Methamphetamine is used as part of a treatment program to control symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; more difficulty focusing, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet than other people who are the same age) in children.
Methamphetamine is also used for a limited period of time (a few weeks) along with a reduced-calorie diet and an exercise plan for weight loss in obese people unable to lose weight. Methamphetamine is in a class of medications called central nervous system stimulants. It works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain.
Side Effects Of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- dry mouth
- unpleasant taste
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- changes in sex drive or ability
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the WARNING section, stop taking methamphetamine and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- fast or pounding heartbeat
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
- excessive tiredness
- slow or difficult speech
- motor or verbal tics
- believing things that are not true
- feeling unusually suspicious of others
- hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- agitation, hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist), fever, sweating, confusion, fast heartbeat, shivering, severe muscle stiffness or twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- mania (frenzied or abnormally excited mood)
- aggressive or hostile behavior
- changes in vision or blurred vision
- paleness or blue color of fingers or toes
- pain, burning or tingling in the hands or feet
- unexplained wounds appearing on fingers or toes
- Methamphetamine may slow children’s growth or weight gain. Your child’s doctor will watch his or her growth carefully. Talk to your child’s doctor if you have concerns about your child’s growth or weight gain while he or she is taking this medication. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of giving methamphetamine to your child.
Methamphetamine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking methamphetamine:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to methamphetamine, other stimulant medications such as amphetamine, benzphetamine, dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, in Adderall), lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in methamphetamine tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking the following medications or have stopped taking them in the past 14 days: monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors including isocarboxazid (Marplan), linezolid (Zyvox), methylene blue, phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). If you stop taking methamphetamine, you should wait at least 14 days before you start to take an MAO inhibitor.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: acetazolamide (Diamox); ammonium chloride; ascorbic acid (Vitamin C); fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Subsys, others); insulin; lithium (Lithobid); medications for high blood pressure; methenamine (Hiprex, Urex); medications for migraine headaches such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex, in Treximet), and zolmitriptan (Zomig); omeprazole (Prilosec); phenothiazine medications for mental illness or nausea such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, prochlorperazine (Compro, Procomp), promethazine (Promethegan), thioridazine, or trifluoperazine; quinidine (in Nuedexta); reserpine; ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); certain medications for seizures such as ethosuximide (Zarontin), phenobarbital, and phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, in Symbyax), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Brisdelle, Prozac, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft); serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors such as desvenlafaxine (Khedezla, Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), milnacipran (Savella), and venlafaxine (Effexor); sodium bicarbonate (Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, Soda Mint); sodium phosphate; tramadol; or tricyclic antidepressants (‘mood elevators’) such as desipramine (Norpramin) or protriptyline (Vivactil). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John’s wort and tryptophan or nutritional supplements you are taking including glutamic acid (L-glutamine).
- tell your doctor if you have glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye that may cause vision loss), hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperthyroidism (a condition in which there is too much thyroid hormone in the body), feelings of anxiety, tension, or agitation, or heart or blood vessel disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to make methamphetamine.
- tell your doctor if anyone in your family has or has ever had an irregular heartbeat or has died suddenly. Also tell your doctor if you have recently had a heart attack and if you have or have ever had a heart defect, an irregular heartbeat, or other heart problems. Your doctor will examine you to see if your heart and blood vessels are healthy. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take methamphetamine if you have a heart condition or if there is a high risk that you may develop a heart condition.
- tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had depression, bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited), or mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood), facial or motor tics (repeated uncontrollable movements), verbal tics (repetition of sounds or words that is hard to control) or Tourette’s syndrome (a condition characterized by the need to perform repetitive motions or to repeat sounds or words), or has thought about or attempted suicide. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a mental illness, seizures, diabetes, or an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG; a test that measures electrical activity in the brain). If your child is taking methamphetamine to treat ADHD, tell your child’s doctor if your child has recently experienced unusual stress.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking methamphetamine, call your doctor. Do not breastfeed while taking methamphetamine.
- you should know that methamphetamine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- you should know that methamphetamine should be used as part of a total treatment program for ADHD, which may include counseling and special education. Make sure to follow all of your doctor’s and/or therapist’s instructions.
- you should know that methamphetamine may cause sudden death in children and teenagers, especially children and teenagers who have heart defects or serious heart problems. This medication also may cause sudden death, heart attack, or stroke in adults, especially adults with heart defects or serious heart problems. Call your or your child’s doctor right away if you or your child has any signs of heart problems while taking this medication including chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting.
Methamphetamine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. If your child is taking methamphetamine for ADHD, it is usually taken one or two times daily. If you are taking methamphetamine for weight management, it is usually taken 30 minutes before meal(s). This medication may cause difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep if it is taken in the evening. Take methamphetamine at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take methamphetamine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If your child is taking methamphetamine for ADHD, the doctor will probably start the child on a low dose and gradually increase the dose, not more often than once every week. The doctor may stop methamphetamine treatment from time to time to see if the medication is still needed. Follow these directions carefully.
If you are taking methamphetamine to lose weight, the doctor will maintain you on the lowest dose possible. Tolerance to the weight loss effect may develop within a few weeks, making this medication less effective. When this occurs, the doctor may stop the medication.
Methamphetamine helps to control ADHD but does not cure this condition. Continue to take methamphetamine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking methamphetamine without talking to your doctor.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking methamphetamine.
This prescription is not refillable. Be sure to schedule appointments with your doctor on a regular basis so that you do not run out of medication.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.