|amphetamine aspartate monohydrate||(25%) stimulant|
|amphetamine sulfate||(25%) stimulant|
|dextroamphetamine saccharate||(25%) stimulant|
|dextroamphetamine sulfate||(25%) stimulant|
|Licence data||US FDA:|
|Routes||Oral, insufflation, rectal, sublingual|
|ATC code||N06 N06|
|(what is this?)|
Adderall[note 1] is a psychostimulant pharmaceutical drug of the phenethylamine class used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Adderall is also used as a performance and cognitive enhancer, and recreationally as an aphrodisiac and euphoriant. The medication is a mixture of amphetamine stereoisomer salts and inactive ingredients. By salt content, the active ingredients are 75% dextroamphetamine salts (the dextrorotary or "right-handed" enantiomer) and 25% levoamphetamine salts (the levorotary or "left-handed" enantiomer).[note 2][sources 1]
Adderall works by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which results from its interactions with trace amine associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) and vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2). Adderall shares many chemical and pharmacological properties with the human trace amine neurotransmitters, especially phenethylamine and N-methylphenethylamine, the latter being an isomer of amphetamine that is produced within the human body.[sources 2]
Adderall is generally well-tolerated and effective in treating the symptoms of ADHD. The most common side effects are cardiovascular, such as irregular heartbeat (usually as a fast heartbeat), and psychological, such as euphoria or anxiety. Much larger doses of Adderall are likely to impair cognitive function and induce rapid muscle breakdown. Substance dependence (i.e., addiction) is a serious risk of Adderall abuse, but only rarely arises from medical use. Very high doses can result in a psychosis (e.g., delusions and paranoia) which rarely occurs at therapeutic doses even during long-term use. Recreational doses are generally much larger than prescribed therapeutic doses, and carry a far greater risk of serious side effects.[sources 3]
- 1 Uses
- 2 Contraindications
- 3 Side effects
- 4 Overdose
- 5 Interactions
- 6 Pharmacology
- 7 History, society, and culture
- 8 Notes
- 9 Reference notes
- 10 References
Adderall is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Long-term amphetamine exposure in some animal species is known to produce abnormal dopamine system development or nerve damage, but, in humans with ADHD, amphetamines appear to improve brain development and nerve growth. Magnetic resonance imaging studies suggest that long-term treatment with amphetamine decreases abnormalities in brain structure and function found in subjects with ADHD, and improves function in several parts of the brain, such as the right caudate nucleus.
Reviews of clinical stimulant research have established the safety and effectiveness of long-term amphetamine use for ADHD. Controlled trials spanning two years have demonstrated treatment effectiveness and safety. One review highlighted a nine-month randomized controlled trial in children with ADHD that found an average increase of 4.5 IQ points and continued improvements in attention, disruptive behaviors, and hyperactivity.
Current models of ADHD suggest that it is associated with functional impairments in some of the brain's neurotransmitter systems; these functional impairments involve impaired dopamine neurotransmission in the mesocorticolimbic projection and norepinephrine neurotransmission in the locus coeruleus and prefrontal cortex. Psychostimulants like methylphenidate and amphetamine are effective in treating ADHD because they increase neurotransmitter activity in these systems. Approximately 70% of those who use these stimulants see improvements in ADHD symptoms. Children with ADHD who use stimulant medications generally have better relationships with peers and family members, perform better in school, are less distractible and impulsive, and have longer attention spans. The Cochrane Collaboration's review[note 3] on the treatment of adult ADHD with amphetamines stated that while amphetamines improve short-term symptoms, they have higher discontinuation rates than non-stimulant medications due to their adverse side effects.
A Cochrane Collaboration review on the treatment of ADHD in children with tic disorders indicated that stimulants in general do not make tics worse, but high doses of dextroamphetamine in such people should be avoided. Other Cochrane reviews on the use of amphetamine following stroke or acute brain injury indicated that it may improve recovery, but further research is needed to confirm this.
Dosing and administration
Adderall is available as immediate release tablets or extended-release capsules. The extended release capsule is generally used in the morning. The extended release formulation available under the brand Adderall XR is designed to provide therapeutic effect and plasma concentrations identical to taking two doses 4 hours apart.
Therapeutic doses of amphetamine improve cortical network efficiency, resulting in higher performance on working memory tests in all individuals. Amphetamine and other ADHD stimulants also improve task saliency (motivation to perform a task) and increase arousal (wakefulness), in turn promoting goal-directed behavior. Stimulants such as amphetamine can improve performance on difficult and boring tasks, and are used by some students as a study and test-taking aid. Based upon studies of self-reported illicit stimulant use, performance-enhancing use, rather than abuse as a recreational drug, is the primary reason that students use stimulants. However, high amphetamine doses that are above the therapeutic range can interfere with working memory and cognitive control.
Amphetamine is used by some athletes for its psychological and performance-enhancing effects, such as increased stamina and alertness; however, its use is prohibited at sporting events regulated by collegiate, national, and international anti-doping agencies. In healthy people at oral therapeutic doses, amphetamine has been shown to increase physical strength, acceleration, stamina, and endurance, while reducing reaction time. Like the psychostimulants methylphenidate and bupropion, amphetamine increases stamina and endurance in humans primarily through reuptake inhibition and effluxion of dopamine in the central nervous system. At therapeutic doses, the adverse effects of amphetamine do not impede athletic performance; however, at much higher doses, amphetamine can induce effects that severely impair performance, such as rapid muscle breakdown and elevated body temperature.
Adderall has been banned in the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). In leagues such as the NFL, there is a very rigorous process required to obtain an exemption to this rule even when the athlete has been medically prescribed the drug by his physician.
Adderall is considered to have a high potential for misuse. Adderall tablets can be crushed and snorted, or dissolved in water and injected. Injection into the bloodstream can be dangerous because insoluble fillers within the tablets can block small blood vessels.
According to the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) and United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA),[note 4] amphetamine is contraindicated in people with a history of drug abuse, heart disease, severe agitation, or severe anxiety. It is also contraindicated in people currently experiencing arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), glaucoma (an eye condition), hyperthyroidism (excessive production of thyroid hormone), or severely elevated blood pressure. People who have experienced allergic reactions to other stimulants in the past or are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are advised not to take amphetamine. These agencies also state that anyone with anorexia nervosa, bipolar disorder, depression, elevated blood pressure, liver or kidney problems, mania, psychosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, seizures, thyroid problems, tics, or Tourette syndrome should monitor their symptoms while taking amphetamine. Evidence from human studies indicates that therapeutic amphetamine use does not cause developmental abnormalities in the fetus or newborns (i.e., it is not a human teratogen), but amphetamine abuse does pose risks to the fetus. Amphetamine has also been shown to pass into breast milk, so the IPCS and USFDA advise mothers to avoid breastfeeding when using it. Due to the potential for reversible growth impairments,[note 5] the USFDA advises monitoring the height and weight of children and adolescents prescribed amphetamines.
The side effects of Adderall are many and varied, but the amount of substance consumed is the primary factor in determining the likelihood and severity of side effects. Adderall is currently approved for long-term therapeutic use by the USFDA. Recreational use of Adderall generally involves far larger doses and is therefore significantly more dangerous, involving a much greater risk of serious side effects.
At normal therapeutic doses, the physical side effects of amphetamine vary widely by age and from person to person. Cardiovascular side effects can include irregular heartbeat (usually an increased heart rate), hypertension (high blood pressure) or hypotension (low blood pressure) from a vasovagal response, and Raynaud's phenomenon (reduced blood flow to extremities). Sexual side effects in males may include erectile dysfunction, frequent erections, or prolonged erections. Abdominal side effects may include stomach pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and weight loss. Other potential side effects include dry mouth, excessive grinding of the teeth, acne, profuse sweating, blurred vision, reduced seizure threshold, and tics (a type of movement disorder). Dangerous physical side effects are rare at typical pharmaceutical doses.
Amphetamine stimulates the medullary respiratory centers, producing faster and deeper breaths. In a normal person at therapeutic doses, this effect is usually not noticeable, but when respiration is already compromised, it may be evident. Amphetamine also induces contraction in the urinary bladder sphincter, the muscle which controls urination, which can result in difficulty urinating. This effect can be useful in treating bed wetting and loss of bladder control. The effects of amphetamine on the gastrointestinal tract are unpredictable. If intestinal activity is high, amphetamine may reduce gastrointestinal motility (the rate at which content moves through the digestive system); however, amphetamine may increase motility when the smooth muscle of the tract is relaxed. Amphetamine also has a slight analgesic effect and can enhance the pain relieving effects of opiates.
USFDA commissioned studies from 2011 indicate that in children, young adults, and adults there is no association between serious adverse cardiovascular events (sudden death, heart attack, and stroke) and the medical use of amphetamine or other ADHD stimulants.[sources 4]
Common psychological effects of therapeutic doses can include increased alertness, apprehension, concentration, decreased sense of fatigue, mood swings (elated mood followed by mildly depressed mood), increased initiative, insomnia or wakefulness, self-confidence, and sociability. Less common side effects include anxiety, change in libido, grandiosity, irritability, repetitive or obsessive behaviors, and restlessness;[sources 5] these effects depend on the user's personality and current mental state. Amphetamine psychosis (e.g., delusions and paranoia) can occur in heavy users. Although very rare, this psychosis can also occur at therapeutic doses during long-term therapy. According to the USFDA, "there is no systematic evidence" that stimulants can produce aggressive behavior or hostility.
An amphetamine overdose can lead to many different symptoms, but is rarely fatal with appropriate care. The severity of overdose symptoms vary positively with dosage and inversely with drug tolerance to amphetamine. Tolerant individuals have been known to take as much as 5 grams of amphetamine, roughly 100 times the maximum daily therapeutic dose, in a day. Symptoms of a moderate and extremely large overdose are listed below; fatal amphetamine poisoning usually also involves convulsions and coma. Chronic overdose of amphetamine poses a high risk of developing an addiction, since high doses result in increased expression of the addiction gene ΔFosB. Consistent aerobic exercise appears to magnitude-dependently reduce this risk.
|System||Minor or moderate overdose||Severe overdose[sources 6]|
Addiction is a serious risk with heavy recreational amphetamine use, but is unlikely to arise from typical medical use at therapeutic doses. Tolerance develops rapidly in amphetamine abuse, so periods of extended use require increasingly larger doses of the drug in order to achieve the same effect.
Current models of addiction from chronic drug use involve alterations in gene expression in certain parts of the brain, particularly the nucleus accumbens. The most important transcription factors[note 6] that produce these alterations are ΔFosB, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element binding protein (CREB), and nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB). ΔFosB is the most significant factor in drug addiction, since its overexpression in the nucleus accumbens is necessary and sufficient for many of the associated neural adaptations that occur; it has been implicated in addictions to alcohol, cannabinoids, cocaine, nicotine, opiates, phenylcyclidine, and substituted amphetamines. ΔJunD is the transcription factor which directly opposes ΔFosB. Increases in nucleus accumbens ΔJunD expression using viral vectors can reduce or, with a large increase, even block many of the neural and behavioral alterations seen in chronic drug abuse (i.e., the alterations mediated by ΔFosB). ΔFosB also plays an important role in regulating behavioral responses to natural rewards, such as palatable food, sex, and exercise. Since natural rewards induce expression of ΔFosB just like drugs of abuse do, chronic acquisition of these rewards can result in a similar pathological state of addiction. Consequently, ΔFosB is the key transcription factor involved in amphetamine addiction and amphetamine-induced sex addictions, a phenomenon known as dopamine dysregulation syndrome which has been observed in some patients taking dopaminergic medications.
The effects of amphetamine on gene regulation are both dose- and route-dependent. Most of the research on gene regulation and addiction is based upon animal studies with intravenous amphetamine administration at very high doses. The few studies that have used equivalent (weight-adjusted) human therapeutic doses and oral administration show that these changes, if they occur, are relatively minor.
A Cochrane Collaboration review on amphetamine and methamphetamine addiction and abuse indicates that the current evidence on effective treatments is extremely limited. The review indicated that fluoxetine[note 7] and imipramine[note 8] have some limited benefits in treating abuse and addiction, but concluded that there is currently no effective pharmacological treatment for amphetamine addiction or abuse. A corroborating review indicated that amphetamine addiction is mediated through increased activation of dopamine receptors and co-localized NMDA receptors in the mesolimbic dopamine pathway (a pathway in the brain that connects the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens). This review also noted that magnesium ions and serotonin inhibit NMDA receptors and that the magnesium ions do so by blocking the receptor's calcium channels. It also suggested that, based upon animal testing, pathological (addiction-inducing) amphetamine use significantly reduces the level of intracellular magnesium throughout the brain. Supplemental magnesium,[note 9] like fluoxetine treatment, has been shown to reduce amphetamine self-administration (doses given to oneself) in both humans and lab animals.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is currently the most effective clinical treatment for psychostimulant addiction. Additionally, research on the neurobiological effects of physical exercise suggests that consistent aerobic exercise, especially endurance exercise (e.g., marathon running), prevents the development of drug addiction and is an effective adjunct (supplemental) treatment for amphetamine addiction. Exercise leads to better treatment outcomes when used as an adjunct treatment, particularly for psychostimulant addictions. In particular, aerobic exercise decreases psychostimulant self-administration, reduces the reinstatement (i.e., relapse) of drug-seeking, and induces opposite effects on striatal dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) signaling (increased DRD2 density) to those induced by pathological stimulant use (decreased DRD2 density).
According to another Cochrane Collaboration review on withdrawal in highly addicted amphetamine and methamphetamine abusers, "when chronic heavy users abruptly discontinue amphetamine use, many report a time-limited withdrawal syndrome that occurs within 24 hours of their last dose." This review noted that withdrawal symptoms in chronic, high-dose users are frequent, occurring in up to 87.6% of cases, and persist for three to four weeks with a marked "crash" phase occurring during the first week. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, drug craving, depressed mood, fatigue, increased appetite, increased movement or decreased movement, lack of motivation, sleeplessness or sleepiness, and lucid dreams. The review indicated that withdrawal symptoms are associated with the degree of dependence, suggesting that therapeutic use would result in far milder discontinuation symptoms. Manufacturer prescribing information does not indicate the presence of withdrawal symptoms following discontinuation of amphetamine use after an extended period at therapeutic doses.
Abuse of amphetamine can result in a stimulant psychosis that may present with a variety of symptoms (e.g., paranoia and delusions). A Cochrane Collaboration review on treatment for amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine abuse-induced psychosis states that about 5–15% of users fail to recover completely. According to the same review, there is at least one trial that shows antipsychotic medications effectively resolve the symptoms of acute amphetamine psychosis. Psychosis very rarely arises from therapeutic use.
In rodents and primates, sufficiently high doses of amphetamine cause dopaminergic neurotoxicity, or damage to dopamine neurons, which is characterized as reduced transporter and receptor function. There is no evidence that amphetamine is directly neurotoxic in humans. High-dose amphetamine can cause indirect neurotoxicity as a result of increased oxidative stress from reactive oxygen species and autoxidation of dopamine.
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) taken with Adderall may result in a hypertensive crisis if taken within two weeks after last use of an MAOI type drug.
- Inhibitors of enzymes that directly metabolize amphetamine (particularly FMO3 and CYP2D6) will prolong the elimination of amphetamine.
- Stimulants and antidepressants (sedatives and depressants) may increase (decrease) the drug effects of Adderall, and vice versa.
- Dietary pH affects the absorption and elimination half-life of Adderall; an alkaline diet increases the rate of absorption and decreases the rate of excretion, while acidic diets decrease absorption and increase excretion rates.
Pharmacodynamics of amphetamine enantiomers in a dopamine neuron
Mechanism of action
Amphetamine, the active ingredient of Adderall, works primarily by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain and more specifically, in the nucleus accumbens, prefrontal cortex, and locus coeruleus regions. It also triggers the release of several other neurotransmitters (e.g., serotonin, histamine, and epinephrine, among others) from neurons and also the synthesis of neuropeptides (e.g., cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) peptides). Both active ingredients of Adderall, dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine, bind to the same biological targets, but their binding affinities (that is potency) differ somewhat. Dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine are both potent full agonists (activating compounds) of trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) and interact with vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), with dextroamphetamine being the more potent agonist of TAAR1. Consequently, dextroamphetamine produces roughly two times more CNS stimulation than levoamphetamine; however, levoamphetamine has slightly greater cardiovascular and peripheral effects. Levoamphetamine provides Adderall with a quicker onset and longer-lasting effects than dextroamphetamine alone. It has been reported that certain children have a better clinical response to levoamphetamine.
In the absence of amphetamine, VMAT2 will normally move monoamines (e.g., dopamine, histamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, etc.) from the intracellular fluid of a monoamine neuron into its synaptic vesicles, which are essentially chemical storage units inside a neuron. When amphetamine enters a neuron and interacts with VMAT2, the transporter reverses its direction of transport, thereby releasing stored monoamines inside synaptic vesicles back into the neuron's intracellular fluid. Meanwhile, when amphetamine activates TAAR1, the receptor causes the neuron's cell membrane-bound monoamine transporters (i.e., the dopamine transporter, norepinephrine transporter, or serotonin transporter) to either stop transporting molecules altogether (via internalization) or even transport them in reverse; in other words, the reversed membrane transporter will push dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin out of the neuron's intracellular fluid and into the synaptic cleft. In summary, by interacting with both VMAT2 and TAAR1, amphetamine releases neurotransmitters from synaptic vesicles (the effect from VMAT2) into the intracellular fluid where they subsequently exit the neuron through the membrane-bound, reversed monoamine transporters (the effect from TAAR1).
Related endogenous compounds
Amphetamine has a very similar structure and function to the endogenous trace amines, which are naturally occurring neurotransmitter molecules produced in the human body and brain. Among this group, the most closely related compounds are phenethylamine, the parent compound of amphetamine, and N-methylphenethylamine, an isomer of amphetamine (i.e., it has an identical molecular formula). In humans, phenethylamine is produced directly from L-phenylalanine by the aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) enzyme, which converts L-DOPA into dopamine as well. In turn, N‑methylphenethylamine is metabolized from phenethylamine by phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase, the same enzyme that metabolizes norepinephrine into epinephrine. Like amphetamine, both phenethylamine and N‑methylphenethylamine regulate monoamine neurotransmission via TAAR1; unlike amphetamine, both of these substances are broken down by monoamine oxidase B, and therefore have a shorter half-life than amphetamine.
History, society, and culture
Richwood Pharmaceuticals, which later merged with Shire plc, introduced the current Adderall brand in 1996 as an instant-release tablet. In 2006, Shire agreed to sell rights to the Adderall name for this instant-release medication to Duramed Pharmaceuticals DuraMed Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2008 when during their acquisition of Barr Pharmaceuticals, including Barr's Duramed division.
The first generic version of Adderall IR was introduced to market in 2002. Later on, Barr and Shire reached a settlement agreement permitting Barr to offer a generic form of the drug beginning in April 2009.
Rexar, a pharmaceutical company, reformulated another drug, branded as Obetrol, and continued to sell this new formulation under the same brand name. This new unapproved formulation was later rebranded and sold as Adderall by Richwood after it acquired Rexar resulting in FDA warning in 1994. Richwood submitted this formulation as NDA 11-522 and Adderall gained FDA approval for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder therapy on 13 February 1996.
Chemically, Adderall is a mixture of several amphetamine salts; specifically, it is composed of equal parts (by mass) of amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, amphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and dextroamphetamine saccharate. This drug mixture has slightly stronger CNS effects than racemic amphetamine due to the higher proportion of dextroamphetamine. Adderall is produced as both an immediate release (IR) and extended release (XR) formulation. As of December 2013[update], ten different companies have produced generic Adderall IR at one point, while Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Actavis, and Barr Pharmaceuticals currently manufacture generic Adderall XR. Shire plc, the company that held the original patent for Adderall and Adderall XR, still manufactures brand name Adderall XR, but not Adderall IR.
- In Canada, amphetamines are in Schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and can only be obtained by prescription.
- In Japan, the use, production, and import of any medicine containing amphetamine are prohibited.
- In South Korea, amphetamines are prohibited.
- In Thailand, Amphetamines are classified as Type 1 Narcotics.
- In the United Kingdom, amphetamines are regarded as Class B drugs. The maximum penalty for unauthorized possession is 5 years in prison and an unlimited fine. The maximum penalty for illegal supply is 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine.
- In the United States, amphetamine is a Schedule II prescription drug, classified as a CNS stimulant.
- Internationally (United Nations), amphetamine is in Schedule II of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
- The US nonproprietary name of Adderall is dextroamphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine sulfate and amphetamine aspartate. It is sometimes referred to as amphetamine mixed salts and other variants thereof.
- Enantiomers are molecules that are "mirror images" of one another; they are structurally identical but of the opposite orientation, like left and right hands. The compound "amphetamine" (racemic amphetamine) refers to equal parts of the enantiomers, i.e. 50% levoamphetamine and 50% dextroamphetamine.
- Cochrane Collaboration reviews are high quality meta-analytic systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials.
- The statements supported by the USFDA come from prescribing information, which is the copyrighted intellectual property of the manufacturer and approved by the USFDA.
- In individuals who experience sub-normal height and weight gains, a rebound to normal levels is expected to occur if stimulant therapy is briefly interrupted. The average reduction in final adult height from continuous stimulant therapy over a 3 year period is 2 cm.
- Transcription factors are proteins that increase or decrease the expression of specific genes.
- During short-term treatment, fluoxetine may decrease drug craving.
- During "medium-term treatment," imipramine may extend the duration of adherence to addiction treatment.
- The review indicated that magnesium L-aspartate and magnesium chloride produce significant changes in addictive behavior; other forms of magnesium were not mentioned.
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Although useful in the treatment of ADHD, stimulants are controlled II substances with a history of preclinical and human studies showing potential abuse liability."
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Trace amines are metabolized in the mammalian body via monoamine oxidase (MAO; EC 220.127.116.11) (Berry, 2004) (Fig. 2) ... It deaminates primary and secondary amines that are free in the neuronal cytoplasm but not those bound in storage vesicles of the sympathetic neurone ...
Thus, MAO inhibitors potentiate the peripheral effects of indirectly acting sympathomimetic amines ... this potentiation occurs irrespective of whether the amine is a substrate for MAO. An α-methyl group on the side chain, as in amphetamine and ephedrine, renders the amine immune to deamination so that they are not metabolized in the gut. Similarly, β-PEA would not be deaminated in the gut as it is a selective substrate for MAO-B which is not found in the gut ...
Brain levels of endogenous trace amines are several hundred-fold below those for the classical neurotransmitters noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin but their rates of synthesis are equivalent to those of noradrenaline and dopamine and they have a very rapid turnover rate (Berry, 2004). Endogenous extracellular tissue levels of trace amines measured in the brain are in the low nanomolar range. These low concentrations arise because of their very short half-life ..."
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- Malenka RC, Nestler EJ, Hyman SE (2009). "Chapter 13: Higher Cognitive Function and Behavioral Control". In Sydor A, Brown RY. Molecular Neuropharmacology: A Foundation for Clinical Neuroscience (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical. p. 318. ISBN 9780071481274. "Therapeutic (relatively low) doses of psychostimulants, such as methylphenidate and amphetamine, improve performance on working memory tasks both in in normal subjects and those with ADHD. Positron emission tomography (PET) demonstrates that methylphenidate decreases regional cerebral blood flow in the doroslateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex while improving performance of a spacial working memory task. This suggests that cortical networks that normally process spatial working memory become more efficient in response to the drug. ... [It] is now believed that dopamine and norepinephrine, but not serotonin, produce the beneficial effects of stimulants on working memory. At abused (relatively high) doses, stimulants can interfere with working memory and cognitive control ... stimulants act not only on working memory function, but also on general levels of arousal and, within the nucleus accumbens, improve the saliency of tasks. Thus, stimulants improve performance on effortful but tedious tasks ... through indirect stimulation of dopamine and norepinephrine receptors."
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About 5–15% of the users who develop an amphetamine psychosis fail to recover completely (Hofmann 1983) ...
Findings from one trial indicate use of antipsychotic medications effectively resolves symptoms of acute amphetamine psychosis."
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Physiologic and performance effects
• Amphetamines increase dopamine/norepinephrine release and inhibit their reuptake, leading to central nervous system (CNS) stimulation
• Amphetamines seem to enhance athletic performance in anaerobic conditions 39 40
• Improved reaction time
• Increased muscle strength and delayed muscle fatigue
• Increased acceleration
• Increased alertness and attention to task"
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