Amphetamines: the effects and mechanisms of action of this drug

Consumption of products with stimulating effects it is common in today’s society. Coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks … all these have an activating effect on our body which helps us to be more alert and energetic and which helps to maintain a state of mind.

But apart from the above, they exist other substances considered drugs, the potency is much greater. These are substances which, although of medical origin today, are also used recreationally, illegally as they pose a risk to health due to their addictive potential and side effects.

Within these stimulants we find cocaine and the type of which will be discussed throughout this type, amphetamines.

    Amphetamines: type of substance and characteristics

    Amphetamines are a type of substance classified in the group of psychoanaleptic conductors. These are synthetic chemical compounds derived from beta-phenyl-isopropylamine, although they are originally derived from substances derived from the plant Catha edulis.

    The term “amphetamine” in question generally refers to the group of substances derived from amphetamine acid or a similar compositionWhile in amphetamines there is a similarly named subgroup. As activating psychoactive agents, they cause an increase in the functioning of the nervous system, increasing arousal, alertness and physical and mental energy.

    Its effects on the body

    Its effects on the body are initially a feeling of euphoria and a considerable increase in energy, With an expansive, uninhibited mood (although in some cases this can improve self-control). The subject remains awake and his cognitive abilities seem faster and are improved. The consumer tends to increase their level of awareness, attention and concentration.

    amphetamines they generate the feeling of an increased capacity for control and self-confidence, In addition to giving an impression of clarity of thought. It also generates an increase in motor activity, an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate. They decrease sleep, fatigue and hunger.

    Amphetamines have been used in various circumstances: medicinal use to treat various conditions to the increase in sports or even academic performance, through purely recreational use. They are usually consumed orally, although they can be given intravenously or inhaled as a powder. Its effects are very similar to cocaine, although they are less risky than cocaine.

      Mechanisms of action

      The mechanism of action of amphetamines is based on the monoamine reuptake blockage, With particular emphasis on those of dopamine and norepinephrine. Moreover, they also influence the synthesis of these substances, causing the production of more. This causes the effects of these neurotransmitters to last longer to roam the synaptic space longer and be used by postsynaptic neurons.

      Amphetamines are therefore dopamine and norepinephrine agonists, This causes the pleasant and heightened energetic sensations typical of this group of substances. The same is true for serotonin, but to a much lesser extent.

      medical uses

      Amphetamines are substances that, like most illicit drugs, have medicinal origins in their origin. In the specific case of amphetamines, these medicinal uses remain valid in a large number of cases, often using medicines based on or derived from this type of substances to treat different diseases.

      More specifically, they are now used in certain treatments for obesity (since it causes an increase in activity while reducing sensations such as fatigue and hunger), narcolepsy (its excitatory effects can combat episodes of sleep) and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD (in these cases amphetamine derivatives are used because they improve attention span and reduce impulsive symptoms in this type of population).

        Side effects and risks

        While the use of amphetamines may be beneficial in some cases and in temporary increase in performance of physical and mental capacitiesRecreational and continued use of these substances can have serious short- and long-term effects, especially with poisoning or addiction.

        1. Dependency

        Although less addictive than cocaine, amphetamines have a high addictive potential due to their action on the brain reward system and progressive acquisition of tolerance which means that more and more people consume more to see the same effects.

        2. Withdrawal syndrome

        Abrupt withdrawal from amphetamine use can lead to withdrawal syndromes, which often have the opposite effect to those caused by their use. like that, generally observes fatigue and decreased energy, Nightmares, sleeplessness, craving or craving for food, motor restlessness, anxiety and depression, inability to concentrate, or emotional lability.

        3. Sound problems

        Whether or not it is limited to abstinence, one of the problems that amphetamine use can cause is difficulty falling asleep or in the fact that it does not produce a feeling of rest.

          4. Hallucinations and alterations in perception

          If the action of amphetamines does not focus on this aspect, they have sometimes manifested themselves the presence of visual hallucinations.

            5. Cardiorespiratory problems

            Amphetamines have effects on the cardiovascular system, increasing blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate. Especially in the event of poisoning, it can generate tachycardia, sweating and increased pressure which can lead to serious cases of cardiopulmonary arrest.

            6. Ghana

            As mentioned above, amphetamines cause a decrease in appetite. While it may be beneficial for some people and is in fact used to treat obesity, it may be that this loss could end up causing nutritional problems such as anemia.

            7. Engine modifications

            In poisoning and abstinence, it is common for amphetamines to cause alterations in the musculoskeletal system. It is possible that it generates weakness and slowing down or, on the contrary, restlessness and tremors, which can happen in severe poisoning to cause epileptic seizures.

            8. Changed language

            It is common for the use of amphetamines to cause wear and tear due to the state of physical arousal. The subject has a rapid and abundant speech, although there may be a leak of ideas.

            9. Emotional issues

            It is common for the long term use of these substances to generate emotional lability, going from joy to sadness very easily, and can lead to anxiety or depression in the user. as well they can lead to suicidal thoughts.

              Bibliographical references:

              • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fifth edition. DSM-V. Masson, Barcelona.
              • Salazar, M .; Peralta, C .; Pasteur, J. (2006). Manual of psychopharmacology. Madrid, Pan-American Medical Publishing House.
              • Sants, JL; Garcia, LI; Calderon, MA; Sanz, LJ; of rivers, P .; Left, S .; Román, P .; Hernangómez, L .; Navas, E .; Lladre, A and Álvarez-Cienfuegos, L. (2012). Clinical Psychology. CEDE PIR preparation manual, 02. CEDE. Madrid.
              • Weiss, RD (2016). Drugs of abuse. A: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman’s Medicine Cecil. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders.

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