamine.
- Methamphetamine should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 6 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if methamphetamine can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking methamphetamine while you are pregnant. Methamphetamine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking methamphetamine.
When used for long periods of time or at high doses, methamphetamine may not work as well and may require higher doses to obtain the same effect as when originally taken. This is known as TOLERANCE. Talk with your doctor if methamphetamine stops working well. Do not take more than prescribed.
Some people who use methamphetamine for a long time may develop a need to continue taking it. People who take high doses are also at risk. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. If you stop taking methamphetamine suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include severe tiredness, weakness, and mental depression.
Possible side effects of methamphetamine:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; dry mouth; exaggerated sense of well-being; headache; loss of appetite; mild nervousness; nausea; upset stomach.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); agitation or restlessness; blurred vision; change in sexual ability or desire; changes in speech; chest pain; difficulty moving; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; for men, erections that happen often or that last a long time; mental/mood changes; pounding in chest; seizures; severe headaches; shortness of breath; stomach pain; tremor; trouble sleeping; uncontrolled muscle movements (eg, tics); unusual weakness or tiredness; vomiting.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center ( http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; fast breathing; severe mental/mood changes; severe or persistent headache; severe restlessness.Proper storage of methamphetamine:
Store methamphetamine at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep in a tightly closed container. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep methamphetamine out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about methamphetamine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Methamphetamine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take methamphetamine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about methamphetamine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to methamphetamine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using methamphetamine.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about methamphetamine
- Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (AHFS Monograph)
- Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Desoxyephedrine Hydrochloride) (Wolters Kluwer)