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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Amphetamines : Before Using

Amphetamines (Systemic)

Amphetamines | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For amphetamines, the following should be considered:

Allergies - Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, ephedrine, epinephrine, isoproterenol, metaproterenol, methamphetamine, norepinephrine, phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine, or terbutaline. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy - Studies have not been done in humans. However, animal studies have shown that amphetamines may increase the chance of birth defects if taken during the early months of pregnancy.

In addition, overuse of amphetamines during pregnancy may increase the chances of a premature delivery and of having a baby with a low birth weight. Also, the baby may become dependent on amphetamines and experience withdrawal effects such as agitation and drowsiness.

Breast-feeding - Amphetamines pass into breast milk. Although this medicine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies, it is best not to breast-feed while you are taking an amphetamine. Be sure you have discussed this with your doctor.

Children - When amphetamines are used for long periods of time in children, they may cause unwanted effects on behavior and growth. Before these medicines are given to a child, you should discuss their use with your child's doctor.

Older adults - Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of amphetamines in the elderly with use in other age groups.

Other medicines - Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in many cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, changes in dose or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking amphetamines, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Amantadine (e.g., Symmetrel) or
  • Caffeine (e.g., NoDoz) or
  • Chlophedianol (e.g., Ulone) or
  • Methylphenidate (e.g., Ritalin) or
  • Nabilone (e.g., Cesamet) or
  • Pemoline (e.g., Cylert) - Use of these medicines may increase the CNS stimulation effects of amphetamines and cause unwanted effects such as nervousness, irritability, trouble in sleeping, and possibly convulsions (seizures)
  • Appetite suppressants (diet pills) or
  • Medicine for asthma or other breathing problems or
  • Medicine for colds, sinus problems, or hay fever or other allergies (including nose drops or sprays) - Use of these medicines may increase the CNS stimulation effects of amphetamines and cause unwanted effects such as nervousness, irritability, trouble in sleeping, or convulsions (seizures), as well as unwanted effects on the heart and blood vessels
  • Beta-adrenergic blocking agents (acebutolol [e.g., Sectral], atenolol [e.g., Tenormin], betaxolol [e.g., Kerlone], carteolol [e.g., Cartrol], labetalol [e.g., Normodyne], metoprolol [e.g., Lopressor], nadolol [e.g., Corgard], oxprenolol [e.g., Trasicor], penbutolol [e.g., Levatol], pindolol [e.g., Visken], propranolol [e.g., Inderal], sotalol [e.g., Sotacor], timolol [e.g., Blocadren]) - Use of amphetamines with beta-blocking agents may increase the chance of high blood pressure and heart problems
  • Cocaine - Use by persons taking amphetamines may cause a severe increase in blood pressure and other unwanted effects, including nervousness, irritability, trouble in sleeping, or convulsions (seizures)
  • Digitalis glycosides (heart medicine) - Amphetamines may cause additive effects, resulting in irregular heartbeat
  • Meperidine - Use of meperidine by persons taking amphetamines is not recommended because the chance of serious side effects (such as high fever, convulsions, or coma) may be increased
  • Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor activity - (isocarboxazid [e.g., Marplan], phenelzine [e.g., Nardil], procarbazine [e.g., Matulane], selegiline [e.g., Eldepryl], tranylcypromine [e.g., Parnate]) - Taking amphetamines while you are taking or within 2 weeks of taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors may increase the chance of serious side effects such as sudden and severe high blood pressure or fever
  • Thyroid hormones - The effects of either these medicines or amphetamines may be increased; unwanted effects may occur in patients with heart or blood vessel disease
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline [e.g., Elavil], amoxapine [e.g., Asendin], clomipramine [e.g., Anafranil], desipramine [e.g., Pertofrane], doxepin [e.g., Sinequan], imipramine [e.g., Tofranil], nortriptyline [e.g., Aventyl], protriptyline [e.g., Vivactil], trimipramine [e.g., Surmontil]) - Although tricyclic antidepressants may be used with amphetamines to help make them work better, using the two medicines together may increase the chance of fast or irregular heartbeat, severe high blood pressure, or high fever

Other medical problems - The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of amphetamines. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Anxiety or tension (severe) or
  • Drug abuse or dependence (history of) or
  • Glaucoma or
  • Heart or blood vessel disease or
  • High blood pressure or
  • Mental illness (severe), especially in children, or
  • Overactive thyroid or
  • Tourette's syndrome (history of) or other tics - Amphetamines may make the condition worse

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Amphetamines: Description and Brand Names


Amphetamines: Proper Use

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