When people are faced with a psychological disorder, a psychostimulant drug may be prescribed. Amphetamine, a prescription medication used to treat disorders such as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a type of psychostimulant. Its intended use is to stimulate the central nervous system and help a patient stay alert and attentive.
Psychostimulants can be prescribed to treat adult disorders, but they are commonly used to treat children with attention problems. Amphetamines may also be used to treat narcolepsy and other disorders. Amphetamines work by increasing wakefulness and focus while simultaneously reducing fatigue and the appetite. One of the most common amphetamines prescribed to children is known as adderall.
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Instructions for use of psychostimulants should be followed very closely. Patients should take amphetamine drugs specifically as directed by their physicians. These medications should not be chewed or crushed, but swallowed whole with a full glass of water. Amphetamines should not be taken during the evening, as they may cause insomnia.
These stimulants can also suppress the appetite. The drug can increase heart rate and blood pressure as well. Other side effects include blurred vision, restlessness, panic, nausea, irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, dry mouth, impotence, vomiting, seizures, hallucinations, tremors, insomnia, aggression, and dizziness. If any of these side effects are experienced, a doctor should be consulted.
The drug class is also habit forming, as patients may become both psychologically and physically dependent on the medicine. Sudden cessation of taking amphetamine can result in withdrawal. A doctor's help with gradual wean should be requested if the patient wishes to stop taking the medication. Methamphetamine, a potent drug that increases dopamine in the brain, is an example of a highly addictive amphetamine.
People taking amphetamines should avoid operating heavy machinery, driving, or performing potentially hazardous tasks. Patients taking this medication may not be aware of being overly tired. Patients with arteriosclerosis, heart disease, glaucoma, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, or a history of alcohol or drug abuse should refrain from taking amphetamines.
Many people with certain disorders may be able to still use amphetamines with a doctor's approval. People should tell their doctors if they have a history or current condition including anxiety disorders, motor or phonic tics, epilepsy or other seizure disorders, Tourette's syndrome, or diabetes. Some of these conditions may simply require special monitoring during treatment.
Effects of amphetamine during pregnancy and breast feeding remain unknown. The drug may cause harm to an unborn baby. Patients who are pregnant, who could become pregnant, or who are breast feeding during treatment should inform their doctors immediately.