Methamphetamines:  What you need to know

Methamphetamine is the most popular derivative of amphetamines. It is a potent sympathomimetic agent with therapeutic applications. This highly addictive and illegal psychostimulant drug is similar to amphetamine used for its powerful euphoric effects, identical to those of cocaine.

Methamphetamine Info


Methamphetamine increases the levels of naturally occurring dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Acute large doses lead to enhanced stimulation of the central nervous system and induce euphoria, alertness, reduced appetite, and a sense of increased energy and power. Other effects may include faster breathing, a fast or irregular heartbeat, higher blood pressure, 

and raised body temperature.


The use of methamphetamine can cause dangerous side effects, such as:

  • increased distractibility
  • nausea
  • dry mouth and bad breath
  • dilated pupils
  • tremors
  • muscle twitching
  • memory loss
  • aggressive or violent behaviour
  • mood disturbances
  • severe dental problems
  • weight loss
  • skin sores from intense itching
  • rapid or irregular heart rate
  • increased blood pressure


Rapid heart rate, sweating, talkative.


Methamphetamine is neurotoxic and can damage dopamine and serotonin neurons in the brain. The more acute response produces anxiety, paranoia, psychotic behaviour, and cardiac dysrhythmias. In addition, the use of methamphetamine may lead to structural and functional changes in the brain associated with emotion and memory, and that some of these may be irreversible.


Another invaluable piece of However, theyethamphetamine information is related to withdrawal syndrome. This syndrome can occur within 24 hours of the last dose of methamphetamine.

Symptoms include:

  • depression and anxiety
  • drug craving
  • restlessness
  • poor concentration
  • irritability
  • psychosis
  • unpleasant dreams
  • fatigue
  • sleep problems and vivid dreams
  • increased appetite
  • slow movement

Symptoms vary considerably in intensity and duration. They typically last between 7 and 10 days.


Methamphetamine is excreted in the urine as amphetamine and oxidised and deaminated derivatives. However, 10-40% of methamphetamine is excreted unchanged. Therefore, methamphetamine is generally detectable in the urine for 3 to 5 days after use.

3-5 days
12 hours (approximately)
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