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Amphetamine

Generic name: amphetamine [ am-FET-a-meen ]
Brand names: Adzenys ER, Adzenys XR-ODT, Dyanavel XR, Evekeo, Evekeo ODT, Amphetamine Sulfate
Dosage forms: oral suspension, extended release (1.25 mg/mL; 2.5 mg/mL); oral tablet (10 mg; 5 mg); oral tablet, disintegrating (10 mg; 15 mg; 20 mg; 5 mg); oral tablet, disintegrating, extended release (12.5 mg; 15.7 mg; 18.8 mg; 3.1 mg; 6.3 mg; 9.4 mg)
Drug class: CNS stimulants

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD. Last updated on Jul 13, 2021.

What is amphetamine?

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

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

The Evekeo brand of amphetamine is used to treat ADHD and also narcolepsy. Evekeo is sometimes used to treat obesity in people who have not lost weight with diets or other treatments.

Amphetamine is not approved for use in children less than 6 years of age, with the exception of Evekeo (approved for children age 3 and older).

Warnings

Amphetamine may be habit-forming, and this medicine is a drug of abuse. Tell your doctor if you have had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.

Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or a heart defect.

Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine.

Amphetamine may cause new or worsening psychosis (unusual thoughts or behavior), especially if you have a history of depression, mental illness, or bipolar disorder.

Amphetamine may cause blood circulation problems that can cause numbness, pain, or discoloration in your fingers or toes.

Call your doctor right away if you have: signs of heart problems - chest pain, feeling light-headed or short of breath; signs of psychosis - paranoia, aggression, new behavior problems, seeing or hearing things that are not real; signs of circulation problems - unexplained wounds on your fingers or toes.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use amphetamine if you are allergic to any stimulant medicine, or if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine.

You may not be able to use amphetamine if you have:

  • chest pain or breathing problems caused by heart disease;

  • hardening of the arteries;

  • moderate to severe high blood pressure;

  • overactive thyroid;

  • a history of drug abuse; or

  • if you are agitated.

Tell your doctor if you also take opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. An interaction with amphetamine could cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome.

Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and 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.

Amphetamine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 3 years old.

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

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

  • problems with drug or alcohol abuse;

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

  • kidney disease;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • seizures or epilepsy;

  • an abnormal brain wave test (EEG);

  • coronary artery disease (clogged arteries); or

  • blood circulation problems in the hands or feet.

Taking amphetamine 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.

Amphetamine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take amphetamine?

Take amphetamine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Amphetamine may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Keep the medicine where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

Take with or without food.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid). Measure a dose with the supplied syringe or a dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Allow the orally disintegrating tablet to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.

Your dose needs may change if you switch to a different brand, strength, or form of this medicine. Avoid medication errors by using only the medicine your doctor prescribes.

Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Keep your medicine in a place where no one can use it improperly.

Do not keep leftover amphetamine. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but not late in the day. Skip the missed dose if it is almost evening. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

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

Overdose symptoms may include restlessness, tremor, muscle twitches, rapid breathing, hostility, violence, panic, muscle pain or weakness, stomach cramps, vomiting, or diarrhea. These symptoms may be followed by depression and tiredness. Overdose may also cause seizure or coma.

What should I avoid while taking amphetamine?

Avoid drinking alcohol.

Avoid drinking fruit juices or taking vitamin C at the same time you take amphetamine. These can make you absorb less amphetamine.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Amphetamine side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • signs of heart problems - chest pain, trouble breathing, feeling like you might pass out;

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

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

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • muscle twitches (tics);

  • pain or burning when you urinate; or

  • changes in your vision.

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Amphetamine can affect growth. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate.

Common amphetamine side effects may include:

  • increased heart rate;

  • mood changes, anxiety, feeling restless or nervous;

  • trouble sleeping;

  • dry mouth, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;

  • loss of appetite, weight loss;

  • painful urination;

  • sexual problems, impotence;

  • headache, dizziness;

  • fever, weakness; or

  • itching.

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.

What other drugs will affect amphetamine?

Many drugs can interact with amphetamine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Popular FAQ

The main difference between Adderall and Vyvanse is that Adderall is a mixture of four different kinds of amphetamine salts (one of which is dextroamphetamine) while Vyvanse only contains one type of amphetamine salt, called lisdexamfetamine. Lisdexamfetamine gets converted into dexamphetamine once it is in the body. One advantage of Vyvanse is that it may be less likely to be abused; however, there is no generic form available so it is more costly than Adderall. Because both drugs contain amphetamines, they work in a similar way. Studies have shown that Vyvanse is just as effective as Adderall, and side effects, including the risk of dependence, are similar. Continue reading

Adzenys ER is an extended-release 1.25mg/mL liquid suspension compared to most other brands of amphetamine which are tablet and capsule formulations. Dyanavel XR is also an amphetamine extended-release liquid suspension, but with a strength of 2.5mg/mL. Continue reading

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Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use amphetamine only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.