Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine (USAN) ( /ˌmɛθæmˈfɛtəmiːn/), also known as metamfetamine (INN), meth, ice, crystal, glass, tik, N-methylamphetamine, methylamphetamine, and desoxyephedrine, is a psychostimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs.

Methamphetamine occurs in two enantiomers, dextrorotary and levorotary; dextromethamphetamine possesses the well-known psychostimulant effects of the drug, while levomethamphetamine is CNS-inactive. Although rarely prescribed, dextromethamphetamine is FDA approved for the treatment of ADHD and obesity under the trade name Desoxyn, while levomethamphetamine is a non-prescription over-the-counter nasal decongestant.

Illicitly, methamphetamine may be sold either as pure dextromethamphetamine or in a racemic mixture. Both dextromethamphetamine and racemic methamphetamine are Schedule II controlled substances in the United States, and similarly the production, distribution, sale, and possession of methamphetamine is restricted or illegal in many jurisdictions. Internationally, methamphetamine has been placed in Schedule II of the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances treaty.

In low dosages, methamphetamine can increase alertness, concentration, and energy in fatigued individuals. In higher doses, it can induce mania with accompanying euphoria, feelings of self-esteem and increased libido. Methamphetamine has a high potential for abuse and addiction, activating the psychological reward system by triggering a cascading release of dopamine in the brain characterized by Amphetamine /Stimulant psychosis.

Chronic abuse may also lead to post-withdrawal syndrome, a result of methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity to dopaminergic neurons. Post-withdrawal syndrome can persist beyond the withdrawal period for months, and sometimes up to a year. In addition to psychological harm, physical harm – primarily consisting of cardiovascular damage – may occur with chronic use or acute overdose.

Read more about MethamphetaminePharmacokinetics, Pharmacology, Natural Occurrence, Routes of Administration

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