Amphetamine is one of the most potent sympathomimetic amines in stimulating the CNS. It stimulates the medullary respiratory center, lessens the degree of central depression caused by various drugs, and produces other signs of CNS stimulation; the d-isomer (dextroamphetamine) is three to four times more potent than the l-isomer. Psychic effects depend on the dose and the mental state and personality of the individual. The main results of an oral dose of 10—30 mg include wakefulness, alertness, and a decreased sense of fatigue; elevation of mood, with increased initiative, self-confidence, and ability to concentrate; often, elation and euphoria; and increase in motor and speech activities. Performance of simple mental tasks is improved; although more work may be accomplished, the number of errors may increase. Physical performance—in athletes, for example—is often improved, and the drug often is abused for this purpose. Prolonged use or large doses are nearly always followed by depression and fatigue. Many individuals given amphetamine experience headache, palpitation, dizziness, vasomotor disturbances, agitation, confusion, dysphoria, apprehension, delirium, or fatigue (see Chapter 23).
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