When taken as prescribed, amphetamines are deemed safe to use in the treatments of attention deficit disorders ADD and ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity. As central nervous system stimulants that speed up brain functions and bodily systems, these medications increase energy, alertness, and awareness for those who are fatigued or require help with their mental focus.
Therapeutic doses of amphetamines elicit effects similar to, but, more potent than coffee with the most commonly reported amphetamine side effects being:
- Elevated energy levels
- A calming and focusing effect for those suffering attention deficit disorders
- Mental clarity and cognitive performance enhancement
- Increased respiration
- Dry Mouth
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Increased body temperature
- Loss of Appetite
- Enhanced physical stamina
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea and stomach pains
While these symptoms, alone, are not so worrisome, they can become serious if they persist for long periods of time or become debilitating enough to lead to more severe health complications.
Physical Amphetamine Side Effects You Should Worry About
Upward trends in amphetamine abuse show a marked increase in dependency and addiction to these types of medications and in a report by the Drug Abuse Warning Network, between 2004 and 2011, there was a 650% rise in the number of emergency department visits involving non-medical use of Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine.
The physical amphetamine side effects you should worry about include:
- Signs of dependence or addiction – cravings, compulsive use, withdrawals, and unsuccessful attempts to quit.
- Withdrawals – Amphetamine withdrawals can manifest or exacerbate serious physical or psychological health conditions.
- Cardiovascular problems – hypertension, irregular or excessive heart rate and blood pressure, heart attack, blood vessel damages, stroke, seizures
- Cellular damages – rotting teeth and gum infections, skin lesions, and infections.
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Organ damages – liver, kidney, urinary infections, and bladder disease
- Reduced immunology and bacterial infections
- Rapid or unusual respiration patterns
Psychological Amphetamine Side Effects You Should Worry About
Feelings of depression or anxiety can be signs of psychosis.
The most common psychological amphetamine side effects you should worry about are the neurological damages to the brain and central nervous system that can result in long-term or permanent disorders, emotional instability, negative changes to personality, and the inability to feel normal or well without the use of amphetamine.
Other psychological amphetamine side effects to worry about include:
- Amphetamine psychosis – severe, panic, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations (such as picking at skin or “bugs” crawling under the skin)
- Schizophrenic type behaviors can lead to harmful consequences to the user and to others and in extreme cases, catatonia
- Insomnia, nightmares, and other sleep disorders such as the “Binge and Crash” sleep patterns can cause or exacerbate mental health disorders
- Drastic mood swings
- Cognitive disabilities, memory loss, disorientation or confusion
- Violent or suicidal ideations and tendencies