Amphetamine Drugs List

What are amphetamines?

Amphetamines are a class of psychostimulant drugs named after the prototypical agent, amphetamine, a phenethylamine derivative. They work by activating receptors in the brain and increasing the activity of a number of neurotransmitters, especially norepinephrine and dopamine. Dopamine is associated with pleasure, movement, and attention.

Amphetamine exists as two enantiomers: levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Amphetamine properly refers to a specific chemical, the racemic free base, which is equal parts of the two enantiomers in their pure amine forms. Studies indicate that L-Amphetamine improves poor sustained attention while D-amphetamine reduces overactivity and impulsiveness as well as improves sustained attention.

Available amphetamines include both prescription and illicit chemicals. Prescription amphetamines are FDA approved for conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and are popularly prescribed. They are controlled substances due to their abuse potential. Examples include methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine. Methamphetamine is an example of an illicit amphetamine that is commonly abused. Designer amphetamines (or synthetic amphetamines) include analogs of amphetamine and a type of amphetamine called cathinone or a beta-keto amphetamine. Cathine or beta-keto amphetamine is found in nature as a constituent of the plant Catha edulis and it is chewed for its stimulant properties.

The amphetamines exert their pharmacological effect by increasing the release and decreasing the reuptake of catecholamines (including norepinephrine and dopamine). This mechanism is the reason for the clinical effects as well as the addictive properties of these drugs.

The onset of effect and duration of effect after amphetamine use depends on the route of administration as well as the specific agent abused. Amphetamines can be smoked, inhaled, injected, or ingested. Methamphetamine’s effect can last 12–24 h whereas immediate-release oral methylphenidate may only last for 6 h.

What are they used for?

Some types of amphetamines are prescribed by doctors to treat conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (where a person has an uncontrollable urge to sleep). Amphetamines have also been used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Other types of amphetamines, such as speed, are produced and sold illegally. Amphetamines have also been taken as performance enhancement drugs. The most potent form is crystal methamphetamine (ice).

Amphetamines are stimulants used for ADHD. They include:

•          amphetamine

•          dextroamphetamine

•          lisdexamfetamine

Amphetamine Drugs List

Brand NameUnited States
Adopted Name
(D:L) ratioDosage
Adderall3:1 (salts)tablet
Adderall XR3:1 (salts)capsule
Mydayis3:1 (salts)capsule
Adzenys ERamphetamine3:1 (base)suspension
Adzenys XR-ODTamphetamine3:1 (base)ODT
Dyanavel XRamphetamine3.2:1 (base)suspension
Evekeoamphetamine sulfate1:1 (salts)tablet
Evekeo ODTamphetamine sulfate1:1 (salts)ODT
Dexedrinedextroamphetamine sulfate1:0 (salts)capsule
Zenzedidextroamphetamine sulfate1:0 (salts)tablet
Vyvanselisdexamfetamine dimesylate1:0 (prodrug)capsule

You can also find useful information on Vyvanse vs Adderall: Differences and Similarities


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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