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Generic Name: methamphetamine (METH am FET a meen)
Brand Name: Desoxyn, Desoxyn Gradumet

What is methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.

Methamphetamine is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used to treat obesity after other diets or medications have been tried without successful weight loss.

Methamphetamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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

You should not use this medicine if you have glaucoma, overactive thyroid, severe agitation, moderate to severe high blood pressure, heart disease or coronary artery disease, or a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

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Do not use this medicine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, including isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Methamphetamine may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction.

Using this medicine improperly can cause death or serious side effects on the heart.

What should I discuss with my doctor before taking methamphetamine?

Do not use methamphetamine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

You should not use methamphetamine if you are allergic to any stimulant medicine, or if you have:

  • moderate to severe high blood pressure;

  • heart disease or coronary artery disease (hardened arteries);

  • overactive thyroid;

  • glaucoma;

  • severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (stimulant medicine can make these symptoms worse); or

  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

Some stimulants have caused sudden death in certain people. Tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart problems or a congenital heart defect;

  • high blood pressure; or

  • a family history of heart disease or sudden death.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has ever had:

  • depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or actions;

  • motor tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette's syndrome;

  • seizures or epilepsy;

  • an abnormal brain wave test (EEG);

  • diabetes; or

  • blood circulation problems in the hands or feet.

When used to treat obesity, methamphetamine should be used only after other diets or medications have been tried without successful weight loss.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. However, taking the medicine during pregnancy can cause premature birth, low birth weight, or withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Methamphetamine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Methamphetamine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old. Methamphetamine is not approved to treat obesity in a child younger than 12 years old.

How should I take methamphetamine?

Using this medicine improperly can cause death or serious side effects on the heart.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Methamphetamine may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

If you are taking methamphetamine to treat obesity and your appetite gradually increases, do not increase your dose. Stop taking the medicine and call your doctor.

While using this medicine, your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your heart rate, blood pressure, height and weight may also need to be checked often.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Methamphetamine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but not late in the day or you could have trouble sleeping. Skip the missed dose if it is almost evening. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of methamphetamine can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include restlessness, tremor, muscle twitches, rapid breathing, confusion, hallucinations, panic, aggressiveness, muscle pain or weakness, and dark colored urine. These symptoms may be followed by depression and tiredness. Other overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, uneven heartbeats, feeling light-headed, fainting, seizure (convulsions), or coma.

What should I avoid while taking methamphetamine?

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Do not take methamphetamine late in the day or you could have sleep problems (insomnia).

Methamphetamine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Methamphetamine can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • chest pain, trouble breathing, feeling like you might pass out;

  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real), new behavior problems, aggression, hostility, paranoia;

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • numbness, pain, cold feeling, unexplained wounds, or skin color changes (pale, red, or blue appearance) in your fingers or toes;

  • muscle twitches (tics);

  • changes in your vision; or

  • unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine).

Common side effects may include:

  • headache or dizziness;

  • fast heartbeats;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • dry mouth, upset stomach;

  • tremors; or

  • loss of appetite, weight loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Methamphetamine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Obesity:

For short-term (i.e., a few weeks) use in Exogenous Obesity:

One 5 mg tablet should be taken one-half hour before each meal. Treatment should not exceed a few weeks in duration.

Methamphetamine may be used as an adjunct in a regimen of weight reduction based on caloric restriction, for patients in whom obesity is refractory to alternative therapy, e.g., repeated diets, group programs, and other drugs.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Attention Deficit Disorder:

>= 6 years:
Initial Dose: 5 mg once or twice a day is recommended.
Daily dosage may be raised in increments of 5 mg at weekly intervals until an optimum clinical response is achieved. The usual effective dose is 20 to 25 mg daily. The total daily dose may be given in two divided doses daily.

Where possible, drug administration should be interrupted occasionally to determine if there is a recurrence of behavioral symptoms sufficient to require continued therapy.

Methamphetamine therapy is indicated as an integral part of a total treatment program which typically includes other remedial measures (psychological, educational, social) for a stabilizing effect in children over 6 years of age with a behavioral syndrome characterized by the following group of developmentally inappropriate symptoms: moderate to severe distractibility, short attention span, hyperactivity, emotional lability, and impulsivity. The diagnosis of this syndrome should not be made with finality when these symptoms are only of comparatively recent origin. Nonlocalizing (soft) neurological signs, learning disability, and abnormal EEG may or may not be present, and a diagnosis of central nervous system dysfunction may or may not be warranted.

Decrements in the predicted growth (i.e., weight gain and/or height) rate have been reported with the long-term use of stimulants in children. Therefore, patients requiring long-term therapy should be carefully monitored.

Drug treatment is not indicated in all cases of the behavioral syndrome characterized by moderate to severe distractibility, short attention span, hyperactivity, emotional lability and impulsivity. It should be considered only in light of the complete history and evaluation of the child. The decision to prescribe methamphetamine tablets should depend on the physician's assessment of the chronicity and severity of the child's symptoms and their appropriateness for his/her age. Prescription should not depend solely on the presence of one or more of the behavioral characteristics.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Obesity:

<12 years: Safety and effectiveness for use as an anorectic agent have not been established.

What other drugs will affect methamphetamine?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • medication to treat depression or mental illness;

  • insulin;

  • blood pressure medication; or

  • seizure medication.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with methamphetamine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about methamphetamine.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: 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 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01. Revision Date: 2015-06-10, 10:58:59 AM.