From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Pharmacology (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Pharmacology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Pharmacology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Brands  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Brands, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Brands on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

what evidence is there that william burroughs was a "notorious user of benzedrine"? - cl

This article fails to say if benzedrine is still available. And, if so, what name is it now under? As far as I know there is no longer an exclusively amphetamine prescription drug. Only combinations of it (adderall) . This is key to the whole article.

does benzedrine exist anymore? what about amphetamine?[edit]

This article fails to say if benzedrine is still available. And, if so, what name is it now under? As far as I know there is no longer an exclusively amphetamine prescription drug. Only combinations of it (adderall) . This is key to the whole article. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

Racemic amphetamine (Benzedrine) is obsolete (although it may still be used in the developing world). Dexedrine (d-amphetamine) is still commonly used, as is Adderal which is exclusively an amphetamine drug. --Bk0 (Talk) 13:01, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Adderall is 2 dextro isomers, plus 2 types of amphetamine. not purely "amphetamine". Don't you think this article should include when benzedrine was discontinued? Why? What made it obsolete, while other amphetamines, and combinations of straight amphetamine boomed for ADHD? This is key to the article!!!

Other 'influences' I can think of... Akira, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and possibly Walk the Line. Pipedreambomb 03:24, 14 March 2006 (UTC)


This article needs references quite badly. It could also use a fair bit of cleaning up, but I'll hold off on adding the appropriate tags (for now). Fuzzform 22:16, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Kerouac Reference[edit]

The reference to Kerouac and On the Road is directly refuted in the On The Road article.

Regarding the use of Benzedrine by the armed forces in WWII, there is a reference in 'The Wildest Province: SOE in the Land of the Eagle', p.229 by Roderick Bailey to an SOE doctor and his orderly taking it to keep going when on the run from the Germans in the Albanian mountains. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:58, 6 December 2013 (UTC)


The "Influence" section had a lot of trivia like "Benzedrine was mentioned in a movie and there was this one song that like had the word in it lawlz" and so I split the famous humans affected from the "mentioned in a song" section, named Trivia.

Also, the article interchanges Benzedrine with benzedrine, and the article should stay the same throughout. Which is it? Even trade names aren't always capitalised but usually are. I'm not changing them one way or another until someone knows which spelling (capital B or no) it needs. "Bennies" I have surely seen in books as lower case. 07:19, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Benzedrine and WWII[edit]

I'm not sure if this merits mention in the article; I think it does. I remember a documentary I watched a decade or two ago that made references to the German Wehrmacht issuing Benzedrine to Panzer and Tiger tank crews and ordering them to take considerable doses regularly.

The documentary also made mention of high incidences of psychotic breaks and indiscriminate bezerker behavior arising in soldiers after prolonged exposure. I can't seem to find references to this solid enough to edit the article.

Does anyone know more about this?

Manuelcuribe (talk) 04:26, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

The Germans in WWII used a methamphetamine known as Pervitin, not Benzedrine Sulfate. Benzedrine Sulfate was an American creation. Pervitin was invented by the Japanese, so the Dermans could not obtain exclusive manufacturing rights. Pervitin proved to be highly habit forming and its use was eventually outlawed by the German military. It was believed to have been heavily used in the initial invasion of France. Eastern Europe has a huge problem to this day with Pervitin addictions.

bjohns5454 11/7/2011 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bjohns5454 (talkcontribs) 15:08, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

My father was a Dutch sailor in WWII. He had two stories about Benzedrine. One is of "saving up" the tablets for football matches, and their goalie was "jumping around like a monkey - they couldn't get a ball past him". The other relates to a fellow sailor who was affected differently by Benzedrine: he fell fast asleep and couldn't be roused. The known antidote was cocoa, and this relieved both the ordinary effects and this rare effect. --Rfsmit (talk) 16:11, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

BY FAR, the best known and earliest example of Benzedrine in popular culture is Kiss of Death (1947) with Richard Widmark as Tommy Udo, sorry to use my IP but I work in Spanish Wikipedia, you do not know me, I am mhandler. (talk) 13:35, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Side effects?[edit]

This article should include some information on the side effects and health issues of the drug.--Dwane E Anderson (talk) 22:11, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

find some reliable sources for them and add them yourself then --UltraMagnus (talk) 07:15, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Article in General[edit]

Most of this article, IMHO, should be merged with amphetamine, as Benzedrine was merely one brand name for amphetamine sulphate.

A lot of the "facts" dont seem to be referenced..... and it says "SKF started selling Benzedrine in 1933 or 34".... which is it? (talk) 07:17, 3 December 2009 (UTC) Jonathan

In popular culture[edit]

I have removed the following list from the article because it is just a random collection of trivia. None of this information seems particularly relevant to the article, as far as I can tell. If someone feels otherwise and would like to summarize key aspects of list and write some coherent prose about it, that could make a useful contribution to the article. But with this silly list of trivia being much longer than the rest of the article, it just detracts from the quality of the article. -- Ed (Edgar181) 18:03, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

  • In the anime Akira, Tetsuo asks the bartender in an underground club for bennies.
  • In "Go Ask Alice" (1971) a novel portraying a teen addict and "every time [she] get(s) hungr or tired [she] pop(s) a Benny."
  • In All About Eve (1950), the character Bill Simpson refers to "the barroom, Benzedrine standards of this megalomaniac society".
  • In Bob Fosse's 1979 film All That Jazz, the protagonist Joe Gideon, an eccentric Broadway musical director, played by Roy Scheider, is seen taking Benzedrine pills on a daily basis, in increasing dosage, which, as the screenplay suggests, contributes to his medical problems.
  • In Mordecai Richler's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Duddy requests for benzedrine pills from his brother Lennie, to prevent him from sleeping while driving back to St. Agathe, Quebec to complete transactions of his land.
  • In Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar, she mentions that most seniors got through their workload "on a diet of coffee and Benzedrine."
  • In The Big Show (Le Grand Cirque), memoirs of a French fighter pilot in the RAF, Pierre Clostermann writes: .."the wing doctor had me in his sights and had been doubling my benzedrine ration just so my nerves would keep going a bit longer" ... "I have nervous tics like a morphin-addict spinster and have lost 8kg. in a fortnight" (Le Grand Cirque, French edition, Flammarion / L'aventure vécue 1948, page 150).
  • The 2006 crime film, The Black Dahlia, makes reference to Benzedrine in a scene wherein "Bucky" Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) talks with Kay Lake (Scarlett Johansson) and is asking about Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart)'s whereabouts, he says "Lee's all hopped up on Benzedrine, so what do you think's gonna happen?".
  • In the Showtime series Brotherhood (2008), one of the main characters, Michael, is seen taking "bennies" as the suspicion of his girlfriend cheating on him weighs on his mind.
  • In the dystopian futuristic novel about the world after nuclear war, A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr., a doctor is said to have "... probably been living on Benzedrine and doughnuts since the shot that killed the city."
  • In Robert Ludlum's The Chancellor Manuscript, the spies hired by the villain to survey a VIP's funeral take large doses of Benzedrine and coffee to stay awake and avoid cramps due to extreme cold.
  • In Neal Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon, several characters, notably World War II soldiers, are depicted using Benzedrine tablets as a stimulant.
  • Benzedrine is issued to the German POW "Happy", played by Oskar Werner, in the 1951 war movie Decision Before Dawn, to keep him alert during a spy mission into Nazi Germany.
  • In the 1995 novel Enigma by Robert Harris, the main protagonist Tom Jericho is given Benzedrine to help keep him awake and alert.
  • In EuroTrip, a German truck driver says that he has driven three days straight and taken Benzedrine.
  • Author Frederick Exley mentions Benzedrine in his book, A Fan's Notes. "Popping Benzedrine tablets into my mouth, I recall the shiver-inducing snap and crack of new texts opened for the first time on the eve of final examinations."
  • In the purported diary of an anonymous teenage girl, Go Ask Alice, the main character mentions taking a "bennie." In his autobiography, Malcolm X mentions using Benzedrine as a young hustler in Harlem.
  • In Gravity's Rainbow, Ned Pointsman mentions that he takes it (or used to take it) with his morning coffee (see p. 142 in the 760 page editions).
  • The Henderson's Boys series, by Robert Muchamore, mentions Benzedrine tablets several times, mainly as the "staple diet" for people who can't afford to sleep at night.
  • Ian Fleming's superspy, James Bond, uses Benzedrine in several novels, as does at least one villain.
    • Benzedrine is also the drug of choice of Bond's nemesis Le Chiffre in Fleming's first novel, Casino Royale, albeit administered via an inhaler.
    • In Live and Let Die, Bond receives Benzedrine tablets amongst other materials intended to aid him in a mission. Bond takes a tablet and later credits its effect with preventing him from fainting after severe injury.
    • Bond also mixes Benzedrine into his champagne glass in order to be more alert for a game of bridge in the novel Moonraker.
    • In the novel The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond takes two tablets along with his coffee in order to stay awake all night.
  • Other Beat Generation figures used Benzedrine, such as Joan Vollmer, William Burrough's wife, and Hubert Selby, Jr., who mentions it prominently in [[Last Exit To Brooklyn]'.
  • In the third chapter of Colum McCann's novel, Let the Great World Spin, Blaine and the narrator take Benzedrine during their drug-fueled partying phase.
  • In F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished The Love of the Last Tycoon: A Western, the hero Monroe Stahr, based on Irving Thalberg, takes benzedrine to stay awake as much as possible before his prognosticated death.
  • It is briefly mentioned in The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold; Susie's grandmother refers to it as her "personal savior" and offers Susie some, presumably for weight loss purposes.
  • In the 1995 film National Lampoon's Senior Trip, the bus driver "Red" (Tommy Chong) derives his nickname from the "red bennies" that he continuously offers students and the principal, the latter of which takes the drug and passes out afterward. Red apparently overdoses and dies while driving the bus.
  • In Edward Bunker's novel, No Beast So Fierce (1973), main characters often make reference to benzedrine and they say that they often take some.
  • In Scott Sigler's podcast novel Nocturnal, the character of Robin Hudson used bennies extensively in order to stay awake.
  • Jack Kerouac's novel, On The Road, makes many references to the use of "bennies" throughout.
  • In the 1990 film Robocop 2, Benzedrine is mentioned as a component of a new drug called Blue Velvet, a flavour of the film's fictional designer drug, Nuke. Upon sampling a prototype of the drug, the film's main antagonist, Cain, says to the lab tech, "Benzedrine's got my teeth wiggling. Cut it with scopolamine. 5 mils per."
  • The substance is mentioned in Henry Miller's novel Plexus: "Money! And they talk about benzedrine! For a shot in the arm give me money anytime."
  • In the movie The Runaway Bus (1954), the character - stewardess "Nikki" Nicholls - says, "Give me a Benzadrine and set me on my way!" in response to being asked do additional work after finishing a nine-hour shift.
  • Benzedrine is one of the drugs used by the brilliant but schizophrenic Nathan Landau in William Styron's novel, Sophie's Choice.
  • In a 1962 movie, Sweet Bird of Youth, Paul Newman, as Chance Wayne, is using/abusing Benzedrine.
  • In the film Vanishing Point, Kowalski is seen taking Benzedrine in order to stay awake to be able to deliver a car in speedy time.
  • Kerouac also writes about his and his friends' frequent use of Benzedrine in his novel, Visions of Cody.
  • Allen Ginsberg wrote of Benzedrine in his beat poem Howl: "who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on Benzedrine."
  • In the Dave Dudley song, "6 Days on the Road" (circa 1963), he makes reference to bennies (or other stimulants) with the line, "I'm takin' little white pills and my eyes are open wide".
  • Fall Out Boy refer to Benzedrine in their song "20 Dollar Nose Bleed" (from the 2008 album Folie à Deux), singing "call me Mr. Benzedrine..." in the chorus. And, since Benzedrine is used for nasal purposes, it could be believed that the band refers to the drug in the song's title.
  • Fall Out Boy use "Dr. Benzedrine" in the music video of "America's Suitehearts" to depict the lead singer.
  • Singer Thea Gilmore penned a song called "Benzedrine" on her 2002 album, Rules for Jokers.
  • Humorist Tom Lehrer raises a toast "To the beer and Benzedrine" in his song "Bright College Days" from the album, An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer, released in 1959.
  • Country music singer Gary Stewart makes mention of a truck driver using Benzedrine in his song, "Caffeine, Nicotine, And Benzedrine". "A little box of whities to help pick me up / Caffeine, nicotine, Benzedrine and wish me luck". This song was covered by Jerry Reed in 1980 and featured on the album Texas Bound and Flyin'.
  • The drug is referred in the song "Cherry Bomb" by Ash from their album, Free All Angels: "Is she real or just a dream? / My heart beats fast like Benzedrine."
  • "Committed to Parkview", a song by country music super-group, The Highwaymen, mentions Benzedrine, saying: "There's a girl in 307,coming down on thorazine / And a superstar's ex-drummer trying to kick Benzedrine." The song was written by Johnny Cash and has been performed by the Highwaymen and other country music acts, including Porter Wagoner.
  • The song "Drunk on the Train to Chicago" by the band Drink Me mentions Benzedrine, "The man in the moon is on Benzedrine/ and everybody's spinning round." Mike Doughty sometimes covers this song at his live performances, and it is featured on the album Smofe + Smang: Live in Minneapolis.
  • The Shimmies mention Benzedrine in their song "July 4th", singing, "This month I found my style / I looked up in the air / Stayed at home to burn the day / Benzedrine take me away...".
  • Sheryl Crow's song from her selftitled album Oh Marie makes reference to the drug. "All day long she fills me up with dogma / She's all magazines, benzedrine, and vodka."
  • A line in the song, "On that great come and get it day" in the 1947 Broadway musical, Finian's Rainbow, reads: "Come and get your beer and your Benzedrine!"
  • The song "Roll Up Your Sleeves" by the rapper Mickey Avalon also refers to Benzedrine: "Juiced on bennys and hard lemonade / I boost so many sweets I've got tooth decay".
  • Mike Absalom's "Saga of Suzie Grapevine and Joe the Pusher" is a song telling the story of a desperate addict trying to persuade the pusher to provide Benzedrine without payment. The deal ends badly and the refrain is "Benzedrine you will never win". The track is on the Mike Absalom 1971 album. He regularly performed the saga around the colleges of the UK during the early to mid 1970s.
  • On the song "Semi-Truck", the "speed freak anthem" by Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, the singer laments his fate: "Here I sit, all alone with a broken heart. I took three bennies, and my semi-truck won't start."[1]
  • In Jake Thackray's humorous song "Sister Josephine", the song's protagonist administers a "goodbye sniff of Benzedrine to the convent budgerigar".[2]
  • In the song "Swordfishtrombones", Tom Waits sings, "Well he packed up all his / expectations he lit out for California / with a flyswatter banjo on his knee / with a lucky tiger in his angel hair / and Benzedrine for getting there..."
  • Benzedrine is referred to in the song "Wet Sand" by rock-funk band Red Hot Chili Peppers from their album Stadium Arcadium: "The travesties that we have seen / Are treating me like Benzedrine / Automatic laugher from a pro."
  • Benzedrine is referenced in R.E.M.'s song "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?": "'What's the frequency, Kenneth?' is your Benzedrine."
  • In 1946, a minor hit record by Harry Gibson, "Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine", was about a woman who partied at all the nightclubs and lost a lot of weight in so doing. One line in the song was, "The Benzedrine's the thing that makes her swing."
  • In his song "Red Ball Express", about the enormous, long-distance US Army trucking convoy resupply system during the invasion of Europe in the Second World War, singer Scott Miller makes reference to Benzedrine keeping the drivers awake.
  • In Dragnet (television series, 1967), Season 1, Episode 11 - "The Big Shooting", robbery and murder suspects Roger Kensington and Harry Johnson, are mentioned to have two, one-dollar rolls of Benzedrine tablets in their possession upon arrest.
  • In the stealth/action videogame Metal Gear Solid, Dr. Naomi Hunter gives Solid Snake a shot of Benzedrine with a mix of nanomachines to keep him stimulated and focused for 12 hours whilst on his mission.
  • In Ian Fleming's novels, James Bond, secret agent 007, frequently uses Benzedrine pills to sharpen his senses and/or keep wide awake for extended periods during his adventures, like "Moonraker", "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "You Only Live Twice".
  • Hubert Selby, Jr.'s novel Last Exit to Brooklyn, set in 1950s New York, includes a character who uses Benzedrine pills.
  • Benzedrine was used by a victim in the Rockstar game L.A. Noire
  • Benzedrine is mentioned in the R.E.M. song What's the Frequency, Kenneth?.
  • The Benzedrine inhaler and its recreational use are featured extensively in the 2012 film On The Road
  • The popular Fall Out Boy song "20 Dollar Nose Bleed" contains the lyric, 'Call me Mr. Benzedrine.'
  • Stephen King's novel "Thinner" also references bennies: "I grabbed me a Coke and dropped a couple bennies because by then I was starting to feel a little bit low."
Some of that isn't trivia. It is notable to mention its popularity in 1950s American literature, particularly the Beat Generation. Unless I am mistaken, Benzedrine is no longer commonly prescribed, so it's cultural legacy is notable, not just it's pharmacological history. It looks like there was already an accurate summary in what you removed. --Laslorajk (talk) 12:21, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
If you can find a useful summary of notable material in the content that I removed, please feel free to copy it from here back into the article. I don't dispute that benzedrine's cultural legacy may be notable, but my opinion is that at the very least there needs to be some kind of coherent prose written about it - not just a laundry list of individually trivial items. -- Ed (Edgar181) 14:31, 21 July 2011 (UTC)