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What Are the Different Types of Amphetamine Treatment?

By Lee Prangnell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The commonly prescribed amphetamine treatments include methamphetamine, phentermine and dextroamphetamine; dextroamphetamine is the most prescribed amphetamine treatment. All of these drugs are chemical derivatives of amphetamine, and each possesses psychostimulant properties. These drugs are typically prescribed to patients for medical conditions such as obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and treatment-resistant depression.

Dextroamphetamine, marketed as Adderall® in a number of countries, is the most popular amphetamine treatment used for reducing the symptoms of ADHD; it is officially approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for treating ADHD. Data derived from the official clinical trials of dextroamphetamine indicate that the drug has a high level of efficacy for treating ADHD, in comparison with other forms of amphetamine. The stimulant effects of the drug last for several hours and side effects are minimal, in stark contrast to some other medications that are used to treat ADHD. One of the off-label uses for the drug is for treating obesity: Dextroamphetamine, like all types of amphetamine, is an appetite suppressant, which is helpful for individuals who have abnormally large appetites.

Methamphetamine, marketed as Desoxyn® in a number of countries, is a highly potent amphetamine treatment. Like dextroamphetamine, it is approved by the FDA for treating ADHD. Unlike dextroamphetamine, it is also approved by the FDA for treating obesity. Off-label uses for this drug include narcolepsy and treatment-resistant depression. Methamphetamine, although an effective amphetamine treatment in certain instances, has a high potential to be abused as a recreational drug. Methamphetamine, colloquially referred to as "meth," is a notoriously addictive and highly toxic substance which has gained a reputation of causing major detrimental effects to the human body, such as destroying the teeth — colloquially referred to as "meth mouth."

Phentermine, marketed as Adipex®, is an amphetamine treatment that has been approved by the FDA for treating obesity. Because of its appetite suppressant properties, this drug is also used by non-obese overweight individuals who wish to lose weight — and is often acquired by these individuals via illicit channels, such as online pharmacies. Unlike the other drugs in the amphetamine class, phentermine appears to have little abuse potential, primarily because the ingestion of it typically does not induce euphoria in the individual.

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